I remember being introduced to duck boots at Vanderbilt University during my freshman year. I specifically remember seeing Cinda Koets Boomershine, founder of cinda b, looking lovely with her umbrella, frayed jean shorts and duck boots walking up the outdoor stairs in front of me. We said our casual hellos, how are yous, complained about the misty days and our frizzy hair, but what I really was thinking was, “I’m seeing these boots on the most stylish gals on campus. What are they?” I don’t remember anyone in my huge suburban high school wearing them, but the South had a few key looks, many of which ironically mirrored a certain New England look. This included Duck Head pants for guys, cut off into frayed shorts for gals, Laura Ashley strapless dresses for big parties like prom, anything J.Crew and these duck boots from L.L. Bean, many times called “bean boots.”
Like many things from the ’90s, duck boots are HOT HOT HOT once again, and have been for a few years. The rise in social media use for fashion tips has only propelled the desire for these boots, which have never been completely off the radar; they’re just having a true moment right now. They are so hot that last year, they were pretty much sold out everywhere by October. Surely the manufacturers have more inventory this year. I have no idea, but it’s a good bet that these will sell out again in 2015. So if you were one of the disappointed masses who couldn’t take a photo of her duck boots on a rainy or snowy day for Instagram (I admit to seeing each posting with a pang of nostalgic jealousy), consider buying some now. Yes, I know that it’s a quick rule of thumb that if you’ve lived through a trend, you don’t need to wear it the next time it comes around. Phooey. This look has never been an “out” since they were first produced by L.L. Bean in 1912. For more than 100 years, these boots have kept feet dry and comfortable. They scream that classic American look of which L.L. Bean is definitely a part.
Now there are other duck boots out there besides L.L. Bean. Sperry has some, as does Sorel and others. Whichever look calls to you, consider spending some of your September budget on them and don’t wait until the temperature drops any further in October if you want to ensure you can get your hands on a pair!
As I write this, I want to point out that while many duck boots, like the classic L.L. Bean ones, are mainly available online, you can shop local for options. For example, within our SB sister cities, Sorel boots can be found in Birmingham at Gus Mayer and Alabama Outdoors, in Louisville at Blue Mile Highland and Quest Outdoors, in Memphis at Outdoors Inc and Cook & Love, in Nashville at Bink’s Outfitters and Cumberland Transit, and in Atlanta at Abbadabba‘s and Half-Moon Outfitters.
Here are some Sorel boots that fit this particular look, and a few that are simply inspired from it:
And, of course, we need to talk about the grand poobah of all duck boots, which as mentioned earlier is L.L. Bean.
Whether you are looking for yourself, or you have a certain young lady (and don’t forget the guys!) who needs a pair for the holidays, you need to check this off your list and order now. Got it?!