The right pair of boots is your wardrobe staple for fall and winter — and the choices available flatter every body and work for every event. Know yourself and shop for your best investment boots based on how they fit, how they look and where you’ll wear them. Different styles can mark you as fashion-savvy, and shaft heights can make you look taller — or chop you off unattractively.
Boot Yourself Up
Your shape is a clue about the best boots for you. Calf-height boots work for short-to-tall women, but delicious curves in a small package might not be the best combo for mid-calf boots. That length could make you seem chopped off and draw attention to a wide calf. Full-bodied women blessed with height are willowy in most boots but need a try-on and eval to see if over-the-knee showstoppers trim too much height. If you are short and thin, an ankle boot with leggings, tights or skinny jeans, and a noticeable heel creates a longer line. Knee-highs are go-to boots for every body type; invest in higher heels for dress, and use your flat-heeled boots for casual wear.
Short Shorts Plus
The bootie rules for day, night, dress and casual wear. Collect a few pairs for a versatile wardrobe, and round out your stash with ankle boots — grungy or glittery. Shoe booties in satin-and-lace with peep toes, rhinestone trim and a zipped heel cup are wedding-ready; a sleek charcoal suede and elastic wedge is a day-to-night gauge of cool style with a wrapped heel. Straps, buckles and shirred leather add interest to ankle boots — match tights to boot trim to look pulled together, leggings to boot color for longer, leaner legs. A stacked heel and a midsole platform give you better balance, all-day comfort and a heightened presence without the stress of a too-high, skinny heel.
Boots Made for Walking
The low- to mid-heeled, knee-high boot might be classic, as in riding; clunky, as in combat; or crystal-covered and sequined, as in spectacular. However fancy or utilitarian, you can walk a mile — or more — in those shoes, so wear them out by constant pairing with your entire wardrobe. Lower heels are a relief for aching feet, and knee-high is lengthening and slimming. The all-occasion boots will flatter your flirty dresses, short skirts, conservative suits, daily blue jeans, leg-hugging leather pants, moto jackets and chill-weather coats. Lace-ups with back zips let you customize the fit. Black is the default, tobacco is elegant, and a pattern or color signals your free-spirited side.
A polished, well-made, short leather boot goes to the office, the conference and the dinner party in style. Treat fine boots like a good pair of dress shoes with regular polishing, conditioning and repair. Black is all-purpose, and gleaming black leather peeping out from under a suit works for most occasions. On the weekend, chukkas, work boots, combats, hikers and desert boots are casual, comfortable and au courant. Look for good ankle support if you are active on rough terrain, lace-up combats for urban adventures, a mix of oiled leather and camo, or another patterned fabric for work boots that transition to trendy R & R after a tough day.
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