Shirt: Nina Kay

Vest: Target

Jeans: Sussan

Boots: Duo Boots


A girl always remembers her first.

Her first pair of knee-high boots, that is.

For years and years I hunted fruitlessly for a pair of boots that could be zipped up over my muscular calves.

Let me tell you from experience that there’s nothing more demoralizing than watching a red-faced sales assistant struggling to zip up a pair of boots while promising you they’ll fit even though you know from the expanse of flesh still showing that they obviously won’t.

These days there’s a lot of choice, but back then you either went with nasty stretch synthetic boots, or you went without entirely. Eventually I turned to the internet, and that’s when I found Duo Boots.

Duo was a UK company that had the innovative idea that you should fit boots not just by shoe size, but by calf width too.

This was a godsend – not just for me and my sturdy legged kin, but for the girls at the other end of the spectrum on whom boots fit like wellies.

It took me AGES to make my first purchase. The Australian dollar wasn’t looking nearly as healthy as it does now, and the cost was prohibitive.

But you know what? It was the BEST purchase. The black knee high boots that I bought then I’m STILL wearing.

Since then I’ve added another five pairs to my collection, and every pair has been just as well-made with good quality leather, long wearing soles, strong zips, and attractive detailing.

My new pair are called Horatio, and they’re my favourite yet, made of a lovely supple leather with a flat heel and a mock zip-and-pop-tab trim on the outside calves:


So, here’s something exciting for my Australian readers….

The weather’s turning cold, the boots are starting to show up in shops, and I’m starting to get emails from readers asking my recommendations for wide-calf boots.

I thought I’d take the opportunity to email Duo and ask if pretty please we could have a special discount and they’ve come back to me with a super-exclusive FREE SHIPPING OFFER for my Australian Frocks and Frou Frou readers!

For the month of May, Duo will offer free shipping to all Australian orders with the code AU11 (woohoo!)

With the Australian dollar doing SO WELL at the moment that means you can get a pair of boots that (pun intended) walks all over the wide-calf boots on offer elsewhere for more or less the same price.

Keep in mind that the prices on Duo’s website include the VAT tax which means that the price you’ll be charged is quite a bit less than what’s listed on the website. For instance, my new Horatio’s cost 175 pounds, but the removal of VAT took 29 pounds off that. If I had thought to ask for an exclusive Frocks and Frou Frou discount code BEFORE I’d placed my order I’d have also saved another 20 pounds shipping, making the boots a measly 126 pounds. That’s AUD$195. BARGAIN!

I won’t rabbit on, but go and check out the boots on offer at Duo – you won’t be disappointed!

59 thoughts on “Bootiful

  1. Thanks for the tip Lilli! I am Australian living in the Netherlands and even with the much larger range of boots here (the standard Dutch womens’ look is a very “riding in the country” inspired uniform of knee-high boots over jeans/stockings pretty much year round), I find it really hard to get knee-highs to fit my big calves. I wear both 37 or 38 depending on the shoe – would you recommend going for the larger size? (I’m thinking yes because you’re more likely to wear these types of boots with stockings/thicker socks, thereby necessitating the slightly roomier option? Plus, being a boot, its not like the larger size is at risk of falling off your foot or anything)
    p.s. LOVE the newest pair – gorgeous!

    1. I have two pairs of DUOs and I would definitely size up in the calf. I didn’t with my first pair and spent about half an hour zipping them up the first couple of wears.

    2. I’d probably size down in the shoe – from experience Duo’s shoes are pretty generous. I usually wear a size 39, but bought the size 38s in the Talamore because they were out of the 39s and they fit FINE. Conversely, I’ve also bought Duo boots in a 40, and they were fine, too. Some of the boots are larger in the foot than others apparently, too. If in doubt shoot them an email – the customer service & fitting advice is impeccable!

  2. Oooh, that is very tempting, especially considering the fact that a) the cold is closing in, b) I need new boots, and, c) almost every time I find some boots I like, I suffer from the “fit like wellies” symptom.

  3. You’re the one who introduced me to Duo last summer and I have since bought 2 pair. BEST BUY…EVER!!! The knee high boots give you instant fashion flair – you always look smart!
    Interesting though, when I go to the site, I have the option of entering my country (Canada) and the prices come up adjusted and in US Dollars (no VAT) and the shipping was only 20 dollars, not GB pounds. There’s a drop down menu just below the flags. Maybe it doesn’t make a difference with conversion, but for me it made the mental math easier. I love Duo. Thanks again!!

  4. I love my DUO boots. It feels a little extreme to describe them as life changing, but they were certainly wardrobe changing.

    I’m telling myself it’s probably for the best that the code is for Australian readers only – otherwise I’d be totally justifying ordering myself another pair. I did go and check that no one had dubious geography that accidentally included New Zealand as part of Australia though. Sadly no dice.

    1. Hoorah! The pick-up on the Duo Boots Code has been so popular that they’ve decided to offer it across the board and to New Zealand as well, so shop up, Mel!

  5. Oh my, supremely excellent timing! I was just the other day going back through some of your posts tossing up whether to commit that much money. Thank you so much for swinging a special deal for us aussies 🙂

  6. Sadly, I don’t live in Australia but that doesn’t mean I can’t admire these gorgeous boots! Having big calves as well, I have yet to find a pair of boots that fits the way they’re supposed to. I think your latest addition is swoon-worthy!

  7. Lilli, what’s your experience with the sizing? And did you get the calf size right the first time round? I’m always nervous about doing my own measurements!! xx

    1. Foot size is pretty generous, calf size is not.
      I’d recommend measuring BOTH legs because one’s usually a little bigger than the other. And take the measurement at the end of the day, and over a pair of socks, and you should be right 🙂

      1. Thanks Lilli – after measuring, reading the feedback and emailing their customer service centre, I ordered the last pair of Tilia in my size! Yay! They told me not to go a size up in the calf because this version was bigger in the ankles. Cross fingers! x

  8. Off topic, but Lilli, do you still wear Svoboda jeans? You used to swear by them. I never bought any, but kept them in the back of my mind.

    1. Hi,
      I bought two pairs of svoboda at Christmas and they are best jeans I’ve every had. Could not recommend them enough.
      I’m a pear shape and these fit at the waste better than any other. Not cheap, cheap, but not terribly expensive either with the exchange rate.

  9. Love your new brown boots!

    Thanks for the free shipping code, Lilli. I plan to take full advantage this weekend 🙂

    1. Quick question: I’m between UK sizes, do you tend to find DUO boots big, small or on size? Thanks 🙂

  10. Oh gah, I just bought a pair last week, classic black flat ones for pregnant ladies in Winter…! I paid shipping, but I like when you take VAT off it’s almost like shipping is free… almost! Good work Lilli!

    1. Oh noes! I missed out too (didn’t occur to me to ask for the discount until AFTER I’d placed my own order… never mind!)
      Which ones did you get? The malmo?

  11. Just ordered my first pair! Very excited. Have been debating the order of boots for EVER. With the discounts it was $180 which is cheaper that most here!

    Let’s hope they fit. And I’m already thinking about pair two.

      1. I’ve ordered Avignon in brown. While I really wanted black, I couldn’t wait 6-8 weeks. They’ve already shipped, which is impressive.

        1. I bought Avignon in black last year, i’ve worn them constantly, they are extremely comfortable and still look like new!

  12. Ohh I was just thinking I would like a new pair of boots as my last ones were a bit sad and voila! your post.
    Well if Mister can buy every piece of vinyl on ebay, what’s a girl to do?

  13. I just snagged the last pair of Tamora in calf size 48. 😀

    I was meant to be ordering a black pair, but none of them in my size had the nice details of the Tamora.

    1. Oh, the Tamora are lovely! The triple buckles are a nice touch.
      I’ve been thinking maybe I should get another pair of black boots too – I’ve got my eye on the Malmo 🙂

  14. Thanks for sharing the code Lilli! I have recently placed an order but they won’t be delivered until June. I have emailed them to see if they will add the discount code. They may not but it was worth trying. Might even look for a second pair….

      1. June I know… I ordered the Bern, I love the tan colour and as I am a shorty needed the shorter length boots. I just hope they fit ok when they arrive after waiting so long. They replied to my email straight away and agreed to refund the shipping! I was so impressed! Thanks again for sharing the code Lilli!

  15. Looking gorgeous there! I’ve got Horatio tooooooo! I nearly keeled over when I went into thei Edinburgh shop and saw them… had been looking for “flat enough to walk around in all day but not horsey” boots for so long and POW, there they were 🙂

  16. Great plug for DUO! I hear a lot of good things about them.
    Love them in theory, because my legs are a bit like yours and I’m only 5’2″. That means that though I don’t have thick ankles, the calf muscle starts low down and a lot of boots are cut in through the ankle, meaning I never got as far as finding out if they fit in the calves because the zip wouldn’t even close over my ankles. Add broad feet, ugh, never going to find boots – my best bet was pull-ons. (I take a 37/38 and my calf measurement is 45 cm).
    Then I went to England on holiday (I live in Switzerland) and found that Evans sold wider calf boots – heaven! For only £80 I got a pair of tall black leather riding boots that are now 4 years old and still looking good despite heavy wear.
    Wanting to find more boots, I then found DUO online. I ordered two pairs but had to send them back. I’d measured my calves generously but see above – not only was it a squash in the ankles, the foot was also quite narrow (they had heels) and the calf was too small. Then they gape round the knee, which looks silly. Three times I had boots and sent them back. Unfortunately, I had to pay not only shipping and returns but also customs duty – more than made up for the deduction of VAT, sadly. After I’d spent CHF 360 on shipping, returns and customs, I kept the last pair of boots in a size larger than I usually wear but so far have not been able to wear them, despite numerous hopeful tries at regular intervals to get them on. With a bit of luck they might fit if I lose 15 kg and it goes from my legs and feet… Now I am reluctant to try again, though I am salivating at your most recent pair, wow, they ARE nice 😉

    1. Oh, that’s frustrating, MelD – Maybe next time you’re looking for boots you should check out Boots For Broads (
      They get you to send them the measurements of your leg every 5cm’s along, rather than just fitting a calf width. I’ve got two pairs of my own and the women who run the store are LOVELY.

  17. Wow, thank you sooo much! I have been procrastinating for the past few weeks about getting another pair and this is a great incentive. I decided to get the Malmo again. I’d previously bought them in November when I was in the uk, but after 2 months traipsing through europe wearing them every day they are a bit worse for wear and stretched out. I’ve decided to size down in the calf because they were a bit generous anyway. Seriously the most comfortble boots ever and super stylish! Saved my tootsies many a time in the freezing snow! Thanks again!

  18. Thank you so much for the free shipping code.
    Ive ummmmed and ahhhed about new boots for weeks…..and all that Ive tried have been disappointing….and I related so well to your description of the sales assistant puffing and panting and trying to squeeze left over calf into a boot…lol
    Ive finally bitten the bullet and ordered a pair of Bern in tan……cant wait for them to arrive.
    Thanks again… was just the push I needed this morning.
    Mardi x

  19. I have been looking at Duo boots for ages and decided to take the plunge when you posted the code. I ordered the Bern in tan Friday night Australian time and they arrived this afternoon (Monday)!! They are perfect and I am in love and seriously considering another pair. It is good they are not a really high shaft as I am only 5ft so they finish about 2in below my knee which is just what I wanted. Thanks Lilli!

  20. Just wanted to thank you for the post and for the free postage! 2 boots winging their way to me now! Only trepidation is I didn’t size up in the calf … should have read the comments first! Fingers crossed that they are fine still.

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