Winter is when boot style shines
Whatever you think snow is all around us right now – some people love how pretty it is; others roll their eyes at the traffic and the hassle it creates – there’s no denying the area of our wardrobes it affects most dramatically: what we put on our feet.
Winter boots must necessarily be practical.
That means weatherproof, safe and warm. But there’s also no good reason why they can’t also look cute and add flair to any look rather than detract from it. So this winter, I hope you’ll join me in taking a stand against ugly boots.
Plus, there’s another dress challenge we have every winter: that there will be many, many people who want us to take our shoes off when we walk into their homes? Hey, I get it – floors are important to protect.
But so does the integrity of an outfit, as Carrie Bradshaw defiantly explained in the original “Sex and the City,” when a stewardess asked her to go without her shoes at the door: But it’s a complete look, she replied, gesturing at her entire outfit (which clearly included her feet).
So, to tackle both of those challenges, let’s get on some of the extra warm and extra cute winter boots right now – many of them worn with pride and aplomb by our favorite celebrities; and let’s also look at some stylish socks. We will therefore have no reason to be embarrassed if someone asks us to take off our boots.
Sorel is a great place to start. The brand was originally based in Ontario (now owned by Columbia Sportswear in Oregon), so the brand’s outdoor credibility is very real. But so is fashion credibility. It has been adopted and styled by celebrities all over the world – like, for example, Elizabeth Olsen.
At Sundance in Utah, she paired her Cozy 1964-213-W Sorel Cold Weather Boot ($91 to $130 in amazon.com) with denim and simple black – a basic crew neck and a single-breasted blazer. But your pairings don’t have to be so simple: these classic ankle boots will go with anything that goes in the same everyday-chic spirit, leggings with luxe cashmere sweaters and silk tops with woolen skirts. herringbone.
Elle Mcpherson is another avowed Sorel fan.
See how she puts on her Sorel Joan of Arctic Boot ($210 on sorel.com), matching their faux fur lining with a weatherproof winter jacket trimmed with the same color fur, over a black turtleneck, white T and black jeans. Kate Hudson is another who likes to use winter boots (again, Sorel) as a style anchor for a minimalist look. It’s known for taking a heavy, no-prisoner boot like the Glacier XT Insulated Winter Boot ($185.73-$327.51 on amazon.com) and make it the centerpiece, with jeans and a black Stella McCartney bag.
Think “LL Bean” and Khloe Kardashian might be one of the last people that comes to mind.
But that may change after you see her in snow boots inspired by Bean’s traditional duck boot. Women’s Bean Boots, 8-Inch Flannel-Lined Thinsulates ($169 on llbean.com) are made for any weather, but also made adorable by the bright pink, purple and blue plaid flannel interior lining.
Looking to make an even more substantial statement? Look at J. Lo’s Tyler Ultralift Black Platform Bootie ($325 stuartweitzman.com) – a mix of high fashion and high functionality, if there ever was one. They’re made of water-repellent leather buffed to a puffy effect and can be worn as mid-calf boots or turned down to become ankle boots.
And as for those crucial socks? Look no further than Alexander McQueen’s Stripe & Skull Athletic Socks ($85 neimanmarcus.com) – ribbed cuffs ensure they don’t fall under those winter boots, and the striped print on the cuffs keeps things looking good all the way to the top.
For a simpler (yet feminine) approach, opt for Garnet Hill’s Women’s Cashmere Socks ($34-$38 on garnethill.com), which are soft as can be but strong enough in the heel and sole to avoid unsightly holes for wear after wearing.
And when the occasion calls for a pattern, slip on a pair of Natori’s Abstract Flower Socks ($18 at bergdorfgoodman.com) in dark but pretty neutral tones. Or head straight in the opposite direction with Rag & Bone’s Fair Isle Wool Tall Socks ($65 on rag-bone.com), in an unapologetically vibrant multi purple. After all, if everyone is going to see your socks anyway, why not make it as bold a statement as any?