The Pacific Northwest has made it pretty clear that we are in our last week of warm weather. As usual, it will mercilessly plunge us into autumn with little warning other than an oddly pleasant temperature spike in mid-September. All of a sudden, I’m in a tank top and scouring the F/W 2016 runway shows for fall boot trends. Hello, fall.
For a while, designer fashion and the idea of “trends” really bummed me out. The art of fashion week wasn’t resonating with me anymore, and the extravagant and, frankly, unwearable styles I was seeing on the runway reminded me less of new ideas and more of conspicuous consumption. For maybe three years, I skipped out on fashion weeks, focusing instead on street style and the inspiration I drew from other bloggers.
The fact that I’m now knee-deep in the runways of last February is a total fluke. On one of my camping trips, I realized I would once again have the worst cell service (plus I hate having phones on camping trips) so I decided to hit up an old favorite: fashion magazines. It was going to be rainy, and we were equipped with LED lanterns galore, so I prepared for lots of in-tent time by picking up InStyle and Elle – the September issues.
Before I knew it, I gave such an immense shit about what the runway prophecies saw in fall fashion’s future. What did the blatantly edgy designers think was edgy? What does Chloé think that superfans of The Virgin Suicides would like to wear this fall? What colors showed up in multiple different designers runway shows?
So here we are. I have looked through every runway show and have eagerly consumed everything that the wealthiest people in the fashion industry plan to buy this fall. Some of it is boring, but some of it is incredibly fun. The shoes at fashion week always got me extra excited, so I pulled out the three biggest fall boot trends from the runways of F/W 2016 shows and found their affordable counterparts!
I can’t help myself. When I see a pattern, all my brain wants to do is document it. I swear I do this even when I have no plans for anyone else to see it. Don’t believe me? Check out my alphabetically organized list of unpublished Spotify playlists. There are over 20 of them. (Don’t even get me started on the published Spotify playlists.)
Anyway, the boots were gorgeous and are definitely translatable, so finding budget-friendly versions is a meticulous and satisfying task. Leave your favorite fall boot trends in the comments!
2016 Fall Boot Trends: Combat Boots
Who didn’t see this coming? Women are wearing velvet chokers, plaid shirts wrapped around their waist, and I just bought a Beastie Boys tour shirt. It’s bascially the 1990s again, which is what I’ve been asking for for about 15 years. Thank you, Fashion Hive Mind (FHM).
Their prevalence is as welcome as the return of Twin Peaks. My Doc Martens have never steered me wrong, and it’s kind of amazing how combat style boots look good with every style – feminine, masculine, soft, hard, dark, light, casual, cocktail… Well, maybe that last one is a matter of opinion. The combat boots that adorned the runway definitely were more shouty than introverted. Luckily, the market is more than happy to support a shoe inspired by blue-collar workers of another time, and have been churning out new prototypes since long before I was born. They definitely didn’t have silk embroidery or holographic silver uppers, so I’m diggin’ in!
Top Row: Madden Girl Wilmar Boots, $55.95 (were $79.95); Born Lookis Castagno in Dark Brown/Bronze, $64.99 (were $165); Born Lookis Castagno in Dark Brown/Bronze, $139; Born Lookis Castagno in Dark Brown/Bronze, $44.95
Middle Row: Born Lookis Castagno in Dark Brown/Bronze, $44.99; Born Lookis Castagno in Dark Brown/Bronze, $99; Born Lookis Castagno in Dark Brown/Bronze, $160; Born Lookis Castagno in Dark Brown/Bronze, $65
Bottom Row: KIWI Flower Boot, $70; KIWI Flower Boot, $44.99; Dr. Martens Pascal Hiking Boots, $124.95; Dr. Martens Hackney Boots, $34.95
2016 Fall Boot Trends: Chunky Heels
Some reviews of the Marc Jacobs and Balenciaga collections called these boots “Bowie boots.” They’re not wrong, and the name definitely offers a delightful feeling of homage, but this season’s chunky heels go far beyond the perfect space disco aesthetic of David Bowie. There’s no denying that each and every one of these boots has an inexplicably retro undertone. I feel like there are three decades represented in six boots!
How do I feel about the idea of a boot with a heel this chunky? I… don’t really know. There are some serious Scooby Doo vibes emanating off of a few of these (I’m looking at you, Margiela), and I’m just not sure if my 80s baby-ness can deal with that. Taking a look at the Maiyat and Rag & Bone boots, on the other hand, make me feel like this style was made for me. It’s funny to me that I like the Maiyat boot heel, but the Dries Van Notes boot heel (which is basically Maiyat’s conical heel upside down) don’t appeal to me.
Top Row: Boohoo Cylinder Sock Ankle Boots, $50; Born Lookis Castagno in Dark Brown/Bronze, $52; Nine West Dollface Suede Boots, $97.99 (were $137); ZARA Ankle Boots with Metal Heel, $79.90
Bottom Row: H&M Ankle Boots, $59.99; ZARA Leather Ankle Boots w/ Wooden Heel, $139; MOTOR Heeled Hiker Boots, $160
2016 Fall Boot Trends: Mid-Calf Boots
Not quite ankle boots, and not quite knee boots. In fact, they’re not quite mid-calf, either. These boots are a Nancy Sinatra approved, loose-around-the-ankle boot with heels that hit the ceiling. Maybe “above ankle boots” is a better term for them.
Whether the shaft of the boot is close to the leg or roomy, I find this style of boot to me one of the most flattering. The heel heights were all over the place, ranging from sky-high structured to low and oddly-shaped (*cough*Coach*cough*). This shape was so common, but it’s truly the only thing these boots share. The finish, the fabric, the heel materials, and the stylistic direction of each couldn’t be more different. The only other commonality these boots share is their desire to be noticed. Whether it’s through bright colors, metallic leather, velvety animal print, or gold plate embellishments – you will not pass these without looking at them. They’ll make sure of it.
Top Row: Boohoo Neve Heel Sock Boot, $52; Boohoo Lola Clear Cylinder Mesh Sock Boots, $70; Boohoo Betsy Velvet Sock Boots, $50; Muk Luks Marian Ankle Boots, $94.99
Middle Row: Target A+ Ashlin Mid Shafy Boots, $44.99; Target Roper Cowboy Boots, $49.99; Jeffrey Campbell Clima Rain Boots, $54.95; Very Volatile Lars Wedge Boots, $129.95
Bottom Row: Rocket Dog Eddie Brown Boots, $42.95 (were $69.95); Michael Antonio Melee Boots, $45.99 (were $65); Dolce by Mojo Moxy Francis Leopard Boots, $39.99 (were $69.95); Fergalicious Liza Ankle Boots, $74.95