Desert Bootsvia Primer Magazine

Walking to work this morning, we spotted no less than five gentlemen wearing suede desert boots. Six, if you count the pair on our own feet.

It’s no wonder; they’re great shoes. On some level, we should have been glad that the men of New York are catching on to the glory of Clarks. But we weren’t glad. Instead we felt a creeping sense of unease, and wondered if we should sneak back to our apartment to change.

It’s a common moment for gentlemen of style—and for anyone as allergic to trends as we are, it’s a moment that deserves a closer look…

As a rule, we’re suspicious of trends. We’re aiming for classic, timeless style, and that doesn’t really include tiger camo. For the most part, men’s style has complied, switching between timeless influences—Milan, Savile Row, Americana—rather than aggressive concepts that flame out after a season or two.

Desert boots are the perfect example. They’re not a trend exactly. They’re too solid of a shoe for that. But the moment can still arrive when, after countless articles, blog posts and lookbooks, everyone on your block has heard about them, bought a pair and decided to wear them on the same day. It’s called the saturation point—and it’s the kind of thing that sends whole wardrobes to the Goodwill pile.

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be. It’s a choice between fashion and style, and your Clarks have only fallen out of favor with the first one. The shock you feel—the shock we felt, this morning, as we spotted the fifth pair of suede desert boots—is from realizing you’re suddenly on the wrong side of the trend cycle. The privilege of classic style is that you don’t have to care.

Unless, of course, you plan on being street-styled.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom