How To Wear: Desert Boots In Summer

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Now, I don’t know what kind of weather you guys are experiencing, but to my mind, things are definitely hotting up. Finally being able to go out in the evenings without a second layer on is a dream and I’ve been able to wear shorts consistently for OVER A WEEK!

It’s certainly cause for celebration and, in line with our previous hot weather guide, a good time to think about your dedicated, high summer wardrobe.

Best Foot Forward

Choosing the correct footwear for the summer months is particularly tricky. Flip-flops should never be seen away from the beach; sandals will always divide opinion; the worker boots you’ve been pounding around in all winter are far too heavy; and your leather brogues are now slightly too hot and uncomfortable.

We’ve covered nearly every footwear silhouette imaginable in recent months, all in the hope of helping you solve your summer shoe conundrum. But it never hurts to have options, so here is a quick look at how to wear everybody’s favourite: the desert boot, specifically in summer.

A Summer Boot

I’m anticipating at least some resistance to this as a concept – after all, desert boots are still boots and thus WILL be hotter than other lightweight shoes. However, I would refer those naysayers to the origins and name of the ‘desert’ boot… and rest my case.

When boat shoes aren’t your bag, sandals just don’t fit your lifestyle and your leather brogues are a bit too formal, desert boots can fill the gap with ease.

Beaten-up, worn-in suede desert boots are fantastic because they tell a story. They have real character and show that you actually wear your clothes and don’t keep them on a pedestal, waiting for the one or two days a year that conditions are perfect.

They also come in a bewildering array of colours – from classic brown and stone to blue, green, red and even on trend prints. With this in mind, don’t be afraid to try something a little different, particularly in summer because now is the time that bolder colours are much more acceptable and easier to pull off.

FashionBeans Tip: keep your suede protected. Even though rain may be far from your thoughts, spillages are still a common occurrence and you don’t want your lovely shoes ruined by that drunken fool staggering around at the bar. Also remember to store your suede out of direct sunlight, as it will fade the colour.
For more information on how best to protect and care for your suede shoes, check out our dedicated guide.

Finally, if you intend to wear your desert boots during the summer heat, make sure you wear secret socks or, even better, trainer socks (a better choice because they cover more of your foot) in order to combat dreaded foot and shoe odour.

How To Wear: Desert Boots In Summer
Lookbook Inspiration

Before we bring you some specific outfit examples, check out how some of the major brands and retailers have been styling desert boots in their recent campaigns for spring/summer:

Men's Desert Boot Outfit Inspiration For Summer

h&m spring 2013 club monaco ss12 boomerang ss13 David Mayer Naman ss13 David Mayer Naman ss13 next ss12 selected ss13 boohoo aw13 matalan ss13 Boss Orange by Hugo Boss ss12 ami ss13 faconnable 2012
Look One: Channel The Mod

I’m a big fan of the mod look. It’s classic, clean, versatile and very on point. It makes use of pretty much all your wardrobe basics, it has a definite playful element and it’s really easy to make your own.

A buttoned up gingham shirt with a pair of tailored trousers and some light suede desert boots is a fantastic combination; really easy to wear and suitable for everyone.

Throw on a merino or cotton v-neck when it gets cold and you can happily transition from day to night with ease:

  • Canali Blue Gingham Double Twist Cotton ShirtCanali Blue Gingham Double Twist Cotton Shirt
  • River Island V Neck JumperRiver Island V Neck Jumper
  • Reiss Daniel T Contemporary Formal Trousers NavyReiss Daniel T Contemporary Formal Trousers Navy
  • Desert Boot WolfDesert Boot Wolf
Look Two: Beat-up Chilled

As previously mentioned, beaten-up desert boots can add character to any look. Here’s how you work them in: firstly, think totally casual – don’t over-think your outfit and just throw on pieces that you know will work together.

Try pairing your denim shorts with a long sleeve tee (in a slouchy or oversized cut) or shirt and your boots, then finish with some statement jewellery.

Wear with a suitably nonchalant attitude and just relax in your clothes. Ruffle your hair and act all French for a day:

  • Allsaints Mirach 3/4 Sleeve T-shirtAllsaints Mirach 3/4 Sleeve T-shirt
  • Miansai Rope And Metal Hook Wrap BraceletMiansai Rope And Metal Hook Wrap Bracelet
  • Asos Denim ShortsAsos Denim Shorts
  • Asos Desert Boots In SuedeAsos Desert Boots In Suede
Look Three: Lightweight Tailoring

When wearing tailored pieces on your off days, striking the right balance between casual and formal is crucial. Particularly with regard to blazers, it’s easy to dress up far too much and then be left feeling uncomfortable when it comes to a chilled afternoon in the pub or a walk around the park.

Opting for a softer cut jacket in a lightweight material such as cotton or linen will help to solve this issue. When paired with casual chinos and coloured desert boots, it will ensure you don’t ever look overdressed:

  • Topman White Long Sleeve Smart ShirtTopman White Long Sleeve Smart Shirt
  • Vito Pique BlazerVito Pique Blazer
  • Reiss Solace Soft Chinos With Garment Wash BeigeReiss Solace Soft Chinos With Garment Wash Beige
  • Mark Mcnairy Suede Desert BootsMark Mcnairy Suede Desert Boots
Look Four: Boots & Shorts

The shorts and desert boots combination simply works. When considering a stripped-back shorts and boots look, it really doesn’t matter what condition your footwear is in – battered and pampered work just as well ? just throw them on together and forget about it.

If you are a fan of simple combinations, or the weather dictates it, don’t be afraid to try out different colours. Summer is the season to make a bold statement and you’ll surprise yourself at how well a coloured pair of boots can work, especially when anchored with neutral shorts:

  • He By Mango Fine-knit Cotton PoloHe By Mango Fine-knit Cotton Polo
  • He By Mango Cotton Bermuda ShortsHe By Mango Cotton Bermuda Shorts
  • Topman Clarks Original Desert BootsTopman Clarks Original Desert Boots
Men’s Desert Boots
  • Vasa Chukka H By HudsonVasa Chukka H By Hudson
  • River Island Black Lace Up Desert BootsRiver Island Black Lace Up Desert Boots
  • Paul Smith Shoes & Accessories Parka Suede Desert BootsPaul Smith Shoes & Accessories Parka Suede Desert Boots
  • Allsaints Dice BootAllsaints Dice Boot
  • He By Mango Suede Desert BootsHe By Mango Suede Desert Boots
  • River Island Red Contrast Sole Desert BootsRiver Island Red Contrast Sole Desert Boots
  • Topman Ben Sherman Green Suede Desert BootsTopman Ben Sherman Green Suede Desert Boots
  • Ben Sherman Clegg Suede Desert BootsBen Sherman Clegg Suede Desert Boots
  • Suede Desert BootSuede Desert Boot
  • Burns Kg Kurt GeigerBurns Kg Kurt Geiger
  • Asos Desert Boots In Leopard PrintAsos Desert Boots In Leopard Print
  • Topman Clarks Original Camo Print Desert BootsTopman Clarks Original Camo Print Desert Boots
  • Nineteen 79 Suede Desert Boots In TanNineteen 79 Suede Desert Boots In Tan
  • Clarks Originals Brown Suede Desert BootsClarks Originals Brown Suede Desert Boots
  • Aldo Reinbald Desert BootAldo Reinbald Desert Boot
Final Word

So there we have a short round-up and some inspiration as to how to wear desert boots in summer. The desert boot is a year-round menswear staple and a superb addition to any wardrobe.

The perfect crossover style between trainers and formal shoes, desert boots are versatile enough to work within any look – from heritage to sportswear. So if you are currently struggling to find the perfect footwear silhouette for summer, utilise your existing desert boots and you won’t put a foot wrong.

Make sure you let us know what you think of desert boots during the summer and how you wear yours in the comments section below…


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