Studio Visit

Styling Tips from the Designer Making Every Celebrity’s Favorite Boots

Dear Frances undeniably makes the greatest pairs of boots there ever were.

By: Tara Gonzalez
Photography: Sarah Adamson

Dear Frances, how do you make the perfect boot? When I ask Jane Frances, founder of cult (and celebrity favorite) shoe brand Dear Frances, this question I can almost hear her blush through the answer. She still seems surprised by the question and the label “the perfect boot.” But if her Spirit Boot could talk, it would probably be less embarrassed. It is, after all, a classic ankle boot with a chunky block heel; what’s not to love? I myself am a proud owner of a pair (in Teal, one of two new colors for Prefall), so I fully understand why every celebrity owns multiple pairs—they’re beautiful, comfortable, and go with absolutely everything.

Designed in London and made in Italy, the Spirit Boot comes in an array of colors, from a timeless black or white patent leather, to a more bold blue velvet or port burgundy. Bella Hadid wore her white patent pair with a sweatshirt, red jeans, and clear-framed cat-eye sunglasses. Sofia Richie wore her velvet pair with oversized overalls, square Illesteva glasses, and a cropped vintage tee. Selena Gomez is known to wear her classic black pair with everything, from casual sweatsuits to elegant beige leather pants.

 

“I felt like we could hardly go a day without someone new stepping out in the Spirit Boot. It’s just really exciting when you see someone like Bella or Kendall wearing them. We had a huge reaction from Bella, actually, because she wore them a few times in a row [in different colors].” Bella isn’t the only one with the boot in multiple colors, wearing them on multiple days of the week. Jane tells me most Dear Frances customers are repeat shoppers “who [each] have six pairs of our Spirit Boots in different colors because they say they wear them every day and they’re so comfortable.”

Although the Spirit Boot may be Frances’s most well known shoe, her collection isn’t short of other cult favorites in the making. “As a brand, we offer an elevated easiness. We’re about offering simple, classic pieces made with interesting materials and textures. They’re supposed to be comfortable, yet make you feel slightly more dressed and ready to go. It’s about finding that balance of easiness, yet dressed-up at the same time.”

Considering Frances has unintentionally created some of our favorite celebrity outfits, we asked for her shoe-styling tips. Read on for her favorite ways to wear the Spirit Boot and the best heel alternative for going out.

 

Pair more elaborate and detailed shoes with simpler outfits:

“I wear a lot of black and white, and I really love how shoes can just add that little touch of color, that little touch of personality that says something a little bit different about your outfit. I’ve got quite a few styles in this current collection that have textured details, like some really fine merino wools. I’ve also done some hand-knotting with cotton silk fabrics, so adding a little bit of interest when you’re wearing very tailored cuts or jeans just shows a bit of character. I think shoes can do that without being over-the-top; I think that’s probably my favorite thing about them.”

Dressing up doesn’t always mean heels—it can actually be the perfect time for slip-ons:

“For dressing up I’m really loving our knot slide; even though it’s a flat, there’s so much about it that is dressy and elegant because it uses subtle colors and it actually looks like an evening shoe. So I’ve been having a lot of fun with those and wearing them with midline skirts or maxi skirts, and even ribbed skirts.”

 

And dressing down doesn’t mean you can’t look good while doing it:

“For dressing down, our lounge loafers, the backless lounge loafers, are so easy to just slip on with anything, with jeans or a dress. I wear them a lot around our studio.”

The Spirit Boot looks best with all of the colors and textures:

“I’ve seen the Spirit Boot so many times and I really like all [the outfits] because they’re usually all so different. If I were to think of one that I love, it would be Natalie Off Duty wore them in an interesting way during NYFW. She was wearing the velvet pair with this really beautiful, long purple dress and then had this red coat on top; there was so much color going on and there were so many different textures. And I’m usually all for keeping things clean, pared down, and simple, but she just looked so amazing. I always remember she was just so, you know, bright and everything. I really loved seeing how she styled them.”

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