Thursday, August 11, 2022

Winter boots have come a long way since I first searched for my own pair. Even cold-weather experts like Lands End have seen a need to add a touch of panache to their practical offerings and have made some of their utilitarian boots a drop more stylish. Boots, however, have their own place in the fashion spotlight even when not being worn to prevent slipping in the snow and wet toes. Just wearing boots with an outfit makes it look winter-ready.

Here are some boots and styles that can add a touch of winter to a wardrobe, even without the form and function necessary for a snow day.

White Boots

White boots can brighten up a look while still adding the look of a cold day. In addition, a light-colored skirt often looks incongruous when paired with black boots, making it a harsh contrast. Another popular style seen with white boots is to add a splash of color in the heel. “White boots can be a perfect transitional item,” said Mitzmann, referring to wardrobe pieces that bridge the fashion gap between seasons (see Jewish Link of New Jersey, August 9, 2018, “Transitional Fashion for Transitional Weather”). White boots are also an easy way to add elegance to your outfit. Maybe the assumption is that if you can keep white boots white, you must be an elegant person? Whatever the reason, they are stylish and chic. “Pair it with a slip-style skirt and a chunky knit and you look effortlessly high fashion,” recommended Mitzmann.

Metallic Boots

Metallic is in—the Fashion Link has said it for months, and quoted fashion experts as well as many vendors, and it holds true for boots as well. In fact, it’s more than in. To quote Derek Zoolander and his unique sense of style, “It’s so hot right now.” Because metallic shoes, and especially boots, are a statement in their own right, make sure to pair them with something muted such as a denim bottom or solid color, especially for day wear. “When I think of metallic boots I’d love to see them with something that incorporates a leather, be it a skirt or a dress with leather accents,” said Mitzmann. For evening and party outfits, there’s a little more wiggle room for pairing with something bolder, but try not to have too many busy pieces in your outfit.

Animal Prints

While animal prints started out as an edgy print, they have become quite standard in any fashion-related conversation about popular patterns. Generally cheetah, leopard and reptile prints make the top of the list but this fall has been seeing an increase in zebra patterns, and the trend carries over to boots, too. What makes these boots fun is that the bold black and white of zebra prints provide a stark contrast, but the pattern is also great with colors such as green and black or hot pink and black. “Zebra pattern can really go with anything, but I’d recommend having them complement a bold color, perhaps a jewel tone with some muted jewelry so the shoe is the center of attention,” Mitzmann recommended.

Retro Boots

Eighties and ’90s looks have returned, and boots are no exception. Slouch boots with pointy toes and skinny heels were popular in the ’80s and have come back, and can make you feel that big hair is just a season away. Combat boots, especially the popular ’90s icon Doc Martens, have also appeared in boot styles for fall and winter. With chunky boots and combat style, Mitzmann suggested complementing the look with a feminine style such as floral or a hi-lo skirt. “It’s fun to mix up masculine and feminine fashion, and is a trend that has been around for a long time,” she said. Other styles such as cowboy boots and bright solid colors evoke memories of styles of the past for stylish cold-weather foot gear.

Keep in mind that like many styles, these looks are not mutually exclusive. Retro Doc Marten combat boots may have a green and black zebra print pattern, or slouch boots with a glossy metallic finish might turn up in your favorite store and just beg to be bought. While these shoes may not be the most practical for an icy or snowy day, they will stylistically winterize a wardrobe for any ensemble.

By Jenny Gans

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