Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to me. My gift to myself, a pair of Harris Tweed Clarks Desert Boots sitting pretty under the tree.

Over the last week or two I have been running around central London on the hunt for the perfect Christmas presents for my friends and family. As you all know, this can be a quite traumatic time at the best of times but when you add freezing temperatures to the mix you have a foul tasting cocktail. Whilst dashing to and from work and around the shops I have fallen prey to the ice and snow. In fact I have tripped on my sorry behind no less than four times in as many days, bruising my forearm, arse and ego in the process. Oh woe was me. By Sunday morning I was feeling more than a little sorry for myself and turned to a spot of personal retail therapy for comfort. However, rather than succumbing to rabid consumerist hysteria I made an astute, practical and measured purchase, a pair of Harris Tweed Clarks Desert Boots at half price no less!

I was surprised to find a mini-boot keyring packed in with my boots.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Desert Boot, Clarks Originals created six unique, new designs (three for women and three for men). t is amazing to think that these stylish staples were first invented in a Burmese military outpost by a young Nathan Clark. The original boots inspiration is a crepe soled boot made from rough, suede in Cairo's fabled Old Bazaar and it was soon the off-duty English Army officers footwear of choice. There are a plethora of different desert boots out there made by all sorts of names but why deviate from the original? To mark the anniversary Clarks Originals created a look inspired by each of the six decades that the Desert Boot has spent as an essential fashion item. As soon as the anniversary boots were released back in September my head was turned by the Harris Tweed, 1950's pair...

The certified mark of Harris Tweed.

For such a burly and utilitarian fabric, Harris Tweed evokes an a great deal of romantically nostalgic feelings and ever since I watched the recent BBC4 series Tweed (discussed here), I have been hooked on this very special cloth. As mentioned previously, the colours are deceptively beautiful. A Harris Tweed yarn will routinely contain seven or eight different coloured wools, which are all blended together and then spun to create an amazingly rich texture of colour and I'm afraid these pictures fail to do the cloth justice.

Harris Tweed Clarks Desert Boots worn red socks from Uniqlo and wool trousers from COS.

This a tweed still woven by pedal-powered looms in the homes of Scottish sheep herders out in the outermost fringe of the British Isles. It has been this way since 1846. I now understand the history and the provenance of the cloth. There is something quite special about the Isle of Harris, Lewis and that northern chain of Hebridean islands. The materials and the colours are redolent of the sea, and the grass, the rugged life, the farming. I'm so pleased that a company like Clarks has realised the beauty of the cloth. I believe that the end result is a fitting tribute to both the cloth and the desert boot.

It seems that I'm not the only one taken with my new boots...Patch (the patchwork tweed dog from Muji) has found a new friend.


Barron said...

lucky man! I'm still looking for this in California. Trying to avoid the crazy shipping charges from the UK.

Matthew Spade said...

they look brill, but im warning you steve, don't make the same mistake as i did;

they are terrible in the snow. i won't forget that day...

Style Salvage Steve said...

Barron: Oh no! I'm so surprised that the folks at Clarks haven't resolved the US shipping issue yet. Fingers crossed they sort it out for 2010.
Mat: They had their first outing today and they are just so comfortable. Fortunately it wasn't snowing though. Reveal your tale then...

sd said...

LMAO! it looks like the dog is trying to screw the box...okay juvenile joke over....the shoes are beautiful!!

Lilian Montes said...

oooooh :)
the mini boot is too cuuute !!
The real size one too !

Ivan McK said...


Being from Detroit, MI and being in hi-skool in the late 90's, I was always partial to the Rockport Gortex ankle boot, but these Clarks beat the Rockports to a bloody pulp and left them for dead. I adore Harris Tweed...u just inspired my next post!!! I have to find a way to order them. "Precious....." [[rubbing hands together]]

Happy Christmas!!!


ms Givens said...

Great pictures. My friend, Josh, would love those shoes.

Unknown said...

Classic boots! I caught a gentleman on 14TH St wearing a pair and featured him earlier this week. Nice to see iconic style appreciated on both sides of the pond.

TheSundayBest said...

Great looking shoe.

Jimmy De La Cruz said...

I just stumbled into you guys blog. Steve and EJ. and I loved the pictures, and great articles as well. Check me out at


Scalpay Linen said...

Thank you for loving Harris Tweed. If everyone who has a soft spot for such a lovely cloth would buy some, or an item made of it, our industry would soon be well back on its feet. Regards Sheila

Matt Fox said...

Very jealous.

M&E said...

adorable shoes <3

great blog, we love it! ^_^


Style Salvage Steve said...

sd: I have to confess that this was my intention, teehee.
Lilian Mp: The little boot was such a surprise, it is ridiculously cute.
Ivan McK: Now that I've had them for a week or so I'm finding it hard to make myself wear anything else. Happy Christmas!
Ms Givens: Thank you!
De: Oh great stuff! We certainly appreciate it here.
The Sunday Best: Would you like a pair old chap?
Jimmy De La Cruz: Thanks for finding us.
Scalpay Linen: It is hard not to love this wonderful cloth, I just want to remind people of its unique and sought after qualities. I do hope 2010 is a great year for Harris Tweed.
Matt Fox: I'm considering buying more pairs and shipping them out to you guys!
Margherita and Eleanor: Thanks so much! :)

Savile Joe said...

As a bit of a desert boot obsessive, I'm liking these a great deal. I have seen them before actually, i'm sure it was in a mag, maybe GQ,but I think I'll need to get hold of a pair now!
Nice work.

Joan said...

I love your boot especially since the gorgeous fabric came from my part of the country, the Isle of Harris, and my wee sock keyring would go perfectly with your lonely boot keyring. have a Happy New Year...Joan

Josh said...

These boots are lush, seen them in G.Q a while back, i've not been able to find them. Cheers


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