mini uggs chestnut Stepping out in fall’s best footwear
“Boots reflect the spirit of fall, and often serve to usher in the seasonal wardrobe change. After a summer spent in sandals, shoppers often can’t wait to embrace the cozy comfort of a favorite pair of boots,” said Mardi Larson, spokeswoman for Payless, the national shoe chain with a dozen stores in Macomb County.
This year’s offerings, no matter price or style, feel like heaven on earth. “This season a woman could own an entire wardrobe of boots. There are boots in every style imaginable,” said Gregg Andrews, a fashion director with Nordstrom.
Also called a bootie or a shootie, these baby boots are usually pointy toed, often brightly colored and end snugly at the ankle. Patent leather oxfords are a popular texture/style combo for these, also indicative of the menswear trend in apparel. Don’t treat these little jewels like any old shoe, though, hiding under a pair of boot cut jeans. Instead, flaunt the fabulousness, said Kara Birkenstock, an LA based stylist with DSW.
“They look great with textured leggings or colorful leggings or tights,” Birkenstock said.
Match hosiery to the boot for a long and lean look if you’re petite. “That can be extremely flattering,” Andrews said.
Not ready for the shootie? Also very fall are mid calf slouch boots. These are fun, comfy and relaxed, but still very fashionable. The heels are chunky and thick. Pair them with a floral skirt and tights or a good pair of pants for work, Birkenstock said.
Or, try classic riding boots very Jackie O, very chic and totally flat or with a very low heel. Wear with skinny jeans and a blazer or a cropped jacket, Birkenstock recommends.
And hippie chicks may fall in love with this year’s use of calfskin and fringe, both heeled and flat, high and low. It’s gypsy flair with Native American inspiration.
“They’re great for that person looking for something unique and special,” Andrews said.
These join the tried and true knee high leather and suede boot with the medium heel; shockingly sexy thigh high boots (wear with a mini skirt if you’ve got the legs);
and the everlasting UGG or a cold weather equivalent.
“This is something for every day,” Birkenstock said.
If you’re up for it, colorful rain boots in wild patterns are an everywhere trend, but Andrews prefers these utilitarian rubber boots for kids and tweens. Wear them proudly with jean skirts, long jeans or corduroys on a rainy day if you’ve got the confidence to pull it off.
Andrews is fond of the season’s wine and berry tones, because they go with typical wardrobe tones such as black, gray and tan. “The right color can almost act like a piece of jewelry. It can add color, detail and interest to an outfit,” he said.
Classic colors such as black, brown, tan and charcoal are back, but with a twist incorporated into a high shine patent leather, crinkled patent and in knit materials such as tweed. Taking a cue from practically every era, the boots are also accented with girly details such as bows, laces and buttons, as well as rocker friendly buckles and studs.
If you’re overwhelmed by choices, have a plan of attack before hitting the stores. “You have to know what you’re looking for comfort, style, everyday or a trend piece? Set a budget for yourself,” Birkenstock said.
Make note of brands you’ve had luck with before, then search for those at the store. Look at the style, details, heel height and fabric. “You understand what you need and what works for you,” she added.
When shopping for the quintessential knee high boot, pay attention to how the shaft of the boot fits your leg. For skinny calves, look for something that has a lean fit or adjustment such as a buckle or low drawstring for a “paper bag” effect, Andrews said. For a heavier leg, go with a stretch material or at least one with elastic inserts.
“Women should wear what they feel comfortable in,” said Larson, the Payless spokeswoman.
“It’s not necessary to force the latest trend if it doesn’t mesh well with their personal style. Anything goes as long as the wearer feels good and confident wearing it,
” she said.