Dressed for: The Suede Window

Already Pretty outfit featuring Paul Smith scarf, Karen Kane birch print dress, black cardigan, cognac leather boots, Foley + Corinna Mid-City Tote

Scarf, Paul Smith – more Paul Smith scarves
Cardigan – Banana Republic (no longer available) – similar
Dress – courtesy Karen Kane (no longer available) –similar
Boots, Envy Footwear Katima (no longer available) – similar
Bag, hand-me-down Foley + Corinna Mid-City Tote
Bracelet, J.Crew (no longer available) – similar items
Earrings, Patina – similar

I bought these boots and their black suede twins on Piperlime a while back. Each pair set me back a whopping $35, and they were stylish and comfy and I couldn’t wait to wear them. I realize, however, that they must be worn RIGHT NOW before the snow and slush and wintry muck arrives. The window for wearing suede here in MN is fairly small.

Do you do suede footwear? Does it work for your climate? I find it hard to resist since suede offers rich, warm colors that make smooth leathers seem pale and dusty in comparison, but I am yet to find a weatherproofing treatment that makes suede truly winter-friendly!

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19 Responses to “Dressed for: The Suede Window”

  1. Ana

    We get a lot of rain where we live, but very little snow. I will make last minute changes to my planned outfit of the day if it looks like we’re getting dry weather, just so I can wear my beloved suede boots. The weather-proofing spray will stand up to a little bit of dampness, but no way would I risk them in snow or serious rain.

  2. Rachel Barenblat

    Those boots are lovely! I don’t currently have any suede boots, for exactly this reason — slush season is loooooong in western Massachusetts. (Though no worse than in Minnesota, to be sure.)

    I thought of you this morning as I was getting dressed. I tried something a bit bolder today than I usually do — pink button-down shirt, grey vest, deep purple skirt (comes to mid-thigh), swirl-patterned tights, and red shoes. I thought, “Sally could totally rock this outfit, and I can too.”


  3. shebolt

    Winter in NJ is milder and often a lot less snowy than yours, so I can get away with suede. I love your boots! I may have to find something similar.

  4. spacegeek

    Those are very cute!! I love suede footwear–it is often softer than leather and thus is good for my bunion-ed foot. And since I live in S. CA where rain is notional rather than actual most of the year I have the luxury of being able to wear it often. (Let’s not even mention snow!) I usually try to have a pair of suede boots in black, brown and grey, as well as their flatter leather cousins.

  5. Laura

    I love the black & brown pairing. Love it.

    I own one pair of suede boots which I have never worn outside. Most of the year it’s too hot, & all of the year it’s too raining.

  6. Cynthia

    I have one pair of suede boots and I tend to wear them most in the extended “boots and bare legs” season from September to mid November. However it rains a lot here so they aren’t consistently useful.

  7. Ann V

    I wear suede boots all winter long in Minnesota. I clean off the salt with vinegar and water and spray them with suede protector spray from Schuler Shoes about every other week. They last for several years this way. I don’t take public transportation or walk long distances outside with them on, but I don’t have problems walking from my car to wherever I’m going in them. The choices are so limited for boots that fit me that I can’t rule out a pair for being suede!

  8. AnnR

    I have some suede clog-type shoes from Land’s End that I wear on my commute and they stand up to water very well. Otherwise, if it’s suede and it isn’t marked as an “outdoor” or “all-weather” shoe I put wear them inside-only and change into something else when I go out.

  9. Elizabeth

    I live in Wisconsin so I face many of the same issues. I love the look of suede, but I usually don’t indulge because there really is such a short window to wear it. And if the snow comes early, which some years it does, that makes it even a shorter season.

  10. Sara

    I do own two pairs of suede shoes that I try to wear as often as possible when there is no rain/snow in the forecast. I have been on the lookout for a pair of suede boots that wouldn’t be too pricey, it looks like you had good luck with that!

  11. Laura

    I bought suede boots and thought they’d be perfect for a winter party I was hosting, even though I hadn’t yet done my weatherproofing routine. I was staying inside my own home, so what could go wrong? Someone dropped an appetizer on my foot and the grease stain remains on the boot to this day! So now I never feel totally safe in suede….

  12. Brigitte

    I live in one of the rainiest countries on earth, and I still wear suede almost all year round. I spray by suede boots and shoes often, and I make sure avoid them on very rainy days, but otherwise, I’ve had most pairs for a good 3-4 years by now. What I find hardest is that it can lose colour- the toes on my brown boots are a bit paler now, and it just doesn’t look as nice. But still, over all, for boots I’ve worn in the rain… pretty good!

  13. Amber of Butane Anvil

    Those are great boots! “Practical” isn’t exactly my middle name, so I have plenty of suede and fragile leather footwear I can’t wear in the weather. I did grab a pair of Cate the Great boots this past summer in a discontinued colour, and I’m pretending that they’ll help ward off those dreadfully weary February feelings.

  14. Jess

    Oh man, I love suede shoes. Especially wedge pumps. I also have a pair of gorgeous suede Pumas, but those are strictly for the gym so they don’t see much outside wear.
    But I always get so antsy come fall. As soon as November hits Oregon, it’s just raiiiiiiiiin. I wear my suede shoes anyway, but super carefully. Unless it’s snowing. But who wears wedge pumps in the snow anyway?

  15. Loryn

    I love those Karen Kane dresses every time you wear one. Worth the investment? I’ve been thinking about plunking down the cash for one. They always look so great on you!

  16. Kacie

    I like how you did the scarf! I’m going to try that.

    I like suede but I guess I’m too messy/clumsy to hack it. I have some grey boots that I’ve done the weatherproofing on and I try to keep them to dry days.

  17. Shaye

    I don’t think we have a suede window in the Pacific Northwest. By the time it’s cool enough it’s too rainy! I gave up suede in my teens. Now I’m not sure if I reject suede because I just don’t care for it or because it’s too fragile for our unpredictable climate.