A time and place for the Wellington boot

The Good

John Legend may have eschewed all levels of style etiquette by venturing out with a suit complete with Wellingtons, but please don’t let his missteps lead you to cast a finicky eye over the trend. Unfortunately Mr. Legend didn’t get the memo, but keeping one’s Wellingtons away from the red carpet is a no−brainer.

As a child I had that lone pair of Wellingtons I trudged to and fro to school in, but once the pitter-patter of winter’s rains dissipated, I never really looked to gumboots as a stylish auxiliary. My partiality to see Wellingtons as a silly trapping continued into adolescence and began to extend to all four seasons. Whether it was raining cats and dogs or, in the case of Mr. Legend, not even drizzling a lick (in southern California), I had arrived at place where you would never have caught me dead in a pair of Wellingtons.

Then Glastonbury came, followed by GANT, and I began to reassess my leanings on what seemed to be the highly sought after Wellington. Was I being over critical about John Legend’s get up? Not in the slightest. The mishmash was just too much of an insult to my visual senses as Legend un−heroically paired the outdoorsy with formal. Stay with that point.

On the contrary, as I clicked through Material Interest’s photo-documentary on Glasto fashion, I realized that the jaundiced eye that I had glaringly cast over Wellingtons, as a whole, was a tad presumptuous. Amid the backdrop of a marshy, rain−bogged music festival like Glastonbury, Wellingtons stylishly foot the bill. Even the recent Sartorialist−inspired GANT fall ad campaign featured a rather spiffy looking Brooklyn hipster decked out in wellingtons. As removed as a concrete Brooklyn stoop is from the pastoral terrains of Glastonbury, the Wellies don’t look one bit outlandish. Moreover, the fall/winter months are marked by the occasional downpour so, in retrospect, investing and strolling about in a pair of wellingtons may not be a stylish faux pas like some (myself included) may think.

I do happen to draw the line, however, when suits, blazers or other proper modes of dress are thrown into the mix. When a scruffy gumboot is mirrored next to a sports coat, the polarity is a trifle too much to take in….

The Bad

especially when one’s jacket is not even fitted….

The Ugly

And the moral of the story is this – when pairing Wellingtons for fall, rock them with understated outerwear like a cardigan, leather jacket or a hoodie and leave the blazer at home!


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