This week’s outfit is something I never would have thought about wearing when I was younger. Back then I took my style so seriously: Tailored suits with neutral colored heels for business and on my off-time, I liked black velvet, straight leg jeans, a crisp white shirt with the cuffs folded back, black ballet slippers and no jewelry except for a Movado watch. While it’s still one of my favorite casual looks, for the most part, my style is more playful now.
Are combat boots too casual?
Cindy Hattersley and I were scheduled to feature combat boots this week, but when mine disappeared, I substituted a pair of black leather ankle boots with a buckle on the side. When I first bought them, they might as well have been combat boots, because I thought they were clumpy looking. At the time, Diane Keaton and every woman I worked with in NYC was wearing them, so I bought a pair. Sometimes it’s fun to wear something unexpected.
I’ve styled this outfit two ways: With boots and with a pair of black, Vince slip-ons. Not long ago I wore my combat boots with a really nice outfit to dinner at Biga’s, an upscale restaurant downtown. When my friend looked at my feet, he said, “You’ve always been fashionable, but those look like combat boots,” to which I replied, “I think they’re chic, and they’re comfortable.” He was at a loss for words. LOL!
Which do you like better, the slip-ons or the boots, and out of curiosity… Would you wear combat boots?
Diane Keaton in black leggings and combat boots. I love this look!
I fell for this Zara skirt a few years ago because it has a sense of whimsy about it. The animal pattern in the longer outer layer is what first caught my eye. The fabric is sheer and dressy, like something Audrey Hepburn would have worn to a ball, while the inner layer is black, opaque and hits above my knees. My Zara skirt’s no longer sold, but here are some you can dress up or dress down, and one that would great with leggings underneath.
Under my skirt I layered a pair of Spanx leggings. I LOVE these! They have a shine to them that makes them a bit glam, plus like everything from Spanx, they hold you in all the right places. Here I’m wearing a long-sleeved, black ribbed turtleneck I bought ten years ago. Depending on the weather, sometimes I wear a black, ribbed, short-sleeved, round neck shirt from J Crew.
Before Covid I wore this outfit to Christmas dinner at a friend’s house with a dark, blue velvet kimono lined in pink silk. Here I’ve styled it with a Veronica Beard blue jean jacket which makes it much more casual.
My necklace is an antique cameo, mounted on black leather, made by my friend in Italy, Anna Porcu. I first met Anna a few years ago when I wandered into her exquisite store in Sienna, Italy. When I told her I was from San Antonio, her eyes got big and she said, “I’m coming to San Antonio in a couple of months.” We exchanged contact info, and when she arrived, we met and had dinner. Anna returned the next year, and I spent the week with her, helping her sell her beautiful pieces at a trunk show I arranged. Yesterday Anna emailed me to say she and her sister-in-law, Sylvia, who makes the gorgeous kimonos, are coming back in early December. When we have the details, I’ll let you know.
Please pop over to my friend Cindy Hattersley’s blog for her take on combat boots. You’ll like her! I’m so blessed to meet such great women.
Love the way you write Brenda. I would absolutely wear combat boots but weather in Florida makes boot wearing challenging! Looking forward to your memoir!
Thanks for the compliment, Karen! I appreciate you. Just the thought of combat boots in Florida makes me break out in a sweat! LOL! I get it. FYI, I’m in the process of editing my memoir. I have an incredible team… oh my stars!… who gives me feedback, then I rewrite and send it back for their input. This is a longer process than I imagined, but my book will be the better for it. Thanks for your support! Just knowing you’re interested inspires me. xoxox, Brenda
No, the boots are too heavy looking for me especially with a skirt. I’ve seen the lug sole boots/shoes. I don’t see the appeal. I will stick to my leather/ suede booties.
I understand, MP. I’ve always felt that way about sneakers. They make my feet look big and clunky. Booties and cowboy boots are my favs. xoxox, Brenda
Love the boot look. But I have to tell you I tracked down that sour skirt after I saw you wear it on Instagram and it is now one of my favorites.
While I can appreciate fun trends and often partake, I have a feeling lug sole boots are one we’ll look back on in ten years and shake our heads at, thinking why on earth did we wear them?!
You might be right, Ann. I will tell you, they take some getting used to, and you can’t wear them with everything. Thanks for weighing in on the debate! I appreciate you. Brenda
Some things are best left to the young fashionistas. Just because something new comes along doesn’t mean everyone should be wearing it. It looks like you ladies are trying to hard to be hip and it comes off unfashionable and off kilter. You aren’t being featured in a fashion magazine where anything goes, you’re everyday ladies giving us ideas that work in an everyday world. There’s a line between hip and fun and just plain too trendy for your age.
I hear you, Leanne, and you make a good point. I also think we’d be doing a disservice if we didn’t get one another thinking about staying young and relevant with our clothes… Not trying too hard, but not dressing like the church lady on SNL. Thanks for letting me know what you think. Brenda
As always a great post! Now that I have found the perfect pair of combat boots that have just a bit of edge but aren’t too clunky, I love them! I am so anxious to hear everyone’s thoughts.
Cindy, You were right. Combats boots aren’t for everybody, but that blue skirt of yours is. This was great fun. Thanks for inviting me, Brenda
Absolutely! I have my eyes on a pair now. There’s is a (not too) fine line between looking like our fashionable selves and trying too hard to be something we aren’t. If you have a fashionable and fun loving mind you will be able to wear this look with the attitude it requires. My husband and daughter occasionally lament that some of my friends now dress as if they have just given up on looking current or stylish. I don’t want to fall into that. Love your posts.
You make such an important point, Marvella: There is a fine line and a mindset to pulling off something like combat boots. They’re kind of like hats. Many women don’t know how to set a hat on their head and they look uncomfortable in them. It’s almost a self-fulfilling prophesy. If you look good in something, you’ll feel good and if you feel good about what you’re wearing, you’ll look good. Love you, Marvella! Brenda
I love your outfits withe the combat boots. It makes a nice outfit look edgy and fashionable but not so dressy. I think it is a classic look. I think Diane Keaton’s style is classic with an edge.
Thanks, Diane! I love almost everything Diane Keaton wears although I wouldn’t wear all of it. When you step out with a hat and combat boots, you’re definitely carving your own niche and you need the confidence to wear them. Brenda
I like how you styled the boots. I think everyone has to look at themselves honestly and decide if these would work with their fashion style and body shape. I probably wouldn’t wear them. But if someone over 50 can pull the look off, more power to them
Bonnie, You’re right! It’s a personal decision and the confidence to pull it off. You make another great point I hadn’t thought about: Body shape. Oh, yes, that’s definitely a factor. xoxox, Brenda
I don’t understand the appeal. These boots were invented for slogging through the mud. They are heavy and awkward, They make one’s feet look huge. There are other options for comfortable boots that keep your feet warm. To me, they are just another fashion industry joke at women’s expense.
Love your comment, Mari. I feel the same way about tennis shoes, now called sneakers, worn with things other than tennis togs. Slip-ons, on the other hand, don’t bother me. Thanks for weighing in on this controversy. Brenda
I’m afraid I’ll have to pass on this trend. I love booties and have several black pairs, some with buckles but they are still a narrow boot with a short heel. Your booties, you paired with your skirt, are more my style. I find combat boots are too clunky looking. I do have a pair of black lace up booties but they have a more refined edge to them. Combat boots wouldn’t fit my lifestyle, nor aesthetic.
On another topic, I have a beautiful antique cameo that I inherited. It sits in my jewelry box not seeing the light of day. Seeing your’s has prompted me to start and wear mine. They really are lovely.
Hi Joanna, I’d love to have a pair of black, lace up booties, but since my feet are so narrow, I rarely find shoes and boots that fit me. The lace ups would be the perfect compromise. On the topic of cameos: I’ve never cared for them until I saw what Anna Porcu does with them, and I flipped. I also have a cameo bracelet of hers that has two different colored bands: a pale blue-grey one and another that’s black leather. They’re so fabulous! I’m glad you’re going to start wearing yours. I got a compliment from the chef the other night at dinner. He didn’t see the black leather necklace, only the cameo. xoxo, Brenda
Such a fun look on you Brenda, just what one craves from fashion. Feminine, floaty skirt, hard-edge jacket and boots. I am short and don’t think I could pull off this look, so in answer to your question, no, I probably wouldn’t wear combat boots. (I might look like a kid tromping around in dad’s boots!). Would love to see a picture of your blue velvet, silk-lined kimono.
Susan, You may have a point about combat boots and being short, although Cindy is much shorter than I am and they look great on her. The rich color and texture of the blue velvet kimono is hard to convey in pictures, but I’ll see what I can do. Jennifer Denton can capture most anything so I’ll make a note of your request and see what we can do. Thanks! xoxo, Brenda
I preferred the Grannie boots to combat boots. I could do it; it’s a fun trend, but would get more w wear out of chic booties with my classic style. On a wild hair day I could go for combat boots for fun.
Beckye, You with wild hair and combat boots! I want to see that! xoxox, Brenda
My Dallas friends are totally into combat boots! Fortunately they are tiny and they look great. Unfortunately I am not tiny, so I’ll have to appreciate them on others!
Love when you do these kinds of blogs!!
If you’re the Connie I think you are, you’re not too big to wear combat boots! LOL! I’ll try to keep these blogs coming your way. xoxox, Brenda
Well this proves you can wear anything! The skirt, the boots. They look so good on you. I disagree with the reader that said you were trying too hard to look younger. It’s fun and playful. You give me confidence to try more things! Love you love you! Xo Barb
Hi Barb, Thanks for the compliment, but there are lots of things I can’t wear. Anything too frilly and girly doesn’t work on me. I think you have more confidence than you think you do! xoxox, Brenda
UGH – do not like the look of combat boots on women. Very unfeminine, clunky, and make your feet look bigger, so I’ll pass!
Hi Cat! I totally get that. That’s how I feel when I look down on my feet when I’m wearing sneakers/tennis shoes. UGH! xoxo, Brenda
I wear them all the time!
They are wonderful
Very cool, Martha! You need to send me some photos! xoxo, Brenda
Brenda, I like your black ankle boots and that’s my style more than real combat boots. You do rock the look. I vote for Cindy’s classic poncho and black pants.
Hi Colleen, Thanks so much! I LOVE Cindy’s poncho as well. xoxo, Brenda
I was quite surprised to say the least when staff were allowed to wear combat boots at work. I work at a theatre – live entertainment – we wear a uniform (supplied) – skirt or pants/blouse/vest. To me the boots seemed a bit heavy duty as part of our uniform especially when one was wearing a skirt.
Main thing is our employer keeps up to date with the changing times and gives staff the freedom to wear what is comfortable on their feet.
Rosemarie, You are lucky to have a boss like that, especially when they’re supplying the rest of your outfit. Depending on the length of the skirt, I agree with you about combat boots. A midi-skirt would work, but not any other lengths. Interesting feedback. Thanks! Brenda
I’m 76 and I got a pair 2 years ago- at Macy’s or Kohl’s. I too have narrow feet and it took a while to find a pair that had the combat boot look but weren’t too heavy or wide. I’ve only worn them with cuffed jeans and leggings, so far, but I just bought Cindy’s gray flouncy skirt and I look forward to that. They do have to be balanced with something feminine for my style.
Hi Sheila! Great to see you here! You got Cindy’s skirt? It’s so beautiful. Please send me a photo of you in the skirt with the boots. Brava! You’re right about balancing it with something feminine. How smart of you. I love hearing this. xoxo, Brenda
Booties and cowboy boots! Some ladies can wear combat boots and chunkier boots like that and look fab. I’m off to check out Cindy’s post. xoxo
Hi Donna, I’ve always loved cowboy boots, but then I’m a Texas girl. Booties are good, too, but I hear you about boots that are too chunky. My combat boots were perfect for me… If I could only find them. xoxox, Brenda
I love stylish combat boots. Not the big clunky but the stylish ones. You are so stylish I love your look. Show us more!!
Thank you, Sandy! I love and adore you, sweet lady. xoxox, Brenda