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The perils of party season in the country

Archie Hume of A Hume Country Clothing takes a light-hearted look at footwear considerations during party season.

As I’m a country clothing retailer I assume that a sizeable proportion of our customers – or in this case readers – live in the country. Or at least have a passing relationship with life beyond the sulphurous glow of the streetlight.

And as country dwellers do a sizeable amount of socialising in the country… again, beyond the sulphurous glow of streetlights…

Did you get that? The double mention of streetlights? And their glow… crucially their glow… there is an important point to be made here.

You see city folk know nothing of the perils we endure out here in the sticks. Especially around Christmas. Quite honestly when you respond positively to a party invitation you are seriously taking your life in your hands.

Chances are, the party is down some godforsaken lane, more heavily rutted than anything encountered by the Top Gear team.

And the journey from car to front door – should you happen to be anything other than first to arrive, and consequently be forced to park on the water-logged lawn (keeping in mind the owners’ three dogs and any presents they’ve left for guests) – is more perilous than an enforced island abandonment with Bear Grylls.

It’s DARK. Danger lurks everywhere. You are dressed for a party. What is this – an ingenuity test? Are you supposed to whip out some Mission Impossible tech, cast a spider clamp onto the guttering and whizz, Tom Cruise-style, to the front door? Because let’s face it, that’s the only way you’re going to get there without significant mishap and mayhem.

Worse still. There’s a whimpering thing, cowering in the passenger seat wearing a gossamer thin frock and high heels. High heels!

Seriously… at home she looked beautiful and appropriately dressed for a party. Being a good husband/partner/boyfriend you told her as much before leaving home. But this was before you knew what lay ahead. Now… she’s looking at you pleadingly. Clearly it is your responsibility to get her safely to the front door safely.

This is where footwear determines your fate… so, you look down at your feet and you are wearing a pair of:

a) Leather soled dress shoes. Fate: Go home you don’t stand a chance.

b) Le Chameau Chassuer Neoprene Wellingtons. Fate: Nice wellies. But go home you are not dressed for a party.

Or c) RM Williams Comfort Craftsman boots with non-slip, oil resistant composite rubber sole. Fate: Proceed confidently straight to the door. Party manfully until the last guest leaves then fall graciously into a taxi and travel home.

You see, the RM Williams Comfort Craftsman is the country party boot of choice. This boot has everything you need. It’s a smart dress boot with chisel toes, hand made from a single piece of yearling leather that will protect you from the worst of the elements. They have non-slip, composite rubber soles. And are easy to clean.

Wearing this boot you can easily extend a supporting arm to a tiptoeing better half without finding yourself up close and personal with the lawn.

Even if there’s ice or snow you’ll have enough traction to stay afloat. Plus it’s a great looking boot that easily passes muster for a party.

If you absolutely must wear a shoe rather than a boot I would definitely recommend a smart leather brogue, sturdy enough to keep its shape and form in the face of tough conditions. One with a Goodyear welted sole, for protection and grip.

Our favourites for country parties are: the Loake Edward Brogue and the Loake Badminton Brogue.

Now you’re sorted for smart, grippy footwear all that remains is to wish you fortitude for the festive season ahead. Have fun out there!

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