Boots are so much a part of the fashion scene that it is strange to think that before the 1960s boots were only worn in bad weather! Nowadays, no self-respecting dedicated follower of fashion would be without at least one pair of boots in their wardrobe. Boots are worn throughout the year and, even on the hottest days, it is still possible to see girls wearing the latest “Ugg” or Gogo boots, teamed with a mini dress or shorts.
It was in the 1960s that boots really came into their own as an item of fashion wear. During this decade, hemlines rose higher and higher. As dresses and skirts became shorter, the boots became taller and tighter. Fashion was all about accentuating the leg and boots were key in attracting attention to this area of the body. In the late fifties and early sixties, girls still danced in stiletto heels, but these were very uncomfortable when worn for long periods of time. Teenagers began wearing boots instead, as these were more comfortable for discotheque dancing. These calf-high white boots were named Gogo boots, after the “go-go” dancers who wore them. It was not long before wearing boots became part of the world of high fashion and were worn by women of all ages. This was mostly thanks to the French fashion designer Andres Courrege, who began creating fabulously styled boots in 1964, famously modelled by French singer Francoise Hardy and thus a craze was born.
Since the early beginnings of the Gogo boot, it can be categorically stated that boots have never gone out of fashion. They may have changed in style, shape, size, material and colour but boots have been constantly worn as a fashion item since the 1960s. Even the humble Wellington boot has become a fashion staple, due to the practical necessity of having to wear them at pop festivals. Festivals such as Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds are notorious for taking place in inclement weather, all too often becoming mud baths and any sensible festival goer takes a pair of Wellies with them. At one time, Wellington boots came in boring black or Hunter green, but now brightly coloured and beautifully patterned styles are available, meaning that they are fashionable as well as practical.
Towards the end of the sixties, Gogo boots became tighter and taller, with higher heels and long zips. At their extreme, such boots became thigh-high, designed to be worn under the tiniest of mini skirts. Tight black boots as worn by Emma Peel in the television series “The Avengers” became very popular. Gogo boots were originally white, but soon were available in black, brown, red, yellow and just about any colour under the sun. Vinyl was a popular fabric, due to its tight and clingy appearance and cheap cost, but by the seventies other materials such as leather and suede soon became popular. In the eighties, the craze of line dancing led to the popularity of cowboy and cowgirl boots, and boots shrunk back to the mid-calf, heels became lower, the toe became pointed and the boots themselves were adorned with tassels. Boots have come a long with since their Gogo days. Boots are both stylish and practical and, although styles may change, it is certain that the boot itself will never go out of fashion.