There was a time when dress codes were truly codes, dictating modes of elegance and self-presentation. Many original and intriguing designs resulted, as well-to-do individuals aimed to set themselves apart while simultaneously following sartorial rules. In the words of Balzac, "Differences have vanished in our society; all that remain are nuances." Among other resulting styles was "The Spat."
The term "spat" refers to a covering attached to one's shoe, to protect the instep and ankle from becoming soiled in the days of largely unpaved streets. This tool soon developed into a fashionable accessory sported by wealthy and stylish men, who typically opted for spats of white, grey, or beige. Gentlemen were soon uniformly dressed in high-polished black shoes, white spats, a black cane, and a black top hat, and found themselves so attired until the disruption of "elegant" dress by military wear in the 1920s.
It's rare today to find brands making spats, let alone people wearing them, but a new adaptation has appeared: Button boots. No longer a two piece set of boot and spat, the modern button boot integrates the spat into the boot itself, using the spat's buttons as its own closing mechanism. Even when button boots first appeared, they were limited to bespoke makers in Paris and Japan, and we're proud to have helped popularize them, launching our first ready-to-wear button boots in 2015.
Despite the style's formal origins, button boots can be dressed down much like Chelsea boots. We know, because wear them with denim and chinos all the time!
Interested yet? Check out our currently available button boot styles, or our extensive library of custom button boots created by our clients: All available with a click!