How to dress like a grown up with Shane Watson: Country Pile Style? Chuck on a Chelsea wellie boot 

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  • Shane Watson shares advice for embracing this season’s rainboot trend
  • Suggests sizing up to shop in a shade of stone and wear thicker socks
  • UK-based fashion experts take inspiration from the Duchess of Cambridge

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One of the strangest developments in fashion is the boom in country origins or, as I like to call it, country shack style – because you won’t find anything like it at your local farm outfits.

Blame the lockdown, the country exodus, or maybe the last season of The Crown, and all those images that keep Princess Diana recycled in her corded knickerbockers and green wells.

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Though we’ve gotten here, we’re now living in a world where Zara stocks wax jackets that wouldn’t seem out of place on a grim moor. The cool Danish brand Ganni sells quilted gilets, as the Husky Queen always wears. (The Duchess of Cambridge has a gunny version, proof that the fashion spin on heritage classics is hitting the spot, even for those who know the difference.)

And Hunter, the purveyor of the original green wells, has partnered with Stella McCartney to produce a ‘cheeky’ hybrid of a rubber boot and a Chelsea boot.

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Shane Watson shares advice for adapting to this season's rainboot trend for any occasion.  Pictured: The Duchess of Cambridge in Penelope Chilver boots

Shane Watson shares advice for adapting to this season’s rainboot trend for any occasion. Pictured: The Duchess of Cambridge in Penelope Chilver boots

So far so easy. You don’t have to be skinny, you don’t have to be rich (though the most wanted items on the Country Pile Style list aren’t cheap), the jackets are waterproof, the shoes are made for walking—it’s fashion heaven for those ladies. Those who like maximum value for their money.

Then again, let’s face it, no one wants to even watch The Manor is Born. The only people you’ll see in top-to-toe country pile style are Hollywood actresses and the kind of women who have housekeepers to do the food shopping.

Normal for us, the answer is to pick and match. By all means invest in a toilette, and Heritage Check blazers are looking good for now, but your best bet should be the shoes. They won’t date (everything else will), and they’re the key to it all.

Wellington boots Diana wore – Green Hunters (£69, Wellywarehouse.co.uk) are still a smart buy, though for comfort you’re probably better off with the neoprene-lined Le Chamo (£190, lechameau.com) as That is worn by the Duchess of Cambridge.

When they don’t need to be flood-proof, Kate’s tight-wearing shoes of choice are Penelope Chilvers’ Tassel Riding Boots (£475, penelopechilvers.com) and are from 2004 when she wore them in that now-iconic photo Was. Barefoot in a short tweed skirt, sitting on a shooting stick. Come on oh well With tucked-in straight jeans, we citizens can look almost as good, and there’s always a slightly more affordable mid-calf version (£349).

Shane said strong hiking-boot styles have struck a chord with designers this season.  Pictured: Country looks on the A/W catwalk

Shane said strong hiking-boot styles have struck a chord with designers this season. Pictured: Country looks on the A/W catwalk

Otherwise — and we can even live with Kate’s shoe choices (which is better to copy from a pedigree and practical standpoint?) — the Duchess of Cambridge loves a smart lace-up walking boot. Seen by Chloe (£507, farfetch.com), but don’t panic, she’s partial to Berghaus’s Suplite II Gore-Tex shoes (£115, millets.co.uk), worn in winter and summer .

Sturdy hiking-boot styles have struck a chord with designers this season – even Jimmy Choo has them – and most high street brands are now Russell & Bromley’s PR-Hike (£65, russellandbromley .co.uk) carry a fashion-tweaked version. ) Mojave hiker shoes from Toms (£130, office.co.uk) with a furry lining. The Toms ones look comfortable, but the boot that’s going for the most for me is the ankle well, or what the Dane Rainboot calls.

Rainboots – New Rules

  • Buy in the shade of stone.
  • Enlarge the size to wear with thicker socks.
  • Go to drag to tab.
  • Get contrasting hats or soles.
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This brand new style of boot (you won’t find it in Sloane Ranger’s lookbook) has taken off like a rocket. Ganni does a range, including a recycled rubber Chelsea boot (£195, ganni.com). And Hunter has its own version (£74.95, Wellywarehouse.co.uk).

The advantage of these shoes is that they work in urban environments, too: Because they’re small, porous, and a bit chelsea, they look like at home on the wet pavement outside Weatherspun as they stroll through the fields. They also act like wet-weather clogs—you can slip them outside to loosen them, and gardeners swear by them.

Predator’s Chelsea rainboots look good, but they’re narrow at the ankle and you might prefer something wider, like the Didriksons Winga Boot (£65, didriksons.com). I love Everlane’s snobby boots with the opposite toe cap (£72, everlane.com). French label Aigle does a more discreet rainboot (£69.99, zalando.co.uk), but that’s not a shame – they’re the shoes of the moment, after all.

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