Boots. Where would we (or our poor feet and calves) be come fall and winter without them? Yet, despite our desperate need for their functionality, most of us are obsessed with them for their sheer style. This ironically mirrors the inception of boots into women’s fashion, which, in America, came around the second half of the 19th century. Boots were mainly used for utilitarian purposes — to protect the wearer from the elements of nature. “In the ancient world, boots served to underline associations with social status, political authority, and military power, and throughout the ages, the boot transitioned in style to accommodate functional use,” explains celebrity stylist, Amber Padilla.
It wasn’t until the 1960s when boots really appeared on the runways and in the fashion scene. “During the decade of mod style, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga got Vogue on board with their knee- and thigh-high boots, and by the 1970s, they became ubiquitous despite a continual pushback because of their casualness,” says Nicole Russo, stylist and founder of Let’s Get You.
I think we can all agree that, despite the ever-changing styles, boots have become a wardrobe staple. While the “bootie” has been front and center for the past few seasons, the boot is once again garnering attention with its many different styles, heights, colors, and textures. Keep scrolling for eight fall boots you’ll want to wear this season. Fashion meet function.
“Modern interpretations of western style have taken over the retail world,” says Russo. “Opt into an over-the-top boot with multi colors for a dramatic interpretation or for something more classic, an ankle from the OG of American cowboy boots, Frye, will do the trick.” Unless you’re confident keeping it fresh for today’s fashion landscape, she recommends against wearing classic cowboy boots.
This is a favorite of Chicago-based personal stylist Jenny Applegate, because the it is so reminiscent of the ‘70s and her style icon Mary Tyler Moore. “Block heels are easier to walk in because they distribute your weight more evenly, so you can wear them both to work and out on the weekends,” she says. “They can be worn over jeans, leggings or with dresses — just be careful when styling over jeans to not cause bunching at the knee, as this can look messy.”
“We saw this trend take off around the time Yeezy released the mid-calf sock boot a few seasons ago,” says Padilla. “Designers have released different takes on the style, but the cut at mid-calf has remained the same.” She suggests wearing this boot with a sheer or fishnet sock that’s just long enough to peek out at the top of your boot to add more depth to your look.
According to Applegate, slouchy boots are a very chic statement that will elevate any look as long as you invest in luxe leather or suede. “They look great with dresses and skirts of any length,” she says. “Don’t be afraid to wear this trend for casual occasions, to work or on evenings out.”
“With their rugged soles and snug ankle fit, combat boots give snow babies fashionable options while trudging through city living,” says Russo. “Play with juxtapose and pair back to lady-like dresses or pretty feminine details like lace and ruffles.”
Welcome to the jungle: Leopard, zebra, and snakeskin prints are all in for fall 2018, says Toni Ferrara, a celebrity stylist who’s dressed Kim Kardashian, Matthew McConaughey, and Kate Beckinsale. “I love a good leopard bootie because leopard print is timeless and chic,” she says. “Just keep your outfit monochromatic — one or two colors — to really amplify the print.”
ICYMI, the kitten heel is making a comeback, and for good reason: “This silhouette is completely practical for both professional and social events,” says Padilla. She recommends pairing a white pair with a super-chic and colorful pajama-inspired silk set.
“This is a great opportunity to explore the juxtaposition of minimal and statement,” says Padilla. To keep all the elements in balance, she suggests keeping the base of your look minimal, mixing in a bold bag with your sculpted heel.