Cowboy Boots and Suits

After all these years, I still receive inquiries like this:

I am attending a wedding and have to wear a suit. I usually don’t dress up. My job doesn’t have a dress code, so I wear jeans and khakis with cowboy boots. My girlfriend doesn’t want me to wear boots with a suit to the wedding. Since I am not in the wedding party (just a guest), is my girlfriend making too big of a deal about this? I have some nice pairs of dress boots, but as of now, she won’t budge from her opinion against my boots. Signed, Rob

While I am not “Dear Abby,” indeed I do have experience wearing cowboy boots with suits in my lifetime. Read on for my answer…

Hey, Rob,

Thanks for your question. In my life, I wore suits to work as a manager. Suits became comfortable, though I enjoyed casual Fridays where we could dress down (like you, jeans or khakis and boots.)

However, my usual “go-to” footwear were nice-looking cowboy boots. I have many pairs, and liked to wear different boots almost every day. My subordinates and colleagues frequently would see me entering a meeting, and I’d see them glance down to find out what boots I had on that day.

I also attended weddings wearing a suit and boots. I was even my twin brother’s Best Man — suited and booted — at his destination wedding in Venice, Italy!

Some old geezers grumbled, but honestly, no one really cared.

Wear what you like, as long as the boots are clean and presentable (that is, not fresh from where you may have mucked out a horse stall). Some boots are so understated, it is hard to discern between shiny black leather cowboy boots and dress shoes.

I am not a relationship counselor, but if your girlfriend has hangups about wearing boots with a suit, then there may be other things she thinks about that may cause problems later.

Just be yourself. Wear boots with your suit and have fun.

Life is short: boots with a suit are just fine, contrary to the opinion of some people who have more narrow opinions.

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