How to Style Cognac Boots This Fall

Yesterday we talked about boot trends for fall, and I mentioned that one of the trending colors this year in footwear is cognac. Cognac is a classic fall color, but I feel like I haven’t seen a lot of it in the past few years. Well, cognac is making a comeback this season, and I am here for it!

These 70s-inspired suede Chelsea boots came from Zappos, and in addition to looking great, they’re stable and walkable. A Chelsea boot is a pull-on bootie with elastic gore panels, and these also have a trendy lug sole with a 1″ platform. They run true to size; I have my usual size 8.

These boots were fully stocked when I ordered them, but it looks like sizes are already getting depleted, so I rounded up some more cognac colored Chelsea boots here:

Cognac pairs well with almost any neutral, but I really like the contrast against a medium wash denim like these 7 For All Mankind cropped straight leg jeans. These also came from Zappos; in fact, most of this outfit did. Yes, Zappos has a lot more than just shoes.

These jeans are a modern straight crop silhouette, with a worn-in vibe but no rips or tears. There’s some subtle distressing along the hems, which is a nice touch. They have a 27″ inseam and a 12″ leg opening, so they sit right over the shaft of my boots to create a long, lean leg line.

I topped off the boots and jeans combo with an ivory tank and beige faux leather moto jacket. I’m a huge fan of BlankNYC moto jackets, and this faux leather version is under $100.

This warm creamy yellow tone (Soybean, according to the Pantone’s color trends for fall) is very on trend this season, and I love how it complements the cognac boots. The hardware is gold, as well, which keeps the look warmer for fall.

I usually find BlankNYC to run small, so I purchased the medium, and it fits okay but I think I could have sized down. All that to say, I’d say this jacket runs pretty true to size.

This leather backpack is another Zappos find, and again, this Soybean color is super on trend right now. I like how it almost matches the jacket, and it also coordinates with the platform sole of the boots.

The pebbled leather is buttery and soft, and the shiny silver hardware is almost like adding jewelry to your outfit. I can see carrying this bag a lot this fall.

This neutral color palette is very much on trend this season, and it’s made up of wardrobe basics that you can mix and match with other items in your closet for a variety of fall looks.

The best part about shopping at Zappos, aside from their extensive inventory, is their lightening fast free shipping and 365-day free returns. I’m always so impressed by how quickly I can get an item to arrive on my doorstep!

PRO TIP: Link your Amazon Prime membership or become a Zappos VIP member to get free upgraded shipping.

Also, military members, students, and teachers can get 10% off their Zappos orders — see their Student, Teacher & Military Promotion page for more details.

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photos: Alison Cornell

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32 thoughts on “How to Style Cognac Boots This Fall

  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences with college kids and parenting! We are paddling the same river at the moment with all the emotions, exhaustion, etc. and it is so good to hear I am lot alone and crazy….. at least on that point.😉 Those of us remaining at home are working to find our new normal and looking for some fun!
    Question on the jacket…. I am about an inch shorter than you, short waisted, and usually take an XS/S in most brands. Do you think the jacket is short enough to be above the hip?
    Thank you!❤️

    1. I would think so, but it’s hard to say since every body is so different, even when the measurements look the same on paper, ya know? The good news is, returns are super easy with Zappos so it can’t hurt to try it! 🙂

  2. I really like this color combo and how you can mix and match other items from your wardrobe with them. I’m definitely going to check out some of the boots options you have linked. While the jacket looks great, I do think it’s just a tad too big on you. I don’t think it’s so big that it doesn’t work, though. Have a great day!

  3. I keep eyeing Moto jackets that you style, and I haven’t made the plunge yet. I did use your link to become a Zappos VIP, so I am thinking about the jacket you styled here. I don’t know how much I would wear it; that is the dilemma. Also, I am not sure about the size. Usually I wear a medium in tops (when you wear a small). So, I think the medium in this should work.I have realized, from reading bloggers’ information, that I am very short wasted (I don’t think I have a waist at all!) I am still looking for mid-rise (high rise?) jeans that are in my price range to move into style from my other jeans haha!
    Ah, parenting! I think the anxiety and worry are harder when they are older. Yesterday we had a “scare” with our daughter (who is almost 34 weeks pregnant), and I was a wreck all day. I think I was more worried than she was. Her first was born at 36 weeks (all healthy and perfect in every way), so I hope that this little boy can wait a bit to meet us. We don’t expect her to go full-term, but fingers crossed we have a little more time.

    1. Arna…My daughter’s first baby was 34 weeks and now 2 and sooo healthy. So much they can do with premie in the NICU. Prayers he holds on alittle longer.

  4. I love this outfit and it is very easy to replicate. How great that Caroline is doing well at school and I definitely think that she will meet lots of people when she starts baking cookies.

  5. This may be a silly question, but as for the backpack, do you ever actually wear it on your back or just carry it?

    1. Sally… I bought a backpack exactly like this just a little lighter color, a few years ago and I love it. I wear it over one shoulder and when we are out and about site seeing or maybe stop to walk etc I put it on like a backpack. They hold so much.

  6. Great outfit on you! I need to remind myself that cognac is a neutral color that pairs nicely with so many other colors. I’m happy that Caroline seems to be doing good. Does she have a kitchen in her dorm room? Yes, if she bakes cookies, she will definitely make a lot of friends real fast. Have a great day!

  7. My youngest just graduated high school in May, and although he is still 17 (for one more month), he thinks he’s 25 and he doesn’t want or need any help from Mom and Dad. I’m all about gaining independence, but the total disrespect and disregard for us is reaching a boiling point. His “adult reality” is starting to crash in around him, and he hasn’t even left home yet. I hate to say it, but I get some satisfaction out of his struggle since he’s been so defiant. It’s been emotional and exhausting, and while my mommy heart still struggles with letting him go, I’m looking forward to some peace when he does leave!
    Anyway, thanks for letting me vent haha! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one on the parenting struggle bus.
    I do love this jacket! And I’m starting to like the cognac color more and more. But I wish I could love the chelsea boots. I think they look ok on other people, but they’re too clunky for my taste. This outfit looks great on you though!

    1. Oh, boy! Yeah, they can be tough at that age. I will say, that year between high school and college is fraught with so many emotions. It’s a tough time for kids, he will come out of it.

  8. Thanks for sharing this outfit from Zappos. I do love their easy fast shipping and returns. Can you let us know if those jeans hold their shape? I like that straight leg. Also, the backpack is really cute! Glad to hear that Caroline is settling in well. I think baking is definitely a way to meet some new friends, does she have a kitchen in her dorm? My twins are seniors this year so we are deep in college discussions at my house. The pandemic has really changed their perspective on venturing too far away from California, which is fine by me!

      1. Nope - that one doesn’t work either. Can you tell me the style name and what store you’re linking them from so I could search manually? says:

        Nope – that link doesn’t work either.

  9. I love the mixing of the neutrals in this outfit! I’ve always liked the cognac color and have a pair of low boots in that color but I’m staring to think to be more in trend I need the chunky heel! Is there a boot style that works with all jeans?
    Caroline baking cookies sounds like a great idea! Does she have a kitchen in her room?

    1. There really isn’t one style that works with all jeans, but there are some that are more versatile than others. I find the Chelsea boots hard to pair with skinnies b/c they usually have a high, narrow shaft.

      Yes, there’s a small kitchen in the dorm. It’s not on her floor, though. It’s in the game room so it’s a great way to meet people.

  10. Love the combination of color!
    Will be wearing this out next month..purchased the jacket last year!
    So glad hear Caroline starting her baking!! I remember cooking macaroni and cheese many nights with my dorm friends!
    A friend told me years ago…
    You used to be manager of adult kids….
    Now you’re just on the board!
    Slow process of letting go.

  11. You look soooo cute. I have a backpack purse I’ve had for like 3 years in color close to this one and I love it. You will find yourself grabbing it a lot. It holds a lot and you will find you will use it as full backpack more than you think. I love Zappos as their returns soo easy. I’ve only ordered shoes from them so far. Wish I could wear the chunky boots but they just aren’t my style. They look good on others and you younger gals. :). As for parenting. Yes, the teen to adult years are more worry years. My 3 were good kids too and are great adults but you worry about anything that worries them. I just had to give them to the Lord. I always say Let Go and Let Him. :). Easier said than done though. So happy for Caroline. She seems so well adjusted and will do great. Especially if she bakes cookies for everyone. Lol. :). How is covid in your area. Here in Oregon it’s pretty bad. We just got new mask mandate. Was for inside but she already put it on for outside too. I never have stopped wearing mine inside but did outside. Anyway lots going on and I was hoping for a better Fall/Winter. Will see. Several of my extended family have covid but so far at home battling it out. Several in our church do too.

  12. Just ordered the leather shoulder tote/backpack. it looks like a beautiful color that will match so much this fall.

  13. Just received the moto jacket from Zappos (that was fast!) I love it. I ordered the medium, which fits perfectly. I am so glad I finally made the plunge and ordered a moto jacket. Cannot wait to wear it (it will be awhile since it is still 90’s here in North Carolina.
    Thank you for styling all the jackets you have and looked so good in. I know I can always count on you!

  14. Thanks for this post! I can’t get into the clunky boots trend this fall. I will just wait for this trend to pass.

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