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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Thigh High

If last fall's must-have footwear item was the ankle boot, this season's equivalent is the thigh high (or over-the-knee) boot. Eager to try out this trend, I've purchased two inexpensive pairs already - a flat pair in black faux leather, and a pair with a platform and 4" heel in black faux suede. After many hours of browsing various online stores to find the perfect pair, I've discovered a few key things about thigh high boots that I'd like to share.

Price points don't always dictate quality or the illusion of quality. I spotted a pair in faux suede with a high heel at a price upwards of $150 at an unnamed chain store which populates many American malls, and later found a very similar pair in leather at a British high street store for only $50 more. I don't know about you, but I'd gladly pay the extra $50 for the upgrade in materials. If you're on a tight budget, no worries. With the endless array of cheap chic footwear stores that can be found online, a decent looking pair in faux suede can be bought for under $30, and it will look more expensive than it really was.

Make it classy, not trashy. I think the trick to making the over-the-knee boot trend appear less Pretty Woman and more "pretty woman" is to pay attention to the details. For example, avoid cheap-looking shiny PU, patent leather, super pointy toe shapes, faux fur embellishments, and high, thin stilettoes. Go for a modern look with a thick heel, a slight platform, and an almond or rounded toe shape.

Too timid? Fake it. If you're not ready for a thigh high boot, why not play around with a simulated look by donning some knee or thigh high socks with pumps, ankle boots, or knee high boots? Choose socks in a matching hue as your footwear, and it will give the same effect as a pair of over the knee boots.

Be inventive with your legwear. When the weather cools down, it's the perfect time to have some fun with layering. For example, wearing chunky socks over patterned tights, layering two pairs of contrasting tights, etc. Not only will it look interesting with your boots, it will keep you warm!

Find your best fit. When it comes to fit, it's a personal preference. I like my thigh high boots to be snug around the calves and ever so slightly loose above the knee for optimal comfort. There are styles ranging from super fitted (like a pair of socks) to slouchy, fold over styles that can be worn in different ways. If you're going to wear the boots over jeans, or if you have curvy legs like me, then roomier styles may suit you better. Also consider how easily the boots will be to put on and take off. When shopping or trying on various styles, ask yourself if you want a full zipper, half zipper, or a pull-on style.