Boot Camp: Chic Ways to Wear Western, Over-the-Knee or Winter Boots
Brisk weather is here, and we’re celebrating! Autumn’s chill means boot weather, and we love pulling out our favorites and buying new pairs as well. However, it may be a challenge to build an outfit around Western or over-the-knee styles, much less furry winter boots. Here are a few suggestions to spark some ideas.
Jeans make a natural pairing with western boots, on city streets, as well as in the barn. It’s easy to avoid the “just came from the stables” effect; a dark-wash jean in good repair creates a sophisticated image. Top with a blazer to give one impression, or a leather jacket to take the look in a different direction.
The more embellished your boots are—whether with conchos, inlay or other elements—the more likely you’ll want to show them off. Tucked-in slim jeans are perfect for that, and they give you a sleek silhouette. Even at their most plain, Western boots almost always have elaborate accent stitching, which is another factor in favor of tucking. A current trend is cuffing your jeans to reveal your boots. Consider giving it a try, to see if it fits with your personal style.
If skinny jeans aren’t the fit you prefer, boot-cut jeans are, of course, great to style with Western boots, especially if your denims are embroidered or otherwise embellished. Again, the darker the wash, the more polished your look. And because of the silhouette of bootcuts, they will balance a heavier sweater or scarf for a flattering effect.
The over-the-knee boot is the statement piece of the footwear world, and like most statement pieces, wearing it takes a little thought. That shouldn’t keep you from trying such a fun and sexy trend if you’re daring enough to give it a go.
Celebrities sport this boot with short skirts, but if going that bold isn’t your style, there are other options. Many fashionistas recommend lower hemlines that hit just below the top of the boot, or just above so that a hint of skin is visible. Or you can skip the skirt altogether, using the tuck-in technique with leggings and a tunic.
Let the material and heel height guide your choice of dressy or casual clothing. Leather and a heel generally lend a more classic feel, while flat heels or suede pair well with more casual apparel. Whichever direction you take, you absolutely can’t go wrong topping it with a stylish ruana.
For those of you who live in the north, this may be our toughest boot-styling challenge. Fashion boots are fine on dry pavement, but add snow or sleet and it’s time for the lug soles and (faux) fur lining. The more sole that touches the ground, the better balance you’ll maintain on treacherous paths. The extra traction and warmth do add some bulk. Some designers choose to make this a feature, emphasizing the silhouette of these boots by adding buckles, straps, faux fur and other details.
Most winter fashion inspiration found in catalogs and magazines center around leggings and skinny jeans, which are great for the ski-bunny look, casual and cute. Now’s the time to balance your silhouette by breaking out the chunky sweaters, faux fur vests or additional layers. And outdoors you can create that balance with a faux-fur jacket or a swing coat.
But what of those evenings when your plans require elegance, maybe even a little glam, and along comes an inconsiderate snowstorm? A snow boot with hidden wedge heel gives your height and ensemble a boost without sacrificing that all-important traction.
Most importantly, there are no hard-and-fast rules. All it takes is confidence to pull off pairing your boots with something unexpected. Use some of these suggestions as a springboard to your own unique pairings and flaunt your unique style!