Although over-the-knee boots were never out, per se, I’m so happy to see them back in with a vengeance. Fall 2013 runways were dominated by the dominating style; paired with everything from super-short skirts to long and skinny jeans, over-the-knee boots are once again the trend du jour.
I’ve long had a love affair with the look; back in 2011, I searched high and low for the perfect leather pair that encapsulated the trend while exuding understated elegance. And I found a match made in heaven with a pair of soft, supple Browns Couture boots which only set me back $498. Now before you roll your eyes at this shopaholic, #4 on my fashion board below is the exact pair I purchased (pictured in brown). Hence, it can only be called a timeless and wise investment when the style is brought back two years after its introduction. Pictured right, you can see me showing off the boots at the Fashion Forward Conference in New York City.
Alas, fashion is fickle, and I retired the boots last year for fear that the trend was waning slightly. However, as soon as the Fall Fashion Reports began circulating, I knew they would once again find heavy rotation in my wardrobe this season. Viva la over-the-knee boot!
Of course, whenever I wear my beloved boots, I normally garner two distinct reactions: (1) “I love your boots!” and (2) “I could never pull them off.”
And today, I’m here to tell you YES YOU CAN. Over-the-knee boots are a very wearable trend; you simply need to keep a few things in mind when selecting the perfect pair. Here are my 3 best tips for finding the perfect boot:
1. Be mindful of your materials. Soft, muted leather is sexy; shiny, patent leather is a Pretty Woman flashback – and a definite faux pas. To ensure that the boots complement your wardrobe (rather than stealing all the attention), choose a dark hue with minimal embellishments and understated detailing. I prefer a classic black leather myself, but I’m also partial to black suede or fabric/suede mixed media (#5 below).
2. Keep to flats. There are very few people who can pull off an over-the-knee boot with a high heel. Unless you’re Jennifer Lopez on your latest promotional tour, you *may* look like a street walker, just keepin’ it real. There’s a reason why 90% of over-the-knee boots feature a 1.5-inch heel; it’s all about balance and structure. If you do choose a tall boot with a heel (#2 below), be sure that the styling is of utmost quality and craftsmanship (designer level) or the boots will look cheap.
3. Get out your ruler. Over-the-knee boots are designed for women 5’4″ or taller. A shorter leg makes it harder to pull off the style with the intended panache; if you’re on the shorter side, stick to knee-high boots. However, if you’re set on rocking the trend (and contrary to my advice above), go for a style with a high heel to help elongate your leg and balance out the boot-to-body ratio. Keep it classy with a hidden wedge pictured in #6 below.
My very favourite affordable and wearable looks for the season:
1. Steve Madden, $190; 2. Coach “Dalla”, $625; 3. Betsey Johnson, $250; 4. Browns Couture, $498; 5. Marc Fisher, $200; 6. Stuart Weitzman “Demiswoon”, $650; 7. Call It Spring “Zahavah”, $98; 8. ALDO “Kudela”, $200; 9. Nine West “Niteracer”, $285; 10.Chinese Laundry, $99. Tell me – are you over the moon about over-the-knee boots?
ok…… I will take one of each please lol *drool* I have such a weakness for boots and these are all gorgeous! Thanks for the tips on how to wear over the knee boots!
You’re very welcome Anne! Love them all too…
Ooh so S&M of you! lol! No really, I love your boots too :D
I have a slightly different look to my knee high boots – thick heel and lace up. More grunge rocker style but fun!
Hahaha not nearly 50 Shades :) Love the thick heel and lace up look too :)
I’ve been on the search for an affordable pair online for a few weeks, I just don’t know if I’ll find a pair to fit my fat calves. I’ll have to check out the Chinese Laundry pair, I like those!
LOL Shauna your calves are not fat. And yes, I love the CL pair too – and they’re very affordable!
Haha, maybe ‘full figured’ is a better word! After a few failed attempts, I ended up at Addition Elle today where I found an affordable pair of slouched boots that I absolutely love!
So happy to hear!
Judy C (Cowan)
Some nice looking boots. I have always been a short boot type of girl so this style is not for me, but it looks great if you can pull it off!
I think it takes a certain attitude to pull them off!
Love the stud embellishment on #3 :o) I used to wear them (many many moons ago) and loved the look. Now I would definitely have to go try a pair to see if I could even get them on (usually I need zippers on my taller boots, my feet don’t bend as well as they used to).
I think knee-high boots are a great take on the trend too!
Chandra Christine O'Connor
I like number 4 and number nine
Good picks Chandra!
Love #6. not affordable for me though :(
I think everyone loves #6 :)
I pick #6 only to look at prices and gee, I always pick the priciest one!!
Hahaha that just means you have exquisite taste!
Wow, those are some HOT boots! I was going to point out some favourites… but I love them all! Unfortunately I am one of those people who are too short to pull off this trend :( I have a pair that can be worn over the knee or folded down… I haven’t gotten up the courage to wear them over the knee yet, as I do find they are not the most flattering that way on me! Thanks for the eye candy though! :)
I love that your boots can easily fold down. Try the look with leggings first, you may surprise yourself!
The Coach and Stuart Weitzman are my faves. Love this trend, and on a search for the perfect pair for myself!
Happy shopping Holly!
One of each would be the best :)
Love the way you think, Doreen!
Gorgeous indeed! I really love the look – but have trouble pulling it off as I’m a shorty and the boots tend to make me look shorter!
Maybe try a knee-high with a heel, Soozle!
I love the over the knee look but I have short legs and it just looks weird
You need to heed my advice for Soozle :)
Emily Smith // The Best of this Life
Oh, I love over the knee boots! Those Chinese Laundry’s are cute + affordable!
I agree Emily!
I so wish that I could wear this style. I just find that being short makes me feel like the boots are wearing me!
That’s often not just a feeling – but reality. Just find the right pair for you!
I am loving the Nine West “Niteracer”, totally doable without heels!
Agree! One of my faves!
OK I have to admit I have never been one for knee high or over the knee boots. I have never had a pair and doubt I will. Sorry!
Not at all! That’s the great thing about fashion – you choose what works for you!
Totally over the moon and I have so many over the knee boots, it’s embarrassing. I am guilty of wearing high-heeled OTK boots, but in my defense, I’m incredibly short!
But see? OTK boots with heels ONLY really work if you’re short, so good for you!
I love boots… they’re one of my favourite parts of the weather turning colder!
Me too :) That and the warm winter coats!
I invested in a pair from Michael Kors. A gorgeous grey python print, that I know I’ll love for years to come. They really do vamp up any outfit! I like your pics as well, especially number 3! I’ve been dying for that pair for some time.
Yep – the Betsey Johnson boots make quite a statement. Happy to hear you invested in MK!
Love these!! I want a new pair of over the knees I love my ankle boots.
I love both looks!
i love these boots
I love tall boots but I’m definitely too short for over the knee styles. I’d look like I was wearing leather chaps! Lol!
Those boots are so nice and i bet their so comfy,wish they were hot every season.
Those are all great tips and with Fall just around the corner it’s time to start looking for the perfect pair !
Debbie White Beattie
I love the over the knee boots as well as the knee high boots but they’re so beautiful to look at whether on on sitting on the floor. Can you tell that I love footwear, whether boots, heels or flats