Fashion

Published on February 6th, 2014 | by beauty international

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Ankle boots vs. knee high boots

No winter wardrobe is complete without a new pair of boots; and while the ankle boot might have reigned supreme for many seasons now, this winter the knee boot is back, and it’s better than ever. Fashion designers seemed to have something of an obsession with boots for autumn/winter 2013, from Tom Ford’s thigh high embellished stilettos to the grungy studded ankle boots at Saint Laurent, there’s something for everyone this season. So which camp will you find yourself in: the ankle boot or the knee boot?

Ankle Boots

Ankle boots have been wildly popular for years now, with Isabel Marant’s iconic ‘Dicker’ boot and Acne’s ‘Pistol’ version selling out and being re-released season after season. It’s not hard to see why this particular style has become a winter wardrobe must-have: ankle boots suit every body shape, can be worn with practically any outfit, and the wide range of styles available means you can find a pair for practically any occasion too.

There are a few pointers to take note of if you’re stepping into ankle boot territory, though. Ankle boots cut your leg off at the ankle, which can make your legs look shorter; if you have shorter legs, make sure you wear a pair with a heel, and match with jeans, leggings or tights of the same colour to elongate your legs. Similarly, wear ankle boots with skirts and dresses that stop above your knees, since the less leg you have on show, the shorter they look. Wear with form-fitting skinny jeans, too – but if you opt for looser-fit jeans, roll the cuffs a couple of time to reveal the top of the boot and flash a slither of ankle.

image left: Isabel Marant; right: Saint Laurent (both from style.com)

image left: Isabel Marant; right: Saint Laurent (both from style.com)

Isabel Marant seems to produce a new pair of super chic boots every autumn/winter, and this season was no exception. Her sleek wedged ankle boots are an evolution of last season’s wedged sneakers, and combine the best of style and comfort. You can wear these with basically anything; the heel adds length and slims your leg, but the wedge means they’re still easy to walk in and practical enough for everyday wear. They look great with super short mini skirts and tight skinny jeans, as seen on the Marant runway girls.

We’re loving the grunge trend this season; we like to channel our inner tough girls for a change! Heidi Slimane’s autumn/winter 2013 collection for Saint Laurent epitomised this look perfectly for us – it was all about the tartan dresses, mohair jumpers and devil-may-care look. His buckled ankle boots shot straight to the top of our winter wish lists as the perfect pair of grungy biker boots. Pair with ripped skinny jeans and a slogan jumper to completely embody the trend – or use them to add a little edge to flirty, feminine dresses.

The Knee-High Boot

Knee-high and over-the-knee style boots seem to have been forgotten in favour of their shorter cousins for years – but this season they’re back with a vengeance. Like ankle boots, knee-high boots look great on every body type and can be worn with practically every outfit. They often look more sophisticated than ankle boots, making an outfit of skinny jeans and cosy sweater look polished; even leggings look more elegant when paired with knee-high boots.

While knee-high boots often elongate legs to make them look longer and slimmer, avoid details such as straps or buckles if you have shorter legs, since these horizontal features could make your legs appear shorter. And remember the golden rule of knee-high boots: heels dress up an outfit, while flats make it look more casual.

image left: Ralph Lauren; right: Prabal Gurung (both from style.com)

image left: Ralph Lauren; right: Prabal Gurung (both from style.com)

If you’re looking for a classic pair of knee-high boots, you’d do worse than look to the elegant riding boots at 3.1 Phillip Lim and Ralph Lauren’s autumn/winter 2013 collections. These were beautiful, structured knee-high riding boots with just a slight slouch for a modern take on the classic footwear choice. A completely versatile pair of boots that will slide seamlessly into your current wardrobe: pair with skinny jeans and a cosy coat for instant on-the-go style, or a pleated skirt and chunky cable-knit sweater for a more preppy take.

If you’re after a more adventurous footwear choice, look to Prabal Gurung and Salvatore Ferragamo’s amazing cut-out knee-high boots. The cut-outs, strapping and buckles on Gurung’s boots look like a cross between bondage wear and the greaves worn as part of Roman soldiers’ armour – definitely not a pair for the faint-hearted! Temper the sexiness of these boots by wearing with a more covered-up outfit: pile on your winter woollies and make use of that oversized coat.

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