You’ll find at least one pair of ankle boots in every woman’s wardrobe. Just like a white T-shirt, they are seasonless, versatile and ageless. Depending on the style, you can pair them just as easily with jeans and a sweater for a casual fall look as with a blazer for work or even with a lovely dress for those days when you feel to add a high-fashion twist to your look. The trick is finding one that will suit your needs.
Style matters, walkability too
You might think that at the age of 50 and counting, it would be better to stay away from fancy ankle boots as your feet would probably hurt after a long day spent with them on. But nowadays most of them are well-engineered. Search for low wide heels or comfortable wedge styles if you have broad or sensitive feet and never dismiss helpful features such as durable materials, generous fits, cushioned footbeds, arch support, soft interior lining.
However, don’t let your sense of style be put off by these issues and don’t fall for the usual basic black all-rounders. Midlife is the right time to hunt for a pair that you’ve never even considered before to turn the clock back, shaking up your look, and making you feel like an ’80s pop queen (do you know that the slouchy ankle boots are trendy again?).
Usually, tight black booties that hit higher up on the ankle with slightly cropped, wide-leg jeans are considered a no-brainer combo, a way to feel at ease when you’re just not sure what to pair them with. But how about styling a classic floral or dark coloured dress with a bright pair of ankle boots to give your look that extra boost or simply play with texture by mixing a turtleneck and velvet skirt with studded booties? Of course, a less chunky, more minimalist style can flatter any legs but it wouldn’t be bad to update your look once in a while experimenting with new styles.
However, before you head for the shops, know that spending a little more on your boot of choice is likely to pay off in the long run. “Put your money toward the ones that you can keep wearing. Buying things that you know are going to last is how you end up owning a piece that later on becomes vintage,” says style coach Leena Alsulaiman.
Targeting your boot game
No matter what look you choose, when thinking about how to wear ankle boots, there are few things to keep in mind.
Many women fail to go beyond the height and the style of the heel without considering the shape of the toes (pointed ones might be tricky to wear but they elongate legs for sure), the boot line, as well as the width of their own ankles.
For instance, everyone knows mid to high heels will elongate legs, but not everyone might be aware that slim, kitten or stiletto ones often look a little squashed on women who are pear-shaped. In this case, a chunky, block heel will be much more flattering. Also, stay away from a pair of wide-cut booties if you have very slim ankles as it may highlight your narrow ones ending up looking quite bulky on you, especially if you’re wearing them with dresses or skirts.
What’s more, if you want your legs to look slim, the point at which the top of the ankle boots stops is crucial. Basically, as the bootie hemlines draw an imaginary line on your legs, choosing a pair that highlights the area where they are narrower will do the trick. As a rule of thumb, when it comes to longer dresses, skirts or pants, you’re going to want to see a bit of skin above the top of your boot. Too short and the proportion becomes awkward (unless of course, you’re teaming your boot with a mini).
Whether this season you opt for a classic pair of ankle boots with a slim heel and subtly pointed toe, some combats with a hint of hardware and a downtown vibe or a good suede casual and cool boho booties, choose wisely. Comfort should always come first.