How to Wear the Over-the-Knee Boot
What started as a street style phenomenon initiated by A-list celebrities has turned into arguably, this seasons biggest footwear trend. Over-the-knee boots are the chicest shoes this winter. Not only will they provide extra leg coverage to keep you extra warm on those chilly winter days, their dramatic silhouette and endless styling possibilities make a definite statement to keep you on trend with ease. Want to add a little more edge to your work wear wardrobe? Try a pair of sleek black over-the-knee boots. Want to make that great new short skirt you just got more “work appropriate” ? Try a pair of grey suede flat OTKs. (That’s SS slang for “over-the-knee-boots” for those of you reading this way too early in the morning to catch that.)
Think you need to be a supermodel to pull of this trend? Think again. The streamline shape of this phenomenal footwear will make you look like you have legs for days! And with so many style variations to choose from, you are bound to find a pair that fits your workplace dress code. From velvet to mock reptile skin, and stiletto to block heels, there is a boot for you!
But, we get it. It can be tough to figure out how to style these salacious shoes for the workplace so you don’t end up looking all “Pretty Woman”. (Although nobody rocked the OTK like Julia!) To help you out, we’ve come up with a few styling tips and tricks, so you too can rock this season’s footwear trend in your office, classroom, studio, or wherever your career takes you!
- Heel Height
Over-the-knee boots tend to dominate your lower half, because they cover the majority of the leg. Thus, it is important to be careful about how you style them, so as not to make yourself appear shorter. For example, a long skirt with flat OTKs can make your legs look stumpy if you don’t have the Giselle Gene. When in doubt,, opt for a boot with a medium block heel, (use your judgment regarding the size) which will add extra height to help you lengthen your legs and appear taller while still being conservative enough for any workplace. (And to all you “shorties” out there… embrace it! Good things come in small packages!)
Another consideration when choosing your heel height is the other pieces you’ll be pairing them with and what is most appropriate in your work environment. To balance out a short skirt in a more conservative or even business casual workplace, opt for a short block heel or flat boot. The skirt length will balance out your proportions to prevent you from looking shorter. Do you get to be a bit more daring with your style choices? A higher heel can work with a shorter skirt in more casual environments (but use your judgment on exactly how high and how short…) and would look great worn over leather leggings or a pair of jeans.
- Fit & Style
To avoid a disheveled look, choose a pair that fits snuggly against your legs so as to prevent sagging. If you have wide calves a pair with a bit of stretch will fit perfectly, hugging all of your curves comfortably. In terms of length, find a pair that finishes at least an inch above the knee for a slimming effect. Steer away from lace-up over the knee boots, as theses aren’t exactly “work appropriate”. Instead, opt for a minimalist over-the-knee boot, keeping the statement classic and not overbearing.
- Color & Material
Say “NO” to pleather! (And patent leather, for that matter.) What your boots are made of play a major factor in determining if they are appropriate for work. With OTKs, it is best to stay away from cheaper materials like microsuede and low-quality faux leather. When it comes to what your boots are made of, a soft, supple leather or suede is best suited for the work environment. While yes, velvet is trendy; it’s best to play it safe and save that pair for weekends and nights out.
Although various color options are available, stick to black or neutrals like nude or tan for the workplace. Black is a great choice, particularly during the winter months, as it is professional and will provide a slimming effect, especially when paired with black tights. The color is flattering for all body types (call it the “LBB”- little black boot) and has the bonus of matching nearly every outfit. If your work environment allows for a bit more creativity “semi-neutrals” (i.e. colors that can work as a neutral but aren’t the usual cream, black, white, tan, etc.) like burgundy or navy could be the perfect complement to an ensemble.
So, you’ve found the perfect over-the-knee boot! Next, how do you style them for the office? We’ve pulled together some of our favorite styles to help you look your best, while staying office appropriate, rocking this seasons biggest footwear trend.
Paired with an Oversized Sweater
Paired with a Sweater Dress and Coat