The rise of £1,600 wellington boots

Hikmat Mohammed
·3-min read
Emili Sindlev celine irina shayk chanel wellies wellington boots - Getty Images
Emili Sindlev celine irina shayk chanel wellies wellington boots - Getty Images

Wellington boots - invented and named after 1st Duke of Wellington and now better known as wellies - are a stalwart of the British wardrobe. Everyone has a pair of the lifeless rubber boots laying around, not out of trend, but necessity.

They have long been a Balmoral favourite for the Royal family but recently the fashion pack have adopted them, too - perhaps after spending lockdown in the country and realising just how comfy and practical they are. On Wednesday, Irina Shayk debuted her Chanel wellies on a rainy day in New York City.

The boots retail for £1,609, styled after the house’s famous colourways of beige and black. They’re slightly more stylish than your normal pair of wellies with an added block heel, the brand name printed across the top and they’re made of leather - all crucial features to keep in mind if you’re being photographed in the rain.

irina shayk chanel - GC Images
irina shayk chanel - GC Images

The haute wellie is a key trend this winter and fashion brands have taken it upon themselves to redesign the traditionally green tall boots into a modern day Cinderella slipper. 

At the autumn/winter 2020 shows, Bottega Veneta showed bright red and lime green ankle boot wellies, while Prada took on the pastels: powder pink, lilac and baby blue.

Scandi brand Ganni have also tapped into wellies, keeping the traditional style, but remaking them out of recycled rubber retailing for £215, which are more viable and environmentally friendly for first time buyers. 

prada bottega veneta wellington boots - Getty Images
prada bottega veneta wellington boots - Getty Images

Fashion search engine Lyst reveals that searches for ‘glossed’ and ‘Chelsea’ rubber wellies are up by 64% this year compared to 2019. Even with Glastonbury cancelled this year, Hunter's boot sales have risen, too, with some ranges up by 60 per cent. We’re all tapping into a traditional, rural look for British staycations that require smart footwear over fancy.

Haute wellies are in vogue, but if substance over style is your preference, then you should perhaps invest in a brand that specialises in them. Hunter, Le Chameau and FitFlop will give you more value for your money, but if you’re chasing Instagram likes or just like the tall look of them, don’t rule out a designer pair.

The idea of wellies have never appealed to me because I’m a Londoner at heart, and would ordinarily do anything to avoid putting on a pair of rubber boots, even if it means getting soggy feet. But after watching the Celine show this week, which featured more designer takes on gum boots, I might just save up for a pair.

And if you’re ever in doubt about how to wear your wellies, just turn your TV on to the children’s channel to see how Peppa Pig styles hers: always with a pink dress.

christian dior barbour fitflop roger vivier le chameau wellinton boots wellies rain boots
christian dior barbour fitflop roger vivier le chameau wellinton boots wellies rain boots

Crystal-embellished rubber rain boots, £660, Roger Vivier at Net-a-Porter; Yellow rain boots, £95, Hunter; Burgundy Wellington boots, £100, Le Chameau; Black Calfskin and Shearling boots, £1,690, Dior; Red Wellington boots, £90, FitFlop; Olive Wellington boots, £64.95, Barbour

For more news, analysis and advice from The Telegraph's fashion desk, click here to sign up to get our weekly newsletter, straight to your inbox every Friday. Follow our Instagram @Telegraphfashion