STEP­PING UP: BOOTS

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Style -

In a sea­son of ex­tremes, which way will you go?

Last year I made a clever pur­chase: a pair of fit­ted black Gian­vito Rossi an­kle boots that curved se­duc­tively be­low the an­kle. I could wear the pen­cil-heeled boots all day, no prob­lem. They worked with ev­ery­thing – skirts, skinny jeans, tights, no tights – and quickly be­came a wardrobe sta­ple.

But this Au­tumn, there’s a new boot in town, and it looks like my for­mer go-to’s may get shelved. What’s dif­fer­ent about this sea­son’s boots? For one, most end inches above – in­stead of be­low – the an­kle. And many, like those at Cé­line, Chloé, and Her­mès, have a sturdy, stacked heel. In gen­eral, they just feel more sub­stan­tial; there’s noth­ing dainty or slyly sexy about them, which is ex­actly what makes them so great. The four-inch Cé­lines look like boots you could com­fort­ably (and grace­fully) stomp around in all day. (Four inches is my limit, so Chloé’s ver­sion hits the mark.)

While mostly ca­sual in feel, the way you wear them is not. You have to dress them up. Not a lot, but there’s some­thing about them that begs for a skirt or a dress. The new an­kle boots ground Au­tumn’s more ephemeral pieces, from the sheer em­broi­dered skirts at Givenchy to the cream swirly tulip ones at Cé­line, and pro­vide a thor­oughly mod­ern twist. Of course, the kind of skirt or dress you want to pair them with is up to you. “It doesn’t have to be long, but not a miniskirt,” says Jef­frey Kalin­sky, Nord­strom’s ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of de­signer mer­chan­dis­ing. “And no pants un­less they are cropped.”

Here’s the catch: There were no tights shown on the run­way with th­ese boots – not that there ever re­ally are tights on the run­way. But what tights do you wear with an ivory skirt and pale grey boots? You don’t. I like to think of my­self as be­ing a voice of rea­son when it comes to fash­ion. (When I see women in freez­ing weather in san­dals sans hose, I find it ridicu­lous.) Un­less you go for an all-black en­sem­ble, the only way I can imag­ine wear­ing the pale-boot-and-top combo is to shave your legs and in­vest in a cosy coat and some warm cashmere an­kle socks that don’t peek out over your boots. In other words, you’re go­ing to have to suck it up or move some­where more tem­per­ate.

If that sounds like too much of a com­mit­ment, there’s another, less ob­vi­ous but equally chic an­kle boot that you can run, jump, and kick around in: the jodhpur. Alexan­der Wang paired th­ese sleek flat boots with nar­row trousers at Ba­len­ci­aga, and Her­mès has a gor­geous ver­sion. Aside from work­ing well with nar­row trousers, jodh­purs go with dark denim, mak­ing them su­per ver­sa­tile and good for the weekend. (For those who don’t like to ac­cen­tu­ate their an­kles, there are plenty of note­wor­thy knee­high boots from Gucci, Marni, and more.)

I’ll prob­a­bly in­vest in both styles and wear them to death. Se­cretly I have a soft spot for the lace-up, stud­ded, mul­ti­strap, punkedup grunge boots Hedi Sli­mane did for Saint Lau­rent. They cer­tainly go against the grain of my un­der­stated wardrobe. Some­times even the most re­strained fash­ion­ista needs a touch of sar­to­rial kapow!

Her­mès Au­tumn/ Win­ter ’13

Ba­len­ci­aga Au­tumn/ Win­ter ’13 Cé­line Au­tumn/ Win­ter ’13 Bot­tega Venetta Au­tumn/ Win­ter ’13

Ch Chanel Au­tumn/Win­ter ’13

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