What exactly are spats? Spats are long term shoe covers, sometimes called spat suits, that have been worn for decades. Originally, they were used by Army officers, who often wore them to keep their feet dry while in battle. Today, they are a popular fashion accessory, often worn by women to conceal panty lines or to protect their legs from inclement weather. Their origins as an army accessory are most likely linked to the trench warfare of World War I.
Spats, a shorter version of spat pads, or spat guards, are a kind of staple footwear fashion accessory for almost any style of outdoor apparel, covering either the ankle or the instep. Spats aren't like gaiters, which generally are waterproofed shoes worn over the bottom half of your shoe and the inner portion of the shoe. Instead, spats are designed to act as another layer of insulation between the skin and whatever you're wearing, protecting it from the elements. Like most fashions, the popularity of spats has soared in the last decade or so, with both men and women. They are extremely popular among the surfing, kayaking, and snowboarding community, and are starting to come into their own as a fashion accessory for women.
Spats can come in many different materials and designs, but the most common varieties include cotton canvas (used in most spats), synthetic canvas, polyester, nylon, and leather shoes. The kind of material you buy really depends on where you plan to wear yours. A leather spats will stand up better to rain, sun, and cold than some other types. Nylon spats are more flexible, but are less waterproof, while polyester spats are stiffer and are more suitable for use in harsh weather conditions.
Most people think that spats are worn only in warmer climates, but that's not true. In fact, they can be worn almost anywhere. Spats are the perfect footwear choice if you tend to walk around barefoot in hot weather. They can help protect your feet against the burning sun, the stones on the sidewalk, and hot pavement. Even in wintertime, spats can provide extra warmth to protect your toes and heels, which is essential to keep your feet healthy.
The traditional style of spats is quite simple - a pair of spats with a V-shaped cut at the end of each ankle. Spats with V-shaping can be worn with skinny jeans for a casual look, or with an ankle length dress for a more formal look. A spatted skirt can be worn underneath a pair of jeans for that casual beachy look, or to match your beachy bikini top.
Another popular fashion accessory are gaiters. Gaiters are short spats that come up to the mid-calf of the shoe, protecting the foot with the hook and eye closures that come standard on all genuine Spats. Gaiters are very versatile, as they can be worn as formal or casual wear. As a rule, they are worn with closed toe shoes, but open toe shoes can also be worn with gaiters. Gaiters are also the perfect shoe accessory if you tend to walk long distances in a dress, because they add height to your stride.
White spats are another great fashion accessory. Unlike their black counterparts, white spats do not need to have the V-shaped cut at the end of the ankle. Instead, there are tapered soles to make the white spats look like regular sandals. The white spats have become so popular that many women opt to wear them with skinny jeans. Of course, other women choose to wear them with skirts and dresses, but that style of shoe usually has a separate color coming out of the back of it. If you choose to wear white spats with skinny jeans, make sure that the color of the jeans matches the color of the spats.
Leather shoes have long been the go to style for women everywhere. Unfortunately, many women have found that their leather shoes no longer last as long as they used to. The problem is that leather shoes begin to wear down faster than they should, simply because they're made from something that can't withstand daily use. Spats offer a similar level of protection for your ankles that leather shoes offer, but they're made from a material that can take a lot more abuse and wear. Leather spats are definitely a great fashion accessory that every woman should own!