Winter Boots: How to Wear High Shaft Booties

I mentioned in my post about Fall & Winter 2015 trends that booties with higher shafts are the fashionable choice, and will be trending strongly for a while. Note that a bootie with a higher shaft measures an inch or two above the ankle bone, so taller than regular ankle boots but not as tall as mid-calf boots. 

Booties with higher shafts can be paired with just about any outfit these days, the silhouette is that versatile. But there are four ways to wear them that are quite straightforward. 

Heeled With Cropped Jeans or Pants 

The cropped pants and jeans trend complements the high shaft bootie trend to perfection. Wear your booties higher and your bottoms shorter. Show a slither of skin between the booties and bottoms, or insulate the skin with a low contrast sock. Wear nude-for-you knee highs if you want to “show a slither of skin” but feel insulated, (my favourite bootie trick of all). 

Create a column of colour, or at least keep the contrast between the bottoms and the booties low to create a longer leg line. Feel free to create a high contrast between the bottoms and booties too. You might want to tuck the top to further elongate the leg line from the hips up in that case, but it’s not essential. These photos provide good visuals for the variations.

TOD'S Laser-cut Leather Ankle BootsSAM EDELMAN Edith Leopard-print Calf Hair Ankle Boots

JIMMY CHOO Mass Suede Ankle BootsNEWBARK Sabrina Snake-effect Leather Ankle Boots

Flat With Cropped Jeans or Pants 

Feel free to combine FLAT high shaft booties with cropped pants and jeans. Show a slither of skin between the booties and bottoms or insulate the skin with a low contrast sock. Visually, I prefer seeing a slither of leg skin, which can be insulted with nude knee highs. 

If you’re concerned with feeling short in the leg, keep the booties and bottoms the same colour as shown in the example on the left. Creating a shorter leg line with high contrast flat booties and jeans, as seen in the example on the right, can be offset by tucking the top which lengthens the leg line upward from the hips. 

ISABEL MARANT Roddy Leather-trimmed Suede Ankle BootsAQUAZZURA The Heilbrunner Shearling-trimmed Velvet Boots

With Mini Skirts 

Wear flat or heeled high shaft booties with a short skirt or dress. The short hemline on the skirt or dress lengthens the leg line upwards from the knee, offsetting the high vamp of the booties (and their lack of heel if you’ve chosen flats). Create an even longer leg line, as seen in the example on the right, by wearing a bootie that is low contrast against the skin tone.

RUPERT SANDERSON Hamilton Leather BootsSAM EDELMAN Louie Fringed Suede Ankle Boots

With Midi Skirts 

The proportions of midi and high shaft bootie are easier to achieve with a naturally long leg line, and/or high-heeled booties. Culottes work as well for the look when they are at the midi length. 

The vertical integrity of a column of colour combined with high shaft booties in the same colour — as seen in the example on the left below — creates a unified whole because there isn’t much space between the hemline of the skirt or dress and the top of the bootie. The eye is drawn up and down without a break because of the intense repetition of the colour. 

Conversely, the example on the right shows high shaft booties that are high contrast to the column of black, yet the result is as flattering. That’s because the booties are high heeled and low contrast to the models skin tone, which lengthens the leg line downwards from the calf.

SAM EDELMAN Bryton Leather Ankle BootsMAISON MARGIELA Glittered Leather Ankle Boots

Of course, these are merely guidelines that will get you started. There are countless other ways to incorporate high shaft booties into outfits that look just as fabulous. If you are stuck, feel free to ask questions in the comments section.

Updated Jeans and Footwear Refreshed My Casual Style

For me jeans are high wear quotient wardrobe workhorses, which is why I crave a change in silhouettes every four to five years. Refreshing my own denim capsule became an unexpected priority this year when I started to feel that my casual style was in a bit of a rut. Thanks to denim trends that tickled my fancy, I’m once again excited about jeans and awfully pleased with my new capsule. It feels GREAT to try something new.  

Looking back over the last 20 years, I have refreshed my denim style every four to five years. In the mid to late ‘90s and early ’00s I was in bootcuts, gauchos and straight legs. Five years later skinny jeans were back in fashion and for a few years I wore those or straight legs exclusively. Then it was on to boyfriend jeans, again complemented by straight legs. In March last year I bought a pair of dramatic flared jeans — the J Brand Love Storys — and that marked the start of my current denim phase.

This year, I’ve passed on my blue boyfriend jeans but kept the AG Nikki relaxed skinnies, just in case. I put an old pair of blue zippered skinnies back into rotation because they’re great with my mid-calf moto boots, which I wear when we take Yorkie Sam out on day trips, or when it’s raining cats and dogs. I continue to wear my white boyfriend jeans very frequently because they’re dressier and more streamlined than the blue. 

Over the last 18 months I’ve transitioned to a new jeans capsule with silhouettes that are much more sleek than before. Dressy full length flares, high-waisted cropped kick flares, high-waisted cropped skinnies, slim straight skimmers, and a pair of moto skinnies. I also shortened an old pair of white skinnies to ankle length to create a trendier silhouette. The new jeans have been in heavy rotation this year, and have been instrumental in refreshing my smart casual and casual style. 

Because of my complicated relationship with cropped pants, the cropped jeans silhouettes require very specific footwear to create proportions that I’m happy with. Thankfully I could shop my closet for ankle strap footwear and booties with higher shafts, which is the type of footwear that I like best with cropped pants and jeans. But this year I added a few extra pairs that work well with “high water” lengths. 

Refreshing your denim capsule often means that you need to refresh your footwear along with it. This can be costly so take one pair of jeans and shoes at a time, and relax into refreshing your capsules. I already had a good assortment of hot and cold weather footwear to wear with several of my new pairs of jeans, which kept my budget in check. I also took a few seasons to finalize the refresh. There is no need to rush the process! Road-test a few new-to-you jeans and footwear combinations before you purchase the next pairs, and enjoy the process. Hopefully you’ll have fun along the way too.

Fashion News Roundup: Week 41, 2015

Balenciaga appoints a new artistic director, Amazon is now selling homemade jewellery, Marisa Webb steps down at Banana Republic, and other style news that made the rounds this week.

Fun Fashion Fact

Did you know that false eyelashes became a common beauty tool in 1916 when film director D.W. Griffith wanted actress Seena Owen’s eyes to look “twice as large and supernatural” for the movie Intolerance. So he asked his wigmaker to glue a pair of eyelashes made from human hair onto Owen’s eyelids with spirit gum. Within a decade, false lashes became standard equipment for actresses and flappers.


Swimsuits & Accessories

A selection of one and two-piece swimsuits, and swimwear accessories

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Boho-Lite Items

Update your casual wardrobe with a few boho pieces for Spring and Summer.

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Mint Items

A selection of mint tops, bottoms, bags and footwear.

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Soft White Tops

A selection of soft white tops that work well as layering pieces, or worn on their own.

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A selection of dresses for a range of body types.

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Black, White & Pink

A selection of soft and comfortable pieces for dressy and casual occasions.

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Ensemble: Casual Mustard With Jeans

This ensemble was inspired by my clients who enjoy wearing mustard. They often combine mustard with blue to cool down the palette. Dark blue pieces like jeans and a coat are easy options because most people have one or both of these in their wardrobes. 

Think of any way to combine mustard with dark blue. Incorporate mustard in small or large doses. Here are the casual components of the outfit formula. 

Jeans: Choose a pair of dark blue jeans in a silhouette that tickles your fancy. 

Top: Choose a dark blue or mustard top in a solid or pattern. Wear it untucked over the jeans, or semi tucked if that’s your preference. I’ve chosen a mustard plaid shirt, a solid ink pullover, and cropped ink windowpane pullover. Create a column of colour with an ink top and add mustard accessories for a Mustard-Lite look. 

Topper: Choose a casual ink blue or mustard coat, cardigan, sweater coat or jacket. 

Footwear: Choose black, ink, cognac or mustard casual footwear that works with the jeans. I also threw in some forest green just for fun. 

Accessories: Choose a casual mustard bag if that’s the only way you’ll incorporate mustard into the outfit. Otherwise add a cognac, black, orange or burgundy bag. Forest green is fun too. A mustard scarf is another way to incorporate mustard. Add jewellery, eyewear, watch and headgear as desired. 

I haven’t included examples here, but mustard and dark blue also works well in dressier combinations for business casual. 

Ensemble: Casual Mustard With Jeans

Link Love: Fragrance Facts

“All-natural” perfumes rarely contain only natural ingredients, but The Guardian reports that “a growing number of independent perfumers are creating genuinely natural perfume, even if this means they have to make smaller, more personal products.”

Both Nivea and Weleda are branching out into the world of scents: Nivea is launching an eau de toilette in Germany and Austria, while Weleda is now selling a trio of fragrances under the name Eaux Naturelles Parfumées / Jardin de Vie.

I enjoyed this piece on Lyn Harris who, after establishing fragrance house Miller Harris in 2000, has now launched Perfumer H, a new niche brand that will offer bespoke services and bring out new collections twice a year.

Fab Links from Our Members

Annagybe thought that Tom Ford’s Spring/Summer 2016 music video featuring Lady Gaga was a pretty fun alternative to the traditional runway show.

Murpheleven came across this article about how entrepreunerial designers are coming up with fashionable ways to wear your activity tracker.

After reading this post on Five Challenging Fall Trends, Marlene asks: “Is a trend worth it if it requires a step-by-step work-around just to make it wearable?”

She was also happy to see that ModCloth is retiring the separate plus-size categorization for clothing.

Celia likes the on trend mix of colours and ladylike feel of this outfit.

Vildy enjoyed this conversation about clothes and the hidden anxieties of getting dressed.

Suz directs us to the REDress Project, a powerful aesthetic response to Canada’s missing and murdered aboriginal women.

Diane G would like to share this post from Catherine that provides food for thought on the ever thorny subject of age.

Sally shares a list of vendors and brands with sustainable, conscious, or worker-focused practices. Angie thought it was great to see Karen Kane, Eileen Fisher, Everlane, NYDJ, Bailey 44, Munro, Frye, ECCO, Stuart Weitzman, Rag & Bone and J.Brand on the list.