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How to Style Black Combat Boots

by Celeigh O'Neil

Black combat boots are a time-tested fashion staple. The rugged lace-up boots have managed to survive the changing times and find a home in almost every season since their debut. Designers continue to present their own take on the initial look, releasing versions in various heights, patterns and styles. The traditional black lace-up boot prevails, and there is no limit to the styling options. Regardless of your personal style, black combat boots can be incorporated to create a fashion-forward and comfortable look.

Edgy

Combat boots lend themselves well to tough, edgy looks. Pair the boots with dark-toned clothing, such as black skinny jeans or a navy mini dress. Look for pieces that have rips or frayed edges. Avoid overspending to achieve the look; instead, visit thrift shops to find clothing that has a worn-in look, or raid your closet and alter current pieces to suit the style. Fray the edges of jeans and skirts, or cut the sleeves off of old tees; basic pieces will take on a new form with slight styling changes. Tuck jeans and leggings into the boots to make them stand out. Leave a collared shirt loose to go from preppy to punk, and select necklaces, bracelets and bags with studs and metallic detailing to complement the boots. For a quick upgrade, choose the right outerwear to layer over top of a current outfit. Leather or faux-leather jackets will add punk flair when paired with even the most basic jean and T-shirt ensemble.

Preppy

Add interest to a basic preppy look by throwing combat boots in to the mix. Tuck a pair of tailored pants into the top of the boots for contrast. Alternatively, don a classic shirt dress or fitted skirt. When wearing shorter pants or skirts, accessorize with either socks or stockings to streamline the outfit. Add a fitted blazer when going out. Choose classic earthy tones, like browns and deep reds while keeping accessories minimal. Complement the look with a headband and a structured bag to maintain a polished appearance.

Feminine

Feminine looks can be made more daring and on-trend with combat boots. The contrast between the tough boots and soft clothing adds instant personality. Choose floral dresses that land just above the knee. Empire-waist dresses are well-suited for casual wear, while body-con dresses work well for special occasions or going out. Accessories play a key role in uniting the feminine and masculine styles. Wear black tights in the colder months, and add knee-high or over-the-knee socks for extra warmth. When it is too warm for tights, select socks with feminine touches like frills or bows to fold over top of the boots. Choose a ladylike quilted purse and collared jacket for going out. Blouses with rounded collars or tops with lace detailing add instant femininity and can be paired with pants and skirts alike to create the look.

Vintage

As combat boots gained their fame throughout the 70s, the fashion eras to follow developed trademark looks that can be recreated. Pair the boots with long printed dresses or wide-legged pants and denim jackets for a 70s' feel. If an 80s' look is preferred, select denim-heavy ensembles such as jean jackets and ripped jeans. To emulate the 90s' grunge era, go for baby-doll dresses, band tees and studded belts. Thrift stores are the ideal place to find vintage essentials at an affordable rate. Check out local vintage stores and flea markets for vendors that specialize in sourcing vintage clothing. For instant shopping, look to online marketplaces such as eBay and Etsy which are home to many full-time vintage clothing retailers.

About the Author

Celeigh O'Neil has been writing professionally since 2008. She has a Bachelor of fine arts from the University of Ottawa, as well as degrees in fashion illustration/design, digital arts and certification in hair and makeup artistry. O'Neil was a frequent contributor to Toronto's "Dialog" newspaper and has worked as an instructional writer, creating lessons in fashion, art and English for students of all ages.

Photo Credits

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