Chelsea boots, one of fashion's most beloved staples, hearken back to Queen Victoria—for whom the very first pair was made in 1837. Since then, the style, differentiated by an elastic side panel, has become one of the most popular types of boots (opens in new tab) for fall weather in England and worldwide. While ankle boots (opens in new tab) and thigh-high boots have grabbed the spotlight lately, celebrity stylist and costume designer Alexandra Imgruth says Chelsea boots should be a fall (wardrobe) staple to add to your boots rotation.
If you're left wondering how to style Chelsea boots, we've tapped Imgruth to share her professional tips on how and what to pair with an array of Chelsea boot styles. Read on for valuable, vintage-inspired fashion inspiration that will have you counting the days until autumn.
Pair Your Chelsea Boot With Skirts and Tights
I love wearing short skirts with tights to the office or on a night out with friends, and Imgruth agrees. "I mainly wear my Chelsea boots with sheer black tights and a mini skirt or mini dress," she says. "Pairing the boots with a skirt or dress makes them easy to transition from day to night, and the short length gives a mod, 60's feeling." For that fun, English mod vibe, check out some of our top picks below.
Style Your Chelsea Boot With Mini Dresses and Tights
As mentioned, the short skirt/dress-and-tights look pairs fabulously with Chelsea boots, and a dress is a nod back to the boots' English roots." A mini dress is at the core of the iconic 1960s London mod style," says Imgruth. Add a print or pattern to complete the look.
Style Your Chelsea Boot With Jeans
I love a good pair of jeans for their ability to match almost anything, so donning denim is the perfect opportunity to experiment with Chelsea boot materials and styles. While she prefers a classic leather Chelsea boot, Imgruth says that a beautiful suede can work too, and she suggests an animal print if you're more experimental. Ahead, check out some suede options from Imgruth's go-to Chelsea boot brand, Crockett and Jones.
Style Your Chelsea Boot With a Suit
Who says your fashion inspiration needs to be limited by gender? Imgruth says that Chelsea boots are an excellent pairing for a suit if you're feeling a little more formal. Take a note from one of the most famous bands of all time and pair your favorite Chelsea boots with a sleek, head-turning suit. "Think of The Beatles crossing Abbey Road," Imgruth says.
Gabrielle Ulubay is an E-Commerce Writer at Marie Claire and writes about all things beauty, sexual wellness, and fashion. She's also written about sex, gender, and politics for publications like The New York Times, Bustle, and HuffPost Personal since 2018. She has worked extensively in the e-commerce and sales spaces since 2020, including two years at Drizly, where she developed an expertise in finding the best, highest quality goods and experiences money can buy. As a film school graduate, she loves all things media and can be found making art when she's not busy writing.