For nearly 200 years, Chelsea boots have been loved by everyone from the Victorians to the Beatles. Today, the style is experiencing another revival. The design has remained unchanged - a simple design with elastic bands on the sides. They are easy to put on and take off, and the classic look makes them easy to wear with trousers, jeans, and even dresses. Let's look back to understand how shoes were created and became popular.
During the Victorian era, when entrepreneurial innovation was at its peak, vulcanized rubber was invented by Charles Goodyear. The addition of sulfur made the material more resistant and elastic. This eventually led to the introduction of the Chelsea boot. They were created by shoemaker Joseph Sparks-Hall for Queen Victoria in 1851. “She asked me to make boots for horseback riding without laces, as they got stuck in the stirrups while riding.” The shoes were called "Paddock boots". The original pair of boots designed by Joseph looked noticeably different from today. The toe was sharper and blacker. A feature that has not changed and, in fact, made the shoe a cult one - elastic side panels. Then they were made of vulcanized rubber. Suddenly there was no need to spend an extra minute or two on lacings. Boot ads of the time praised a wide range of motion and a better fit. In his patent, Sparks-Hall stated that "she (Queen Victoria) wears them every day, and thus gives the most convincing proof of the importance she attaches to the invention."
In the 19th century, boots were worn only for riding, but then they became a fashionable attribute, remaining so until the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. After a break of several decades, the shoes have become a trend again. The name "Chelsea boots" did not appear until the 1950s, when they became popular among British subcultures. The boots were worn by artists, musicians, and society party-goers, united in the Chelsea set group. They met on King's Road in Chelsea, West London. As a result, boots were worn by everyone from the Rolling Stones and The Beatles to actress Jean Shrimpton.
By the 1960s, the Cuban heel was added to the design at the request of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Variations were made on the original Chelsea boot to increase ankle height and lengthen the toe box. Created by the London company Anello & Davide, they were aptly renamed the Beatle boot. Shortly before this, the Australian company Blundstone created similar boots, but with a more rounded toe. When Chelsea swept Britain, their "Blunnies" began to be swept from the shelves of stores.
Chelsea boots soon became a favorite among the rebellious fashion community. Unlike the desert boot, they could be worn with suits and corduroy cropped trousers. The character Steed from the 1960s “The Avengers” always wore stretchy shoes regardless of the outfit. In the 1970s, boots did what most would consider the most unexpected. They appeared in George Lucas' Star Wars trilogy. Chelsea is worn by stormtroopers of Darth Vader's Empire. The only change is that they have been painted white to fit in with the futuristic world.
Chelsea boots are as important to the men's collection as oxfords and loafers. They are worn in suits, trousers, and jeans. To emphasize the rock and roll heritage of shoes, you can wear a leather jacket, like James Dean and Elvis Presley. The image is perfectly complemented by a T-shirt and black trousers. It is believed that Chelsea fits best with a cropped and fitted cut. This emphasizes the details of the shoes. But this is not the only option, trousers over boots look quite harmonious. For a more casual look, opt for classic blue jeans, a T-shirt, and a coat. The female image may include the same elements since today clothing has become universal for both sexes. In addition, Chelsea boots are successfully combined with dresses and skirts. A kind of boho-chic with rough details. The boots are featured in the collections of most leading designers, allowing you to experiment with any style. Although different options are available in thick or shaped soles, traditional models are still preferred.
Jeans should be cropped or rolled up so that the boots are fully visible. From above you need to put on a T-shirt, top, jumper, or sweatshirt, and in the cold season you can put on a bomber jacket. You can combine this image with a coat of a classic cut or oversized.
Demi-season models can be worn from early autumn until the first frosts, and if you travel by car, then all winter. For really cold weather, high Chelsea boots with a fur lining and an insole are suitable.