Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cheryl Shops Fall Shopping Guide: Over-the-Knee Boots

With hemlines showing no signs of lowering and designers even embracing the scary no-pants look, there is only one rational solution: over-the-knee boots. I've already seen several pairs out and about in the streets of NYC, and while there are many options out there, the boots I'm after are the ones closer to styles seen on the runway. My criteria: They must have a heel, they must hit above the top of the kneecap, and they must be fitted around the top (no notches or angled cuffs). Of course, this is not a look for everyone; long, thin, toned legs are a plus. But with a well-constructed pair that fits properly, you can at least create that illusion.

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These Sigerson Morrison boots are suede, which does not reflect light like leather does, and that, coupled with the fact that they have stretch, make them perfect for those with thicker legs. (If, like me, you have bony ankles, stay away.) The elastic around the top will keep them in place, and the three-inch heel is definitely manageable.


These Contente boots by Christian Louboutin are definitely an investment, but they're so well engineered, they don't even need zippers, stretch, or any whistles and bells to stay up. They also get bonus points for coming up the highest of any pair featured here, making them perfect for wearing with even your shortest dress.


Like the Sigerson Morrison boots above, these Barbara Bui boots are suede, but unlike the Sigerson Morrisons, they have both an inner zipper, for those who aren't into allover stretch, as well as a hidden platform to add just a little bit more height. (The heel, however, appears just as sturdy.)


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Stuart Weitzman is probably best known for creating comfortable yet stylish shoes for women of a certain age; in the past I've found them a bit too conservative for my taste. Lately, he's trying to appeal to his core customer's daughter (without alienating Mom, of course), which, if you ask me, is a very welcome development. Boots like his suede square-toe platform style are a bargain for the price; I inspected these in person and can vouch that they're soft yet structured, and there's ample padding in the footbed--all the benefits of a mature boot with all the style of a young one. (They're also available in leather, if you prefer.)


I can also vouch for Joie's Twiggy boots, having seen them up close and in person. Joie's footwear is only a few seasons old, but it's quickly becoming a go-to brand for me; the shoes tend to be a bit more classic the very L.A.-girl bohemian clothes. This pair relies on a hidden elastic gore for the perfect fit.


For the best bang for your buck, I advocate the Britany2 boots from Topshop. They have a superslim fit, with a short inside zipper to help your foot can squeeze in. The platform and high heel are very runway-worthy, and while they don't go quite as high as the Louboutins above, they're pretty close.


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Now, you may be thinking, "I don't know about knee-high boots. I'm just going to buy a cheap pair for now." (Or, let's say you don't wear leather.) I'm going to show the customary bargain styles here, but be forewarned, they're synthetic, which means your legs are going to sweat. And then they're going to smell. So, if you must, please wear cotton socks. That said, the shape of Dollhouse's Chrie boots is pretty decent, and they have an elastic gusset for a snug fit.


These Chinese Laundry Kingdom boots are a bit on the shiny side, but they're stretchy, which, again, is good if you have more muscular legs. Also, I've had a pair of Chinese Laundry boots for nearly 10 years (they're leather), and not only are they comfortable, but they've held up incredibly well with occasional re-soling.


Finally, these Charlotte Russe boots are ridiculously cheap, but at least the way they're photographed, they look much more expensive. They even feature a hidden platform, a side zipper, and a padded footbed. All this for $45, and that explains why they're nearly sold out. If you're looking for a cheap-chic take on the trend, however, you can't lose with this pair.

1 comment:

Lauren said...

I really love those Chinese Laundry boots, they just opened up a store in Vegas I think I'll go investigate!