Why you should make Mary Poppins your style icon

15 pairs of black lace-up boots that are PERFECT to wear with skirts.

As a BIG Mary Poppins fan, I am both excited and waiting with trepidation for the new Mary Poppins Returns film, which launches this December. Having just watched the trailer though, it is mostly the former (you can watch it here) and it inevitably brings me to the subject of Mary Poppins’ wardrobe.

OK, I know that Mary Poppins’ actual boots had that funny shaped heel on them, so I would NEVER wear them myself or feature them on En Brogue. I have limits. But a slim-line black lace-up ankle boot always reminds me of that same vibe, especially when paired with a long skirt or dress, which is a look I am really feeling this autumn (extra points to anyone who adds a home-knitted scarf and a blanket bag).

1. Marks & Spencer ankle boots, £69 ([AD] marksandspencer.com); 2. Aldo ‘Ybilaclya’ boots, £110 ([AD] aldoshoes.com); 3. Chanel lace-up boots, £1,110 (chanel.com)

Ideally you’re looking for a boot with a slimmer line than a classic Dr Marten, although there are a few chunky styles here in this edit – the shiny leather of these from Marks & Spencer for example (1) give them a much smarter edge; ditto Office’s boots with a bonus buckle (7). And I’ve included a pair of DMs too, as the styling with ankle socks and a skirt demonstrates exactly what I am talking about. I also like boots that are a little taller and snug on the ankle, as I think it looks more streamlined with a skirt.

4. Dr Martens ‘Emmeline’ lace-up boots, £118 ([AD] freepeople.com); 5. Church’s ‘Stefy’ boots, £475 (church-footwear.com); 6. Hudson ‘Gypsum’ boots, £170 ([AD] hudsonshoes.com)

I’ve included a ludicrously priced pair of boots from Chanel (3) in this edit, but mostly to highlight that boots in this style are big news everywhere this season, including straight off the catwalk, and you certainly don’t need to pay over £1,000 for them (though if you can afford it, go for your life – they are beautiful!). See Church’s (5), Kurt Geiger (13), Topshop (14) and Russell & Bromley (15), who all have boots with a contrast texture or colour toe cap.

7. Office ‘Armour’ lace-up buckle boots, £85 ([AD] office.co.uk); 8. Mango lace-up leather boots, £79.99 (mango.com); 9. Grenson ‘Ella’ boots, £235 (grenson.com)

Other details to look out for that will make your boots classier than the average are the eyelets. I really like the way Mango (8) and Zara (11) have used hooks a little like you get on walking boots, but they look much more polished in both senses of the word! These would also give you the option of changing to hiking laces if you wanted to switch up your look without buying a new pair of boots (you can read more about that here).

10. Common Projects combat leather ankle boots, £545 (net-a-porter.com); 11. Zara contrast tweed ankle boots, £89.99 (zara.com); 12. River Island black suede lace-up ankle boots, £55 ([AD] riverisland.com)

Of course, being what is essentially a plain black boot, they are an extremely versatile investment. Scroll down for three ideas of what to wear them with. As usual, I’ve included something for every budget here, so there should be something to suit you.

13. Kurt Geiger ‘Daze’ flat ankle boots, £229 ([AD] kurtgeiger.com); 14. Topshop ‘Axel’ lace-up boots, £79 (topshop.com); 15. Russell & Bromley ‘Berkley’ lace-up ankle boots, £225 (russellandbromley.co.uk)


What would Mary wear?

A modern Mary Poppins would love this outfit, I think. That bag just looks perfect to be hiding a full size standard lamp….

ASOS Design suede tote, £35 ([AD] asos.com); Whistles ‘Penelope’ coat, £285 (johnlewis.com); Gap patchwork scarf, £34.95 (gap.co.uk)

All the corduroy

I’m really into co-ord cord at the moment, but I also love using the same fabric in different colours. I’ve been lusting over this COS shirt for weeks now. I might just have to bite the bullet and buy it!

COS corduroy overshirt, £59 ([AD] cosstores.com); Marks & Spencer ribbed polo neck jumper, £17.50 ([AD] marksandspencer.com); Arket tapered corduroy trousers, £69 (arket.com)

Your classic jeans and tee combo

You probably already have all of these items in your wardrobe! I love a look that never goes out of style.

& Other Stories belted wool blend coat, £169 ([AD] stories.com); Weekday ‘Real’ long sleeve top, £7 ([AD] weekday.com); Levi’s 501 skinny jeans, £94.99 (zalando.co.uk)