What comes to mind when you hear the words “combat boots”? Do you think of punk rock and band tees? Are you reminded of your middle school self with extra-long bangs with an oversized sweatshirt? If the idea of wearing a good old fashioned pair of Dr. Marten’s doesn’t bring a smile to your face, then you’re not doing them right.
Combat boots often get a bad rep: People assume they’re only meant for specific moments, such as a rock concert, and it might seem like they only work on someone with a grungy or edgy personal style. But that’s not the case, obv!
This fall, fashion trends have been all about pushing the envelope. We’ve been seeing style icons, like Serena Williams, showing that you can be elegant and a little crazy. But really, can we take a moment to reflect on her US Open outfit?! A full button mini dress and knee-high leather boots? We see you, girl!
Like Serena, you can make CB’s work for any and all occasions, whether it’s a quick trip to run errands, a night out with the squad, or a formal affair. But, if you’re still not sure this look makes sense for you, here are five easy ways to style combat boots and work them into your daily outfit rotation.
1. Channel your inner ‘90s diva
The stars of the ‘90s are famous for wearing dresses with boots and giving life to the girly-girls who want to show a little rocker-chick flare. Think Jennifer Aniston-style dresses paired with chunky boots for a Friends-meets-grunge vibe.
“You can never go wrong with combat boots,” says Camryn, a sophomore at Cal Poly San Louis Obispo, “Dress them up or down— I love how in style these are right now!” So if you want to make the look work a bit better for the daytime, switch out the typical black boots for a pair of white ones. Add some statement jewelry to make the look a lot more casual so you can rock this throughout the day.
2. Keep it casual
If you’re not feeling the grunge look, trade the black & white combo for brown and maroon instead. The natural tones blend the boots with the rest of the clothing and overall make the outfit a bit less aggressive.
“Combat boots are my FAVE go to. They’re perfect to make any outfit look a little bit more extra!” says Rachel, a sophomore at Cal Poly. Pair them with your fave jeans and a sweater that steals the show, and you’ll be ready for a stylish day on campus and a trip to the pumpkin patch after!
3. Be a boss babe
Wearing combat boots at your internship or job may not seem like a natural choice—especially with bigger and bulkier styles. But, if you’re going for a darker feel with your #profesh ‘fit, adding a killer pair of boots gives the look a hint of personality.
Of course, you want to make sure you pick the right pair to fit the dress code. Try styling your combat boots like you would any other pair of booties and it’ll totally change your internship wardrobe from here on out.
4. Brunch o’clock
We all know brunch has basically become its own day of the week and an official meal time, so outfits need to be planned accordingly. The dress code for brunch is usually a bit more dressy and charming, so your outfit should make for a great Insta (typically including flowers or some sort of hat). But that doesn’t mean you can’t break out a pair of CB’s and add an edge.
A floral sundress immediately becomes elevated when worn with some kick-ass shoes. Adding the lighter brown CB’s makes the look less understated as well! They’re a great way to add some edge to a classier look.
5. A night on the town
The most basic way to incorporate combat boots into your wardrobe is to use them as your “event” shoes. They’re such a great way to show the world that you’re ready to take on anything. Not only do they look assertive and ready to go, but they make you feel uber-confident.
These boots were made for dancing and that’s just what they’ll do! Emily, a senior at Cal Poly seems to agree. ““The best part of wearing combat boots is that they give off a cute look while being so comfortable. I can wear them for hours!” she says.
The minimalist combination of a black skirt and bodysuit is an easy ‘go-to’ outfit to create for any event. Your boots will blend in perfectly, giving you room to let another piece from your wardrobe steal the show—like this corduroy pink jacket (another trend this fall)!
No matter how you style these bad boys, they will always steal the show. They can turn any outfit from drab to fab, or from underwhelming to showstopping. They can be just a casual addition to your look, or can be a piece that helps you express your fiercer side!