Fall/Winter 2014 Style Report: Over the Knee Boots

Does your shoe wardrobe need a little update this winter? Look no further than the over the knee boot – this season it’s elegant, not trashy.

For many seasons now the ankle boot has been reigning supreme as the ultimate winter footwear choice: but now the over the knee boot is back, and it’s better than ever. We’ve placed over the knee boots and knee high boots right at the top of our most-wanted Christmas lists due to their versatility and elegance.

That’s right – no Pretty Woman-style fashion faux pas here. Hollywood, by way of Julia Roberts’ character, may have helped place black patent over the knee boots firmly in the fashion trash can, but we’re here to bring them back. Find the right height and proportion for you; stay away from overly sexy boots made of shiny material, and boots that look too much like a 90s throwback with stretchy, spandex legs and you’ll be choosing a worthwhile, hard-working investment for your wardrobe.

Over the knee boots are perfect for toughening up flirty, feminine skirts and dresses, or pairing with skinny jeans and a chunky sweater for a casual downtime weekend look. Take a look at our favorite versions, and we promise you’ll fall in love too…

Fall/Winter 2014 Style Report: Over the Knee Boots

# Minimalist

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From looking at the runway pictures it’s kind of hard to tell whether they’re boots or leggings, but we can confirm that these Phoebe Philo creations are fabulous second-skin leather over the knee boots. You might need a little help from a friend (and a liberal sprinkling of talcum powder) to squeeze these on, but once you’re there the snug fit will make them look and feel like your favorite pair of leather leggings. Wear with knee length skirts and dresses like the Céline models for a more subtle, conservative look, or flash an inch of thigh by wearing a mini skirt for a sexier take.

# Punk

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The punk aesthetic is one of the most popular trends to have filtered down from the Fall/Winter 2013 runways to retail and the streets, but it can be a tricky one to pull off without looking like a teenager or a groupie. This is where Chanel’s stud- and chain-embellished boots come into their own: teamed with elegant skater dresses and the fashion house’s signature bouclé tweed jackets and coats, the punkish footwear is tempered by more conservative clothing. These biker boot-over the knee hybrids will add a tough girl edge to flirty flared skirts à la Chanel, but would do wonders for dressing up a comfy jeans and sweater outfit for a lazy weekend look.

# Cut Out

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For a rather more adventurous take on the over the knee boot trend, try taking a pair of cut out boots for a spin. The versions at BCBG Max Azria, Salvatore Ferragamo and 3.1 Phillip Lim were essentially shoes with a boot extension creeping up to the knees; it was at Prabal Gurung where we saw the most statement-making cut out boot. The cut outs, straps and buckles brought to mind bondage wear, or the greaves worn by Roman soldiers, for a strangely intriguing fetish-meets-military twist: choose these boots if you want to stand out from the crowd. Temper the overt sexiness of the cut out over the knee boot by pairing with a more covered-up outfit – this would be a great match for the oversized coat trend.

# Classic

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If you’re unsure about how a pair of over the knee boots might fit into your wardrobe, or are keen on making an investment purchase rather than buying into a particular trend, a twist on the classic riding boot might be the option for you. At 3.1 Phillip Lim and Ralph Lauren, structured knee high riding boots with a slight slouch were among the footwear highlights. Choose a well-made pair with a luxurious sheen to them – steer clear of patent – and a chunky or flat heel to keep them looking modern. They’ll be a versatile addition to your closet: pair with skinny jeans and an oversized coat to battle the elements, or a pleated mini skirt and chunky sweater for a more preppy take.

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