1 Pair of Boots, 3 Completely Different Outfits

1 Pair of Boots, 3 Completely Different Outfits
Proving the right boots can have many different sides, just like you.
1 Pair of Boots, 3 Completely Different Outfits
thursday logo This post was supported by Thursday Boot Co., check out the President boot in the beautiful grizzly wheat.

What is this?

This is not the article I originally wrote.

The initial draft was about how the right pair of boots can work for a range of personal styles. Preppy to street style to rugged to dressed up. Sometimes it’s hard to see that, and so I took a bunch of photos showing how I was able to create 3 different outfits with completely different aesthetics with just one pair of boots.

But then, while I was looking at the photos I thought of something funny and sent it around to a few friends. I realized the photos looked like bio cards for what people yearn for in boyfriends and then husbands.

The “Boyfriend”

men casual outfit leather biker jacket henley gray jeans brown boots

Boots: Thursday Boots, $199 / Vintage jacket: Schott, $780 [similar, new] / Henley: Target, $12 / Jeans [similar]: Levi's, $38

The “Husband”

men business casual pea coat sweater tie khakis brown boots

Boots: Thursday Boots, $199 / Pea Coat: Gap, $118 / Sweater: Target, $25 / Chinos: J.Crew, $48 / Oxford: Amazon, $25 / Tie: Target, $20

It’s a laugh at the classic cliches for men: Our culture drives people to want one thing in a boyfriend, and seek something else from a husband. The boyfriend is unrefined and sexy and confident. The husband is sophisticated, trustworthy, and generous.

The first is defined by the perception of excitement, the second by dependability.

The trouble comes when, naturally, boyfriends turn into husbands. Most people in long-term relationships actually need their partners to be a thoughtful mix of both.

And often what gives it away is our personal style. Show up to a rock concert with your partner to meet a group of friends wearing chinos and a pea coat and it’s proof that you’re embarrassingly dependable. Show up to the 40th wedding anniversary party for your spouse’s parents in a beat-up leather jacket and t-shirt, and you’re roguishly inadequate as a husband.

men street style leather jacket henley black jeans brown boots

STREET STYLE: Boots: Thursday Boots, $199 / Vintage jacket: [similar, new] Schott, $780 / Henley: Target, $12 / Jeans [similar]: Levi's, $38

How many times have we seen the movie where the wife has grown bored and frustrated by a husband who works too much and means well but is ultimately just an agreeable guy who has grown into a boring, middle-aged man?

Equally present in movies is the raffishly attractive but immature grown man still living as a bachelor – grossing out his dates with his filthy apartment, with a refusal to take financial responsibility in his life.

In both of those predictable plot lines, the guy realizes he’s become too set in his own ways. The “Steve Carell” throws away his pleated khakis and promises new passion in a fading relationship. The “Matthew McConaughey” outgrows his motorcycle and promises to commit to a mature long-term love.

The irony is that what I’m basically suggesting is that no one is ever happy: People overlook the bookish nice guys in favor of the rugged bad boy but are constantly frustrated by all of the inherent qualities of an exciting, but immature person. When they get the overly-dependable husband all they want is a guy who knows how to excite them with just a look and a proclivity for spontaneity.

rugged style

RUGGED – Boots: Thursday Boots, $199 / Shirt jacket: Bonobos, $158 [similar] / Flannel shirt: J.Crew Factory, $25 [similar] / Henley: Nordstrom Rack, $18

But it’s not their fault. We should all be allowed to want responsibility and excitement. For me, I want to date a woman who is thoughtful and nurturing, but who is also tough, assertive and sexually expressive within a committed relationship.

And as partners, it’s our obligation to be conscious and present enough to not get stuck in a rut. Strive to be the fun, sexy “boyfriend” who is also responsible and respectful. Endeavor to be the providing and steadfast “husband” who still likes to have fun and mix things up while making his partner feel like the only person that matters in a crowded room.

men business casual preppy pea coat vneck sweater khaki chinos brown boots

BUSINESS CASUAL PREP: Boots: Thursday Boots, $199 / Overcoat: Kenneth Cole, $89 / Sweater: Target, $25 / Chinos: J.Crew, $48 / Oxford: Amazon, $25 / Tie: Target, $20

And that was the argument of my original post. Not, “hey, look at this one pair of boots, if you’re street style you can wear them; if you’re preppy you can wear them; if you’re rugged you can wear them,” – the point is you should make an effort to incorporate all of those ideas in your life. To not have one general style that you wear to everything because that’s what’s comfortable or because you’re too insecure to wear something different.

Just like the optimal guy, a great pair of boots is rakish and cultured. Sexy and dependable. That’s why these service boots from Thursday Boots work so well across style aesthetics.

Much like how I’ve talked about using chameleon items to blend dress levels, a great pair of boots like the Presidents in grizzly wheat span style archetypes. Wear them with slim dark jeans and a leather jacket and they look badass. Wear them with a v-neck sweater, a tie, and khakis and they’re handsomely business casual.  Use them to finish off a quilted jacket, a flannel shirt, and a thermal henley and look ready to split some wood.

I’m a big fan of Thursday Boots. We’ve partnered with them on this post, but if you read Primer regularly, you’ll know I use them all the time on my own. I have four pairs now and regularly go for one of them over pairs I have that cost twice as much.

They’re made with full-grain leather (the highest quality grade available) and constructed with a  Goodyear Welt, which is considered far superior to frugal adhesive options, and present on all high-end boots. And unlike many vintage-inspired models, all of Thursday’s boots feature a full glove leather interior lining meaning not one of the four pairs needed any uncomfortable breaking in.

Which comes more naturally to you? Being the “Boyfriend” or the “Husband”?

Keep the conversation going in the comments!

Special thanks again to Thursday Boots for helping to make this post possible.

Andrew Snavely

Andrew founded Primer in 2008 and brings 15+ years of men's style expertise. Known for his practical, relatable approach to style and self-development, he has been a recognized speaker at conferences and has styled work for top brands. Off-duty, he loves photography & editing, and enjoys road trips with his dog, Leela. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, educated in DC, and living in LA for nearly 20 years, Andrew's diverse experiences shape the relatable and real-world advice that has helped millions through Primer. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.