Elegant ankle boots

Alyson Walsh / 26 July 2018

This practical footwear can be worn with panache, says Alyson Walsh

Versatile and eternally chic, ankle boots are a year-round style staple - not just to be saved for autumn weekends.

This most practical of footwear looks the business with trousers, jeans and, increasingly, with dresses. Autumn is the best time to organise footwear that works for the current season and beyond - and to make the most of the ankle boot’s magnificent draft-excluding properties. No cold ankles. All winter. Hooray!

Even though I’m a diehard black leather ankle boot-lover, I’m also enjoying the snazzier, showbiz boots that decorate the autumn pavements like hundreds and thousands. Velvet, brocade, metallic, animal print – all of these look great dressed down or paired with a dress; introducing texture or colour is a neat way to perk up an everyday outfit.

I’d suggest that slightly longer midi and just-below-the-knee frocks make the perfect accompaniment, but as retail guru Mary Portas has demonstrated, an on-the-knee shift and heeled ankle boots can look astounding. If making a statement is the aim, try animal print with a flash of red. Alternatively, keep it chic by teaming eye-catching boots with shades of navy, black or khaki. 

A foolproof fashion formula

Together with black straight leg jeans or slim black trousers, the ankle boot is one of my steadfast winter essentials.

Once the bottom half is in order, it’s quite easy to play around with the top half. Sometimes I’ll pair a simple, round neck black cashmere sweater with a vintage 1960s leopard print coat; or alternatively I’ll layer a chic, charcoal grey cover-up over a statement sweater.

My advice is to spend time finding the best, well-fitting wardrobe basics and then whoop things up with one showbiz piece – in this case, the snazzy ankle boot. It’s the foolproof fashion formula I apply again and again.

Five ways to wear ankle boots

• Keep it simple: If the showbiz boot is doing the talking, keep your bottom half plain and pattern-free. Clashing prints can send you cross-eyed.

• Swap black boots for subtle colour: Try a printed dress, opaque tights and boots in an understated colour. Matching footwear to a tone taken from the print will look chic and considered.

• Make it monochrome: Don’t dismiss white jeans in winter – they can look fabulous, particularly when worn with black ankle boots or black and white boots like Duo’s Hockley style.

• Try double denim: Layer a sleeveless coat or tailored gilet over slim leg jeans (try Uniqlo, M&S and Arket for these) and a denim shirt.  Switch things up a notch with leopard print boots.

• Go back to ever-so-chic basics: embrace French-fashion-editor style by wearing a khaki military jacket with black jeans and black ankle boots.

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