The other day, I wore my Lucchese Classic tan/black wingtip cowboy boots. The black designs on the boot foot, shaft, and heels are pieces of intricately cut leather and are applied on the outside surface of the boot. These are called “outlays.”
What is an “outlay” compared with an “inlay?”
As this image shows, outlays provide an interesting design and makes the boot look unique. However, because these are pieces of leather applied to the surface of a boot, edges or corners of those leather outlays eventually curl a little bit at the edges. It is these curls that can cause problems with the hems of lightweight dress pants. (More later…)
An inlay, on the other hand, looks like the image shown to the left. These are Lucchese Classic cowboy boots, but the difference is that the leather that makes the design is “inlayed” or let’s say the design is cut out of leather applied over the surface of the boot so darker leather under it shows through.
I was not thinking when I chose those “outlay” Lucchese boots the other day to wear with a pair of lightweight khakis. The pants are sewn with a hem on the bottom of each leg that had some loose threads. Unfortunately, when I was walking into my office, one of those threads caught on the outlay leather on the heel, and ripped. Soon enough, the hem let out and I had one pants leg much longer than another, with frayed ends showing.
Fortunately, I had several straight pins in my desk (don’t ask why I had those) and pinned my pants which worked for the rest of the day.
I showed my spouse what happened when I got home, and he took my pants after I changed clothes and immediately sewed the hem on both legs correctly.
Lesson learned: choose pants without loose threads on hems when you wear boots with outlays.
See? Even a man with a boot collection as large as mine has more to learn.
Life is short: choose boots carefully for the clothing you wear.