by Hallie McKay
Over-the-Knee & Thigh-High Boots
Stars were committed to style this season by sporting thigh-high boots in scorching temperatures. This leg-enveloping trend isn’t going to melt away with the heat, either. Last year’s hottest shoe continues it’s reign with artillery accents, rich leather, and laces from toe to hip. If you’re daring enough to sport these leggy looks, you’ll need to plan ahead. For a sleek, polished look, choose a long blazer that fully covers your hips and butt. The boots alone pack enough personality so opt for something simple on top. Last season, steep prices kept buyers away; however, this year you can find dozens of affordable options. Nine West, Restricted and Franco Sarto are all worthy alternatives and can be found at Piperlime.com.
Two-toned, solid, tasseled, wing-tipped—the variations are endless for this all-season, menswear-inspired trend. If you don’t already own a pair, you’re behind my friend. For work, the Oxford offers a refined and comfortable alternative to girly ballet flats or blistering high-heels. Smart dressing for the office is a cinch when you have shoes that perfectly complement every suit, skirt and dress. Make sure to stay away from pleats on skirts, though; when paired with oxfords the look can become too similar to a schoolgirl. For summer, a white or light colored oxford give summer dresses a casually cool look. Other laid-back options include high-waisted shorts and jean cut-offs. 3.1 Philip Lim, Joie and Steve Madden carry great versions of the flat oxford shoe.
Mule or Clog
Chunky wooden platforms inspire darling looks throughout the year, as clogs become an emerging trend for summer and fall. Although many designers showed the trending footwear, it was the simple styling of Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel who made the look translate from runway to real world. Clogs convey a folksy and whimsical vibe that is best suited for easy dressing with sundresses or twill trousers. For a tougher effect, pair clogs, like those from Jeffrey Campbell, with boyfriend jeans and a vintage tee. Make sure to roll up pant legs to expose the hard-edge leather and studded detail. Love them or hate them, their mere presence on the runway at Chanel ensures clogs will be around for at least the next few seasons. Other variations of Lagerfeld’s Dutch shoe include the sling back wedge from See by Chloe and the suede lace-up bootie from Marc by Marc Jacobs. Look for designs like these that you can enjoy now and later into colder weather.
Open Toe Booties
Open toe booties transcend seasonal demands with fashion-forward styles you can wear now and into fall. The heat index may be soaring, but you’ll have no problem showing off these boots that come in breathable fabrics and cut-out leather and suede designs. The platform peep-toe bootie is a bold addition to any ensemble and goes great with body con dresses or mini skirts. Other great peep-toe options look great in wedge versions like those at Joie. Wear these with long skirts or flowy summer frocks and you won’t have to worry about tripping. Once cool weather arrives, simply add socks or tights for warmth and a punch of color. Check out designs from Christian Louboutin, Acne and Elizabeth and James for a style that fits your sensibilities.
Boots are definitely all the rage, but this year short boots have gotten a lot of attention for their ability to go renegade, preppy or rustic. The uber-masculine motorcycle boot is a popular trend for fall, but can easily be worn now. Pair a white ruffled dress with tough rocker-inspired boots. The black leather and studded detail remix super-femme frocks for dangerously cute, cutting-edge looks. To get a look closer to Ralph Lauren, go for boots adorned with preppy details like double buckles, antiqued metal, and rich leather. A newer take on the riding boot, this equestrian look still keeps a worn-in vintage appeal when paired with a long blazer or skinny jeans. (Not to mention legs appear thinner tucked into the wide brim of these boots.) If it’s rugged and rustic you desire, opt for boots in distressed or faded leather and classic lines. The Deborah Shortie from Frye is an excellent choice for the woman who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty.
With so many designers turning out lines heavy in neutrals, you’ll need a shoe this season to amp up the excitement in your wardrobe. Shoes take on a whole new personality with bold color, fun prints, and texture details. Color can go a long way, and now is the perfect time to find vibrant hues to liven up your wardrobe. If you’re hesitant, start out subtle with rich jewel-tones that give you a touch of color without being too overbearing.
And there is more
Other ways to have fun include unexpected prints on shoes. Floral prints can be fun for spring and summer, but other patterns can be fun now and carry you into winter. Miu Miu’s microprints and Alexander Wang’s animal print are perfect examples of shoes that can give instant pizzaz to a simple ensemble. Finally, textural detailing such as gold or silver rivets on platforms, sequins, rhinestones, embroidery and even spikes along backs of heels can have infinite possibilities on an outfit. Look for these fun styles from designers Pour la Victoire, Badgley Mischka and Dolce Vita.
LOVE platforms! They give you the height without any discomfort. :)