London Girls All Agree: This Winter Wardrobe Staple Is a Non-Negotiable

There is a fashionable new hashtag trending on TikTok, and I’m almost certain it’s not one you’d be expecting. The #FrazzledEnglishwoman aesthetic is gaining momentum as Gen Z rushes to dress like their favourite British noughties rom-com heroes. Think Bridget Jones, Kate Winslet in The Holiday and just about any Richard Curtis character. Perhaps it’s an answer to the hyper-glammed supermodel/Kardashian look, or perhaps it’s just the cosy trend we needed for the chilly season ahead. One thing it does tell us is this: London style is firmly back on the map. 

The capital is known for its laid-back take on dressing, and just about every major trend to come from the city in the last few years has championed comfort first. First, there was normcore (the minimalist’s dream tailored wardrobe). Then, we flirted with gorpcore (a celebration of the great outdoors), and who could forget cottagecore (the cardigans, puff sleeves and floral dresses ideal for the countryside). Whichever tribe you fell into, British women have always known how to make functional feel fashionable. But one piece, in particular, manages to span across trend and time and is once again having a moment that we would be remiss to ignore.

In the last few months, Londoners have invested heavily in puffer coats, shearling jackets and ribbed-knit dresses, but the one item you can guarantee you’ll see stomping around the streets of the Big Smoke are chunky Chelsea boots. Apparently, when the temperatures drop, we all reach for the same thing—pull-on ankle boots with a flatform or heavy tread sole that wouldn’t look out of place on a hike. They are comfort-meets-cool, all-in-one easy shoes. 

Thanks to the release of The Row’s Zipped 1 Boots, Bottega Veneta’s Tire Boots, and Prada’s Monolith Boots, Londoners are ditching laces and stiletto heels for something a little more stylish, and the answer is a comfy sole and chunky silhouette worn with everything from pretty dresses to leather leggings. Plus, it’s the coolest way to update the “blazer + tee + jeans” uniform we lived in all summer. (Just add an oversized shearling jacket.)

So for the ideal finishing touch to your next autumnal outfit, keep scrolling to shop the best chunky Chelsea boots on the market now and see how London’s finest are wearing them. 

Style Notes: You can always count on Marianne to make easy combinations look polished, and we’re taking notes on this maxi coat + jeans + boots combination. 

Style Notes: Nothing says “autumn” quite like Monikh’s chocolate-brown suede boots and shearling coat, but her bright Colville bag adds another layer of colour and texture that lifts the whole look. 

Style Notes: Even head-to-toe black feels fresh when tucking leather leggings into an equally glossy pair of leather boots. 

Style Notes: If you’re still making the most of a mild autumn before the temperatures really drop, channel Mimi with bare legs and a micro mini. As soon as winter rolls around, just add a pair of black tights. 

Style Notes: Given up on skinnies? Join the club. Lucy proves slouchy straight-leg jeans are a style in the most stylish influencers’ wardrobes. 

Style Notes: Francesca wears her The Row boots with simple yet chic jeans and a denim shirt that are perfect for weekend errand running.

These have been the hot topic in the Who What Wear editors’ group chat since they first landed—a high-street hero that looks designer.

Kurt Geiger isn’t just sparkly heels and colourful bags. The brand is exceptionally good at everyday boots too. 

The boots that inspired 1000 copies. You can still buy the last few sizes in classic black.

Or there’s the matte cream colourway for the perfectionist who manages to always keep their shoes clean. 

I challenge you to find a better affordable option than Zara’s chunky tread Chelsea boots. 

Make a statement by wearing arctic-white boots with an all-black outfit. 

H&M never fails to impress us with its boot selection.

Brunello Cucinelli has managed to make Chelsea boots feel dressy in chic grey suede with a subtle, sparkling trim. 

The only thing we love more than black leather flatforms is a chunky, treaded contrast sole inspired by Bottega Veneta. 

The brand’s Cosmo Loafers already come celeb approved, so we’re confident that Vagabond’s Cosmo Boots are a wise investment. 

Wear with leggings, jeans, dresses and more.

A reliable pair of heavy-soled boots you’ll want to wear for everything from a day at the office to a weekend dog walk. 

Up Next: It’s Boot Season, and These Are the Trends That Will Dominate