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Knowledge is Power: The History of the Chelsea Boot

Quintessentially British, Chelsea Boots have graced the feet of everyone from Queen Victoria to pop royalty like The Beatles. Thanks to their streamlined and practical design, it is easy to understand why the style has become a timeless classic and wardrobe staple.


Image: PA Images

With a history spanning almost 200 years, Chelsea Boots were originally designed by Queen Victoria’s own shoemaker, J. Sparks-Hall. Typically, the boots are recognisable thanks to their ankle height and iconic elasticated side panels. Another common feature is a loop or tab at the back - and sometimes the front - of the boot to help with pulling them on.

Initially favoured as a style for walking or horse riding, the Chelsea Boot evolved to became a fashion must-have by the late 1840's. While the style was hugely popular at the time, if you were to ask a Victorian to describe a ‘Chelsea Boot’ they would draw a blank. Back then, the style were known as ‘Paddock boots’ and it wasn’t until the late 1950's and 60’s that they became known by the name ‘Chelsea Boots.’ Their change in name was thanks to their association with the mod scene in and around King’s Road in the Chelsea area of London.


How To Style Your Chelsea Boots in 2020 

Fast forward 60 years and the humble Chelsea Boot still reigns as a king among boots. Thanks to their simple design, Chelsea Boots are chameleonic by nature and can accompany a wide variety of outfits and styles. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a few top tips to help you out when styling your Chelsea Boots. 

Casual Styling Tips: 

When creating a casual look featuring Chelsea Boots it is important to consider the material of the boots. Suede and matte leather options work particularly well for creating a casual look while polished and high shine leather provide a more formal finish. 
When pairing Chelsea Boots with jeans, choose a slim fitting, straight-leg pair and roll the legs up to ankle height to fully show the boots off.
To match the boots streamlined appearance, keep your casual looks simple and opt for a fitted jacket worn over a classic t-shirt or jumper.
Choosing a pair of boots with chunkier soles is an instant way to add a more casual vibe to your outfit and also provide some practical, yet stylish, grip in wet weather.


    Formal Styling Tips:

    For formal looks, opt for a pair of Chelsea Boots in black, polished leather to instantly smarten up any outfit.
      Chelsea Boots can look fantastic teamed with a suit but are not formal enough to be worn to black tie or dinner dress occasions.
        To complement the boots timeless aesthetic, pair them with flat front or pleated trousers and keep your whole outfit streamlined and classic.


          Image: R.M. Williams

          Chances are high that you already own at least one pair of Chelsea Boots, but if not there is no time like the start of a new decade to try something new. What are you waiting for, check out our stylish range of Chelsea Boots today!

          Copy by Tom Mankin.


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