Fall in...into boots and step out in the footwear fad that's kicking up its heels in high style this year. From sophisticated ankle boots to rugged motorcycle boots to leggy thigh highs, boots have marched right into our wardrobes and they are here to stay. There really is a pair of boots for every day, for every party...even for every rainstorm.
Here's how to get off on the right foot this fall with the latest boot trends:
—A pair of ankle boots is a basic. Ankle boots have become a go-to in our shoe closets, easy to slip on and off (or zip up) and wear with skinny jeans or short skirts and tights. The ankle boots this fall sport lots of hardware, edgy straps and embellished details like tassels, pompoms, fringe and buckles. For rock star chic, try a pair of Chelsea-inspired "Beatle" boots with a pointy toe in patent leather. If you already own a black leather pair, opt for a softer suede version in the season's newest neutral — caramel.
—Update with midi boots. If you like the look of ankle boots, then you'll love the new "midi" boots that come up a little higher on the leg and hit around mid-calf. These boots are best with the new chunky block heels and retro details: Victorian lace-up ties, velvety or brocade textures or graphic embroidery. Midi boots complement many of the season's newest silhouettes and can go from fun to funky. Try them on with cropped flare pants or culottes to anchor fall's fuller proportions.
—Get high on boots. If you thought you couldn't wear knee-high or even thigh-high boots, think again. The tight-fitting equestrian styles of the past have morphed into lots of possibilities from boots with forgiving panels of leather and suede combined with elasticized panels that provide a comfortable fit for all shapes and sizes. The "mixed media" effect is perfect for these substantial boots. Think tweed with patent leather; suede with rubber, quilted nylon with reptile skins. These boots get even taller with higher heels, whether they are wedges, stiletto or block styles. Take your pick, or stick to flat heels.
Don't ever feel like you have to stuff your legs into any of these boots. (That is one advantage of ankle boots.) Instead, think about how you will wear taller boots the most — layered over leggings or jeans or teamed with skirts and dresses. Take the time to shop for a well-fitting pair. There is a lot of drama to these boots. Choose a great pair and make the most of them.
—Get in on a new trend with shooties. The shoe and boot come together for an ultramodern look that combines the best of a shoe with the look of an ankle boot. Just in time for the holidays, these new shooties will amp up the style factor of any festive outfit. There are cut-out caged shoe boots, open toe peep toes, sling-back platforms and more. This is fall's equivalent of the sandal, but pumped up with much more volume. Go with spikey stilettos for even more party pizzazz.
—Get a little practical style. If hiking around campus every day or taking a tour of the fall leaves is more the way you spend your time, then there are plenty of ways to reboot your wardrobe, too. The high-top sneaker boot is a casual, yet sturdy way to tread through cold weather. Top it off with fur or shearling and you've got warmth as well. Rubber rain boots or duck boots are must-haves during slushy winter days, and you no longer have to sacrifice style with these either. And if you really want to add a punkish charm to your boot wardrobe, add a pair of motorcycle boots complete with lug soles. Remember, special boots will be all you need to give your whole outfit a whole new personality.(SET CAPTION) Midi boots embellished with graphic embroidery complement fall's shorter skirts and skinny jeans. "Bojana" bootie from Rebecca Minkoff (www.rebeccaminkoff.com).(END CAPTION)
To find out more about Sharon Mosley, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.