If menswear were a TV show, the Chelsea would be the character with a crucial cameo each season.
If you've tuned in to watch an episode or two of the prestige programming that is Menswear: Wait, You're Telling Me It's Cool to Wear These Again?! at some point over, say, the last decade or so, chances are you've owned at least one pair of trusty suede Chelsea boots. For damn near a few years straight it seemed like every young-ish dude in the country was rocking a pair (thanks, in no small part, to the influence of one Kanye West) along with some stacked skinny jeans, a bomber jacket, and a chronic soft spot for truly terrible Instagram captions.
Needless to say, the suede Chelsea boot has long since hit the popular mainstream. Helped along by its associations with icons of rock 'n' roll both old and new, the style was never really at risk of going anywhere. The Chelsea boot is as classic as they come, and its staying power is a testament to the style's timeless good looks and an overall versatility that's still tough to beat. (No less a modern-day music industry luminary than Drake recently wore a sleek black pair with a Yohji Yamamoto shirt jacket plucked from one of the designer's particularly lusted-after collections from the late '90s.)
And after months of sticking exclusively to your comfiest slip-ons, the Chelsea boot's signature elastic paneling and casual-leaning silhouette makes it the perfect shoe to help ease yourself back into wearing, uh, any shoes at all. Scoop a pair in a soft, buttery suede with a crepe sole—or up the formality ante by opting for a more tapered toe and a substantial hard bottom—and remind yourself why the whole damn country fell in love with the style to begin with.
Don't give up on this season of Menswear yet, man. Sure, the plot line got a bit stale for a few episodes there but I swear it's still gearing up to be one of the best in a while. Trust me, it's worth sticking it out. (Spoiler alert: The suede Chelsea boot makes a comeback.)