[Trendzilla] Over-the-Knee Boots Are Not Over Yet

Over-the-Knee? Not Over Yet

All right, I tried ignoring it, but it’s not going away.

Over-the-knee boots started trickling in some two, three years ago, and surprisingly, they haven’t yet fallen by the wayside. In fact, they might still be around for a couple of more years.

Most of us are terrified of them—our minds automatically default to Pretty Woman when thinking of the flamboyant, eye-catching footwear.

So what’s the trick to mastering the over-the-knee boot without looking like a hooker with a heart of gold?

All the fashion houses have been featuring over-the-knee boots so over-the-knee they looked more like leather leggings than shoes, but sorry to say, people like you and me are probably not even close to being able to pull off the mile-high wonders by the likes of Balenciaga, Christian Louboutin, Maison Martin Margiela and Chloé. And who could forget those Chanels that Anne Hathaway wore post-makeover in 2006’s The Devil Wears Prada?

But we normal people with normal budgets have our own alternatives.

The first tip: With something so bold and unexpected as over-the-knee boots, look for a pair with a simpler design. Lay off the patent leather, laces, studs and strange colors. Look for a simple calfskin, suede and solid colors. In fact, I wouldn’t deviate from the typical blah spectrum of grays, browns and black. If you’re feeling adventurous, go for a textured leather, but I wouldn’t do much beyond that. Check out Stuart Weitzman’s flat Hilo Thigh High Suede Boots (shopbop.com, $625), which can be worn with everything from cut-offs to shift dresses.

The second question: Heeled or not? Flat boots are, in a sense, a “safer” option, but if you need height, try staying away from stiletto heels . . . you know, to avoid that whole hooker vibe. Look for a thicker heel that tapers down to keep the class factor up.

Gals with shorter legs needn’t apply—sorry. Height isn’t a requirement, but a proportional body is.

Last, pairing over-the-knee boots with the appropriate outfit just appears trickier than normal knee-highs. If height is a concern for you, make sure everything in your outfit is in the same color palette—you don’t want to create any visual cut-off points to make you look stumpier. Over-the-knees can even be work-friendly with opaque stockings and a skirt that hits mid-thigh or lower. Kate Moss was photographed wearing her black, suede over-the-knee boots with jeans, T-shirts, blazers and sweaters. Wear ’em with a floral chiffon dress for a breezier, hippie look. Wear ’em with a knee-length, tailored skirt for a more refined look. Be playful, and don’t be afraid to experiment . . . but also be prepared for a higher price tag than usual. A quality pair of boots is one of the easiest paths to, uh, not looking like a hooker.



All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >