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Forums » Smalltalk » Would someone please explain thigh high boots?

Hello all, Winter here.

First off I want to say this, just to make myself clear on something: I'm not trying to be mean, or rude, or the like. This topic is to try and help me to understand things that to me make zero sense what so ever. Thanks~!

So. Some of you may or may not remember an old topic of mine, back from 2019, called What is with high heels? In that topic I was confused about how people can come up with characters who wear high heels, when to me it seemed totally uncalled for.

Well guess what. This topic is similar, only it's about thigh high boots...

Photo Example Here
geumsil-lee-01281.jpg

Photo credit to: geumsil lee, ArtStation


Alright. Most likely, as it was explained in my topic about the high heels, there is some kidn of reason for them. But again, like when it came to my high heels topic, I just don't see the reasoning.

I mean...the lacing up and down alone would be tiresome in my thought. Plus that's just that much extra heat on a person's legs. Heck they look tacky as can be really. I've never, NEVER, understood the reasoning of thigh high boots be it in rl or non rl. It just...it boggles my mind seeing someone wear something like this.

It's like images of guys who have a butt load of belts on them, okay not always a butt load but more than one, and I just stare at an image and go: "Whelp, this image has lost my interest." All because of either thigh high boots, or too many belts.

Bonus points if someone can help me understand the whole "never ending" belts on a male image.

Example here for belts
7368fe01d4223aafbc1afc0a0448529d.jpg


Okay while the example above doesn't have as many belts...It's the best I could find as an example.

Seriously though. If the belts actually were designed to be useful, like hold pouches, or saddle bag to it, okay I could see that. But most of the time it seems like when making art people go; "Hey. I think he'd look cool with lot's of belts on in random places on his body just because. Let's put several down one leg. Let's put some on the other leg. Let's get some arm belts on there. Oh, can't forget a belt around the chest!"

I think I'm going a bit crazy here...

pingu-tongue.gif

...Just a wee bit...

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Fashion. Or at least that's my understanding of it. Maybe at one point in time there was a practical purpose. Or maybe it comes from competitive opulence. "My boots are bigger than yours! Look how much leather I can afford!" I don't know, I'm not a fashion historian.

As for belts... Well they look cool. Maybe they originally stem from holsters and the like? Someone thought they looked cool but didn't want a bunch of empty holsters to justify them? Regardless... I like superfluous belts. I have jackets, trousers and boots with them. Even gloves. If I see a cool piece of clothing with lots of belts that I can afford and is my size, you can bet I'm going to want to have it. I never go out without at least one piece of clothing that has some sort of unnecessary belt or buckle.
Very high boots existed for protection from the elements, particularly water. Insulated thigh-high boots have historically been worn by fishermen to protect them from cold water, which can actually lead to serious health concerns. Fishermen who stand in knee-deep water for extended periods of time therefore require thigh-high boots. If your standing in arctic water for hours on end, you'd want some heavily insulated thigh-high boots too. Those same designs eventually evolved into full-on wetsuits, so if you think about those, you could even say its a full body boot.

As for belts, I cant say for certain if it is historical, but the main application I can see is where you need more things tied to the belt. Modern day utility belts do exist for that purpose... maybe they just needed more space than those provide, or didnt have specialized belts like that available and so simply used what was on hand?

At any rate, in both cases, as often occurs practical clothing is taken by upper-class folk as a fashion trend and then modified until it no longer resembles its original form. Can see that from high heels (developed from horse riding boots... yikes, dont try riding horses in modern high heels...), alot of suit designs (split suits being developed to imitate the appearance of a hauberk split to allow comfortable riding of a horse, plus alot of medieval clothing was designed to imitate the appearance of a gambeson or byrnie)... I could probably come up with more examples but I dont feel like it right now. Most often examples of things like this come from military garb, but they can come from any profession.

Though, I dont know if modern thigh-highs are directly descended from waders, since I dont think anglers or fishermen have ever been seen as particularly fashionable. But then again, who knows? maybe some 20th century noblewoman just really liked fishermen. Shrug
Different people have different tastes in what they feel looks good, and fiction has a great deal of "rule of cool" trumping practicality. And it's totally fine to have different tastes. It's totally fine for you to find things like this rediculous, just as it's fine for others to enjoy it. And being such a subjective thing, it's totally reasonable for some folks to be totally baffled by things other folks like.

For me, there's a number of very frivolous aesthetics that I enjoy, such as steampunk and related things. You want to talk useless decorative pieces? Purposeless belts, straps, gears, tools, incorrectly worn clothing items, goggles and glasses with half a dozen extra lenses, etc... all these things abound in steampunk. There, a large part of the idea is to imply the concept of all sorts of nifty function without having to actually be some sort of crazed genius engineer. There are points in it where I'll also find some of it just silly and kinda missing the point, but honestly, at its core, the real point is just to be something to play with and have fun. (While most forms of punk are meant to be a criticism or rejection of something, steampunk themes tend to be more positive and playful, and focused more around adventure and invention.)

An aside... in the belt image you chose, all of the belts I'm seeing are functional. The ones around the hips and thighs are all just two gun holsters; hip strap holds it generally up, thigh straps keep it secured in place so it's not constantly smacking the thighs and leaving bruises, and they can also help hold the holster at a specific desired angle. Around the knees, knee pads are being held on. The straps on the calves are pretty standard for depicting greaves; I'd question more why a cowboy-looking guy is wearing greaves. Gloves and shoes have plates that could create the appearance of straps, but nah, those are protective plates. His duster/coat has a belt, as is standard and can be used to help secure it shut or to help shape the silhouette. That style of hat with a belt is a pretty standard fashion, and occasionally it'll even get used to secure small items (but it's mostly just decorative).

I am familiar with what you're talking about, though. I think that a lot of the excessive belt thing got started from a mix of functional straps (some as things like shown here, actually securing tools and whatnot, and probably some as more of a can't-afford-new-clothes effort to hold things together) and expressive straps (going back to punk and goth, it's common for criticisms to be expressed satirically; in a case like this, an expression of being "tied down and lacking freedom" or of being "barely held together"). Fashion and media popularized and further spread the look.
Winters_Fury Topic Starter

Riik's post
Riik wrote:
Fashion. Or at least that's my understanding of it. Maybe at one point in time there was a practical purpose. Or maybe it comes from competitive opulence. "My boots are bigger than yours! Look how much leather I can afford!" I don't know, I'm not a fashion historian.

As for belts... Well they look cool. Maybe they originally stem from holsters and the like? Someone thought they looked cool but didn't want a bunch of empty holsters to justify them? Regardless... I like superfluous belts. I have jackets, trousers and boots with them. Even gloves. If I see a cool piece of clothing with lots of belts that I can afford and is my size, you can bet I'm going to want to have it. I never go out without at least one piece of clothing that has some sort of unnecessary belt or buckle.


That is possible concerning the boots. We the humans have almost always had a competitive streak in some form or other. Who knows?

And that's perfectly fine, that you have that interest! I don't mind if people like something that I find ridiculous/not understanding. Because it's not harming me in any way, shape, or form. To me it's like: What? Why? But then be it I learn more or not, at the end of the day: If it makes a person happy, that's all that counts really.

Spiritualeclipse's post
Spiritualeclipse wrote:
Very high boots existed for protection from the elements, particularly water. Insulated thigh-high boots have historically been worn by fishermen to protect them from cold water, which can actually lead to serious health concerns. Fishermen who stand in knee-deep water for extended periods of time therefore require thigh-high boots. If your standing in arctic water for hours on end, you'd want some heavily insulated thigh-high boots too. Those same designs eventually evolved into full-on wetsuits, so if you think about those, you could even say its a full body boot.

As for belts, I cant say for certain if it is historical, but the main application I can see is where you need more things tied to the belt. Modern day utility belts do exist for that purpose... maybe they just needed more space than those provide, or didnt have specialized belts like that available and so simply used what was on hand?

At any rate, in both cases, as often occurs practical clothing is taken by upper-class folk as a fashion trend and then modified until it no longer resembles its original form. Can see that from high heels (developed from horse riding boots... yikes, dont try riding horses in modern high heels...), alot of suit designs (split suits being developed to imitate the appearance of a hauberk split to allow comfortable riding of a horse, plus alot of medieval clothing was designed to imitate the appearance of a gambeson or byrnie)... I could probably come up with more examples but I dont feel like it right now. Most often examples of things like this come from military garb, but they can come from any profession.

Though, I dont know if modern thigh-highs are directly descended from waders, since I dont think anglers or fishermen have ever been seen as particularly fashionable. But then again, who knows? maybe some 20th century noblewoman just really liked fishermen. Shrug


First (off topic): Oooohh, I must say I LOVE your writer name! I focused on it more when I was putting in the collapse code before the quote code, and I like the name. ^.^

Back on track...
Spiritualeclipse wrote:
Very high boots existed for protection from the elements, particularly water. Insulated thigh-high boots have historically been worn by fishermen to protect them from cold water, which can actually lead to serious health concerns. Fishermen who stand in knee-deep water for extended periods of time therefore require thigh-high boots. If your standing in arctic water for hours on end, you'd want some heavily insulated thigh-high boots too. Those same designs eventually evolved into full-on wetsuits, so if you think about those, you could even say its a full body boot.

-slight headdesk- See! I knew there would possibly be some sort of actual reasoning! But I just don't always see it. I just stare at an image, and then most of the time (like last night when I posted this), reasoning and the like fly out of my mind as an answer. This is why I post on RPR and go: "I don't understand this, HELP ME!"

As to the belts: You might be right. I don't know what other reason there would be honestly. I guess pre-modern people needed someone to invent the utility belt, but no one could do so?


Zelphyr's Post
Zelphyr wrote:
Different people have different tastes in what they feel looks good, and fiction has a great deal of "rule of cool" trumping practicality. And it's totally fine to have different tastes. It's totally fine for you to find things like this rediculous, just as it's fine for others to enjoy it. And being such a subjective thing, it's totally reasonable for some folks to be totally baffled by things other folks like.

For me, there's a number of very frivolous aesthetics that I enjoy, such as steampunk and related things. You want to talk useless decorative pieces? Purposeless belts, straps, gears, tools, incorrectly worn clothing items, goggles and glasses with half a dozen extra lenses, etc... all these things abound in steampunk. There, a large part of the idea is to imply the concept of all sorts of nifty function without having to actually be some sort of crazed genius engineer. There are points in it where I'll also find some of it just silly and kinda missing the point, but honestly, at its core, the real point is just to be something to play with and have fun. (While most forms of punk are meant to be a criticism or rejection of something, steampunk themes tend to be more positive and playful, and focused more around adventure and invention.)

An aside... in the belt image you chose, all of the belts I'm seeing are functional. The ones around the hips and thighs are all just two gun holsters; hip strap holds it generally up, thigh straps keep it secured in place so it's not constantly smacking the thighs and leaving bruises, and they can also help hold the holster at a specific desired angle. Around the knees, knee pads are being held on. The straps on the calves are pretty standard for depicting greaves; I'd question more why a cowboy-looking guy is wearing greaves. Gloves and shoes have plates that could create the appearance of straps, but nah, those are protective plates. His duster/coat has a belt, as is standard and can be used to help secure it shut or to help shape the silhouette. That style of hat with a belt is a pretty standard fashion, and occasionally it'll even get used to secure small items (but it's mostly just decorative).

I am familiar with what you're talking about, though. I think that a lot of the excessive belt thing got started from a mix of functional straps (some as things like shown here, actually securing tools and whatnot, and probably some as more of a can't-afford-new-clothes effort to hold things together) and expressive straps (going back to punk and goth, it's common for criticisms to be expressed satirically; in a case like this, an expression of being "tied down and lacking freedom" or of being "barely held together"). Fashion and media popularized and further spread the look.

Zelphyr wrote:
You want to talk useless decorative pieces? Purposeless belts, straps, gears, tools, incorrectly worn clothing items, goggles and glasses with half a dozen extra lenses, etc... all these things abound in steampunk.

-stares at that part for a moment-

...Well now. I kinda feel silly...Seeing as how I once had up my own Steampunkish OC on here...And I have a Steampunk photo board on Pinterest. I guess I didn't pay as much attention to the useless decorative piece(s). But then again I'm not a hard core Steampunk person, so that would most likely fly over my head. Eh-heheh...
Zelphyr wrote:
(While most forms of punk are meant to be a criticism or rejection of something, steampunk themes tend to be more positive and playful, and focused more around adventure and invention.)

You are making me want to read more and more cool steampunk adventure books. I just find it really hard to get into them. I'm picky as ever. LOL! Anyways. You are right. Things don't always need to make sense or have an actual purpose. Sometimes it's just a person's like of something, and they find a way to incorporate it.
Zelphyr wrote:
... in the belt image you chose, all of the belts I'm seeing are functional.

Ah-hah! See, again. My sense of focus and reasoning was out the window when I posted this. Also your thoughts in general about all the access belts make sense as well. I do appreciate the input you and the others gave, cause boy it helps me want to try to focus harder, and see if I can answer things for myself before feeling silly for asking about it on RPR. I know there is no harm in doing so, hence why I simply said I fell silly.


Thank you for those of you who posted to this. Really gives me an eye opener.
I would also have to go with Spiritualeclipse's reasoning, mainly to protect from the elements and also provide warmth in cold and/or wet conditions. Rule of Cool also applies here as Zephyr mentioned; in fact, it's kinda common to use Absolute Territory, or Zettai Ryouiki with thigh-high boots for non-schoolgirl characters.

In fact, I do have a character who wears thigh-high boots: she uses them to highlight her appeal to targets because of their sleek lines and fuller coverage (which also makes her look taller than she actually is), and she also wears them for light protection since she needs her legs to run and fight.

I'm glad this topic came up, because it forces you to thinks about why characters wear what they do, which can be useful in establishing their storyline. (Though I have to agree that high heels in character design make little sense to me in a practical standpoint other than adding height to a character.)
Winters_Fury Topic Starter

Lucretire's post
Lucretire wrote:
I would also have to go with Spiritualeclipse's reasoning, mainly to protect from the elements and also provide warmth in cold and/or wet conditions. Rule of Cool also applies here as Zephyr mentioned; in fact, it's kinda common to use Absolute Territory, or Zettai Ryouiki with thigh-high boots for non-schoolgirl characters.

In fact, I do have a character who wears thigh-high boots: she uses them to highlight her appeal to targets because of their sleek lines and fuller coverage (which also makes her look taller than she actually is), and she also wears them for light protection since she needs her legs to run and fight.

I'm glad this topic came up, because it forces you to thinks about why characters wear what they do, which can be useful in establishing their storyline. (Though I have to agree that high heels in character design make little sense to me in a practical standpoint other than adding height to a character.)



Lucretire wrote:
I'm glad this topic came up, because it forces you to thinks about why characters wear what they do, which can be useful in establishing their storyline. (Though I have to agree that high heels in character design make little sense to me in a practical standpoint other than adding height to a character.)


Actually if you go back to the topic of mine concerning the high hells, it does give some good reasoning why a character would wear them. Trust me I didn't see the reasoning till I brought it up. There are some actually good and perfect answers to it, like to this topic.

Also...I've never really thought about why a character wears what they do. I just find an image that would work for a muse, then when I'm working on the muse I take things into account based on the image.

Look at my Silverlance Family images, and look at the full body image of Lone 'Wolf' Silverlance as example. Almost all of them have some form of armor on, and that's because they are hunters. They go after demons and other super natural creatures causing chaos, destruction, and such. So naturally they need that, and it's something I keep in mind for a hunter.

Does that mean all hunters need protection like this? No. They may have other ways to protect themselves.

That's just my thought on the whole thing.

Also...-saves link you shared for later use- Thanks for that one too!

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