Buckles add a twist to your wardrobe that can go from traditional to punk
By JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
Published: Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, 8:29 p.m.
Boots with buckles — functional or decorative — add something unique to your footwear.
“Buckles and hardware can go two different ways, from traditional and equestrian to really punk, depending on the style of boot and how the buckles are done on the boot,” says Gregg Andrews, Nordstrom fashion director. “A pair of flat riding boots with brass buckles at the knee or instep or boots that are covered with buckles will each lend a different look.”
The buckle trend is part of lots of ornamentation on footwear, Andrews says. Some of it is functional to help with sizing and fit while other buckle details are purely aesthetic.
“Boots with buckles are a great way to change a look,” Andrews says. “It takes the basic boot silhouette and turns it up a notch. We are seeing buckles on boots of all colors and heel heights. If you don't own a pair of boots with buckles, you should. You will find that they complement many items in your wardrobe.”
An embellishment or adornment on a boot adds style and flair, says Shane Holman, director of global Western trends and market development for boot-maker Ariat.
“In some cases, buckles are there on a fashion boot to look like a boot used in the military or for utility purposes,” Holman says. “A fashion boot is supposed to look that way, but does not need to hold up to the same utilitarian purposes. Boots with buckles look great with leggings or skinny jeans. A person should show off their buckles as the latest trend.”
For the military-inspired look, wear leggings and an oversized sweater and boots with buckles, Holman says. If you want a more-classic, sophisticated equestrian look, then pair skinny jeans, a collared shirt and a blazer with boots with buckles.
“Whether on high heel or flat, ankle height or knee, boots or booties with buckled detail are definitely on trend for this season,” says Jill Rubinstein, owner of Footloose in Shadyside.
Amber Herring, accessories editor for Self magazine, says Alexander Wang showed lots of boots with buckles on the runway.
“Buckles create a little bit of a tougher look, a motorcycle look,” Herring says. “They can look sweet with just one buckle or a little more edgy with several buckles.”
The best option to start with is a black riding-boot style, which is timeless and goes with pretty much your entire wardrobe, Herring says. If you already have that color, go with brown or gray or even red and blue, she says.
Most of the time, buckles are for decoration, Herring says, because, especially with multiple buckles, who wants to be fastening all those clasps to get out the door?
A perfect look for this trend is a pair of Tabitha Simmons short booties, says Leslie Gallin, vice president footwear for Advanstar, which owns well-known trade shows FN Platform and Sole Commerce.
“Buckles add a twist,” says Gallin, who is based in California. “They are eye-candy and add strength to a boot. Buckles were always thought of as utilitarian, but now they are an accessory.”
For the past few seasons, hardware, in general, on footwear has taken a major lead by appearing on boots in the form of studs, zippers and mostly buckles, says Gwendolyn Covington, a style editor for zappos.com. It's inspired from the 1980s and '90s, but is back in a fresh way, she says.
A buckle gives you a look that's edgy and cool. Buckles are seen on boots in silver, brass, gold and even rose-gold.
“This winter, the freshest buckle style is all about buckles in excess such as multiple straps with buckles that run horizontally on a boot — the more the better,” Covington says. “Grunge is back in fashion, and people are pushing their style to the limits. A boot covered in multiple buckles as opposed to just one or two is much more substantial and noticeable. This winter, it's easy to put on a fairly simple outfit and then let your feet do the talking.”
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7889.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Fashion briefs: ‘Crochet’ book offers step-by-step guides
- The iconic wrap dress marks 40 years of classic style