Boot camp: dressing with Edward Green's ankle boots
The Jackal’s Aleks Cvetkovic guides you through this season’s new designs and how to best work them into your wardrobe. Photos by Euan Denholm.
I always look forward to this time of year. After months of short sleeves and linen trousers, wrapping up in clothes designed to combat the elements is an exciting prospect. The same applies to shoes. The bare-ankled loafers of summer are all well and good, but they lack the solidity of hard-wearing boots and lace-ups.
With winter setting in, it’s time to start thinking about footwear that can tackle the cold in an appropriate fashion. Boots, like many things in menswear, have become more relaxed in recent seasons, as designers experiment with dressed-down tailoring and dressed-up casualwear. Edward Green has kept these changes in mind while designing its new collection, which reflects the need for simple boots that can perform a variety of functions in the stylish man’s wardrobe.
The new styles benefit from clean, contemporary lines on the 202 last and un-fussy styling. The 202 is a rounded, classically English shape with appropriate depth to the bridge of the foot.
It’s a little leaner than some of the brand’s robust country lasts, but offers a comfortable fit. Indeed, none are more comfortable than the Ravenstone, Edward Green’s new monk-boot, which is an easy choice for autumnal smart-casual dressing.
I’ve dressed a pair in snuff suede with a chunky corduroy Norfolk jacket from Cordings, a reproduction of a 1930s gem held in the company’s archives. Corduroy is one of this season’s most fashionable fabrics, and olive green’s in this season too, which makes breaking out this a no-brainer. Beneath is a navy merino crewneck from John Smedley that’s simple enough to let the tailoring do the talking. Avoid any connotations of stuffiness by pairing the jacket with jeans. These are a serious pair, Anderson selvedge jeans from Hiut Denim, made in Wales with a high-rise and wide leg. Add to that spotted cashmere scarf from Drake’s and you’ve got an easy weekend look – great for strolling through town or country.
"Boots, like many things in menswear, have become more relaxed in recent seasons, as designers experiment with dressed-down tailoring and dressed-up casualwear."
If you’d prefer something more polished, the Ravenstone is also available in black or dark oak antique calf. The black calf looks particularly clean paired with a soft flannel suit. I’ve layered a timeless grey flannel two-piece over a burnt orange rollneck. With its rusty hue, it warms up classic tailoring a treat and feels attractively autumnal. The suit is by bespoke drape-cut master Steven Hitchcock. It’s a classic double-breasted and the cloth has both a blue and black check running through it, which sits nicely against the black calf boots. Whether you choose to wear black or brown shoes with a suit, make sure there’s another element in your look that picks them out. For example, if you’re wearing dark brown boots, wear some brown in your tie or pocket hanky.
I’ve stuck with the rollneck for our next look, which brings in the Banbury boot. The Banbury on the 202 last has been subtly revised to give it an elegant profile which ties in with the new ankle boot family. As a chukka, it’s perhaps the most flexible of all Edward Green’s new season boots. It comes in a variety of different leathers, from dark brown Utah to mink and snuff suede. It’ll sit comfortably with jeans or chinos and a chunky knit, but it also lends itself to smart-casual looks. I’ve dressed this dark oak calf pair to show off their sportier side, with a striking chocolate brown brushed cotton Flight Jacket from Scandinavian brand Stoffa, beige wide-leg flannels and a burnt orange merino rollneck.
The terracotta and beige print in the scarf helps to bring these different earthy tones together. Grey flannels would work just as well, but earthy colours have been gaining ground in menswear for the past few autumn/winter seasons and this is set to continue for a while yet. The brown flannel’s soft texture foregrounds the subtle patina of the boots and retains a casual feel. Note also that the Banbury has rubber Dainite soles, which add to its usefulness as a city boot.
The Halifax also benefits from Dainite soles, but as an ankle-boot version of the house’s signature hand-stitched Dover derby, feels particularly casual. These are lasted in either burgundy or dark brown Utah, Edward Green’s soft, waxy grained calf, and benefit from being both robust and relaxed. Again, they’re a no-brainer with denim and weekendwear, so I’ve taken us back to the cord jacket and Huit jeans we started with. There’s just something about these boots that suits a chunky denim turn-up like nothing else. I’ve also committed sacrilege and gone for double-denim; the shirt I’m wearing is made in a lightweight washed indigo denim from Neapolitan shirtmaker Luca Avitabile. I’ve been saying for a while that the denim shirt is the new white shirt – it goes with anything – including casual winter boots. Pop your jacket’s collar and you’ve yourself got a suitably rugged look for the cooler months. Throw a coat over the top when it gets really cold.
Now, a word to the wise. We’ve put together these looks to demonstrate the versatility of Edward Green’s boots and any of the above styles could work in a casual, semi-formal or weekend context. The key is to choose a boot that you can see slotting into your wardrobe; if you like the polished touch of a buckle-boot, that means Ravenstone, if you fall for the dexterous hand-sewing of the Halifax, then they’re the natural choice. If you want something simple and elegant, you can’t go wrong with the classic Banbury.
Whichever you choose, enjoy experimenting and make the most of them while you can. We’ll all be back in summer shirts and suede slippers before you know it.