Have you ever found yourself enamoured of a particular style or trend while simultaneously finding yourself at a loss as to how to make it work within your own wardrobe and personal style?
Alas, that is my predicament with so-called ‘Spats’-styled boots; those boots with an add-on ankle cuff, or more commonly, an extremely extended cuff that falls all the way to the instep to ‘break’ at the top of the instep. The cuffs on this second style of boot are rather distinct and work just a touch of trompe l’oeil trickery that suggests either an actual removable spatted cuff or an illusory pant-leg that appears to be floating over the boot itself. I am definitely put in mind of the Givenchy ‘Gaiter’ boots from Jitterbugbaby’s (Fall 2008) Paris Runway Roundup post from earlier this year. And, since I have yet to encounter any naming consensus among shoe sites and fashion blog as to a definitive title for this type of boot, I have decided to stick with ‘Spats’ – it has a certain evocative appeal and works for me.
In my case, the first real example of this style that I encountered (outside of old black and white movies) was the now sold-out LAMB ‘Crowther’ which was available last fall. This was in fact a classic pump with a separate spat attachment. And, while I loved the look and convertibility of the shoe, I could not justify the purchase of this altogether adorable shoe. A year later I am still trying to find reasons that I could wear this and have almost come to turns with the fact that this shoe simply does not work within my personal wardrobe and everyday style. More’s the pity.
If you fancy this particular detachable ‘gaiter’ style, you can also purchase individual ‘Gaiterettes’ from LesFrivolities at Etsy.com. These are spats/gaiters that can easily be added to shoes or ankle boots that you already own. Prices range from $55.00 to $155.00 per handmade pair.
Next is a more casual offering, the LAMB ‘Zeyn Tex’ ($179.95 at Shoebuy.com). While I am not really a fan of this particular boot, it clearly illustrates the idea of the boot incorporating the actual trouser cuff or pants-leg as an integral part of the boot shaft itself.
What I now present to you is the result of several months of squirreling away these styles one-by-one into their own special favorites folder as I periodically encountered them online. For your inspection and in no particular order: Spats, spats, and more spats.
Materia Prima by Goffredo Fantini Style # ’4M4753′ $484 $228.85 in size 8/38 only.
(This is my size and is right up near the top of my list of most drool-worthy uber-spats.)
London Underground ‘Bit of Romance’ $164.99 at Shoes.com.
Confession time: Whatever the reason, I love this boot truly, madly, deeply.
These last two ankle boots are also really turning on my positive, feel-good vibes. I think it has something to do with the split, buttoned cut of the cuff that also conjures to my mind the Alfred Noyes poem ‘The Highwayman’; Such a romantic and dashing image that these boots conjure up in the imagination.
I’m thinking that with the right pair of brown Spats, and a warm wool Kinsale cloak, I might just have the perfect thing to wear during a long, cold winter. Maybe the key to Spats (at least in my case) is to embrace my anachronistic fashion tendencies and mix some period styles in with my modern wardrobe.
Of course, I still need someone else to guide me on what to wear with the LAMB Zeyn boots. That challenge continues to elude me.