Reader Q | How To Wear Clark’s Desert Booties (For WOMEN)



Mamas, in the last few months, I’ve received several emails/comments about Clark’s classic desert booties.  Readers want to know how to wear them, if they are versatile, and most importantly, if they are comfortable.  Reader Amanda wrote:

I was just wondering if you’ve ever reconsidered getting a pair of Clarks Desert Boots (I just read your post where your husband got them and you decided against them for that reason).  For some reason I’m really drawn to them but I’m not sure how I would wear them.  My first instinct would be to wear them with rolled boyfriend or skinny jeans…but then I wonder if that would look too masculine.  I tried to search for styling ideas and I’m not coming up with much of anything…maybe that means I should nix the idea and buy another style of bootie or ankle boot? 

This email was quickly followed by one from reader Dana:

I’ve been coveting these for awhile, but I’m not finding much style inspiration on the web. I’m mostly seeing pictures of men wearing Clarks, which of course makes me think that maybe I should just return them and look for a different style of ankle boot.

Amanda and Dana are so right.  If you try to google “desert boot” or even “desert boot women”…hardly anything shows up.  Like…no women.  No women at all.  So.  Challenged accepted!!  (Happily, Clarks was willing to send me a pair, gratis.  Thank you Clarks!!)

But here’s the thing:  My plan was to receive the boots, then spend countless hours in front of my mirror, perfecting three/four outfits that best showed off the boot.  If all went well, I’d write some slick article about how best to wear Clark’s Desert Booties.  Instead…they arrived.  I tried them on.  I fell in love and wore them everywhere.  End of story.

So.  Instead of some “best of” article…here’s the (roughly one billion) ways I’ve been wearing my Clark’s.

With Boyfriend Jeans 

Clark’s Desert Booties are comfortable with or without socks, but it’s been cold, and I’m happier with a cute pair of patterned socks peeking out.  Even with boyfriend jeans and flannel…these didn’t feel too masculine.  Just cute.  (I might try a pair of colored laces, just for fun.)

(wearing: Stylemint Waverly Shades, $30, J.Crew flannel – similar style, J.Crew Factory Shawl Collar sweater – gone, but this cardi from Target might work, A&F Straight Leg Jeans in Medium Destroyed Wash, $88, Clarks Desert Boots in gray suede, $98)


With Denim Leggings (aka Super Skinnies aka Jeggings)

My standby momiform for those not-too-horribly cold days.  This, strangely enough, was taken the day after Sandy, during our walk to assess the damage to our ‘hood.


(wearing: J.Crew duffle coat from last year – here’s their current version, James Perse cap sleeve tee, $65, Levi’s 535 denim leggings, $35, Target mittens and socks)

With Leggings

This is not my favorite.  I think this outfit may have looked better with a black desert boot…or a lighter, patterned legging?  As-is…it’s just OK.  Works in a pinch, I guess.  Thoughts?


(Joe’s Jeans denim jacket from 10 years ago…but here’s the one I’d buy now, J.Crew striped turtleneck $45, Stylemint Waverly Shades, $30, Isabella Oliver maternity leggings $65, Clarks Desert Boots in gray suede $98)


With a Skirt

So here’s the thing:  Clarks Desert Booties, when paired with tights, give off a slight elfish vibe.  And when paired with thick, fair-isle patterned tights, a bright red sweater and worn by a certain blogger who is under 5’4″?   Just call me Crumpet.

This outfit was an epic fail…but I included the pic (in black/white) because Clark’s Desert Booties do look cute with skirts.  So much potential here!!  Just lose the rest of the crazy pictured below.

(wearing:  Mostly Stylemint and Target….but no one cares, right?)


With Skinny Jeans (and striped socks)

These booties have been seriously great for keeping up with my crazy little men.  (Who remind me of elves.  How fitting.)


(wearing: Stylemint sweatshirt $60, Makr Farm Rucksack $160, AG Stevie Patchwork jeans – long gone, but try AG’s The Stilt 7 year patchwork $235, striped Happy socks

With Rolled Skinnies

After seeing the pic above…I decided to roll my skinnies.  I mean…if you are going to wear cute socks, then Wear Cute Socks.  Right?  Besides, I think the roll looks better.


(wearing: same denim as above…everything else is ancient.  My sweatshirt moto jacket came from Roots, but Pac Sun has a surprisingly cute one for $44.  The blanket-like scarf was an old Banana Republic wrap…Nordstroms has this similar cashmere one at 40% off…or this budget friendly one.)


Man, I need to buy another pair of Target’s gray polka-dot socks.  Clearly.  I’m wearing Clarks Desert Boots in gray suede, but I also love the classic taupe.  Both are currently $97.95 at


Pax, incidentally, was in rare form that day.  Not only did he insist on the cape, but he was running around, growling.  I think he was confused:  super-hero or monster?  (He’s usually the monster that Raines, the super-hero, fights.)  I guess I can understand.  Anyway, the monster-superhero was intent on takin’ a chunk outta me.



Yeah…soggy, drooled-on hair is just gross.  But when it comes courtesy of a chubby, growling, caped, super-hero monster?  I’ll take it.  Any day.

Happy Thanksgiving, Mamas!!



ps. I’m totally down for a little Baltimore/Polar Express/holiday meet-up…let’s plan!