Lisa Lennkh debates the benefits of stepping into a new winter fashion trend
One of my favourite things about autumn and winter fashion is boots. Not only are they warm and practical to wear, but the right pair can bring elegance and edge to almost any outfit. The new big trend for this winter is a square-toed boot. We've not seen these since the 1990s, and I find it a particularly tricky shape to wear. It isn't ladylike like a pointed toe, and it isn't sweet like a round toe. It also isn't neutral like the in-between, an almond shaped toe. It's an unusual fashion-forward shape.
A square toe does work well with unique and equally fashion-forward clothing (think asymmetrical hem skirts, cropped wide trousers, or loose, retro-style jeans). It also completely modernises wardrobe basics; a simple outfit of jeans and a jumper or a tee-shirt immediately looks fresh with a trendy square-toed boot. This is why they've become popular so quickly with the fashion crowd, especially the basics-loving Scandis. They slot into any wardrobe and provide an instant update.
"They look edgy and interesting but fall close to fashion victim"
In its perpetual pursuit of novelty, fashion's pendulum always swings to the extremes; after several seasons of serving up knife-edge pointed shoes, designers are now wheeling out the squares. After seeing great success with their quirky square-toed sandals last summer, Balenciaga and Ferragamo debuted extreme square-toed boots for this winter. There are subtle rounded-square toe boots from designers like Prada and Jimmy Choo. These more wearable styles have already filtered down into high street winter boot designs.
Despite my usual clear opinions on fashion, square-toed shoes and boots are the one trend I'm on the fence about. They can look edgy and interesting, but they also fall perilously close to fashion victim territory. If you're not careful, they can even look a bit ridiculous. With my style and my shape, square toes skew clunky rather than edgy and cool, so I don't wear them. That's perfectly fine. I'm always happy to sit out trends that don't serve me and my wardrobe for the long haul. I'll only buy into a trend if it is something that works with my personal style. A pointed or almond toe is a much better investment for my wardrobe.
I do have to admit that I'm a little tempted by the shiny red Prada square-toed patent knee boots (So cheerful! So Nancy Sinatra!). The pop of shiny statement colour speaks directly to my aesthetic. Almost any winter skirt or dress would be immediately improved by wearing these. I could make them work with my wardrobe, but they still aren't as versatile or enduring as a pointed-toe style. If my wallet is going to suffer the Prada price tag, the boots have to have serious longevity!
Despite this being a trend that will date, if square-toed boots work with your wardrobe and your style, they are well worth investigating. Not only are they more comfortable than a pointed toe, but your trusty basics will get a thoroughly modern reboot from adding them to your wardrobe this winter.
Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter
Loading up next...