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The Fashion Memo

Why knee-high boots will never lose their appeal

Knee-high street style: Erika Boldrin (left), Tamu McPherson (center), Caroline Daur (right)

Arguably the most flattering boot length (and the warmest), knee-high boots are the trophy piece of any great footwear collection

Fashion

It’s a rare thing for a piece to truly tick the box of ‘wardrobe staple’ while still boasting the ability to get your pulse racing – and therein lies the allure of the knee-high boot. A staple of women’s wardrobes since the 1960s – when pioneering designer André Courrèges debuted the leather go-go boot – this style came to define the decade and swiftly entered the fashion canon. Of course, the aesthetic has changed since then, but the essential components remain much the same: a cuff cast in butter-soft leather that hits just below the knee.

It should come as no surprise that Uruguayan designer and keen equestrian Gabriela Hearst – who was recently named the new creative director of Parisian powerhouse Chloé – has modeled her iteration on classic riding boots. Finished with contrasting rubber soles, this flat style strikes the perfect balance between practical and polished. Wear yours with a knitted dress, blue jeans or tucked-in tailored pants for an elegant off-duty look.

After dark, a heeled style makes the perfect addition to everything from LBDs and ‘out out’ tops to a sleek suit. Manolo Blahnik’s understated suede designs will make a chic accompaniment to any evening look, be it a ruffled dress or pajama-style separates. If you’re going for maximum impact, look no further than Jimmy Choo’s burnt-orange snake-print designs or Gianvito Rossi’s striking cream boots. Consider them the perfect finishing touch to an all-black ensemble, or take your styling cues from the perennially chic Tamu McPherson and pair them with a muted short suit for a fresh take on tonal dressing.

Whatever style you gravitate towards, the long and short of it is this: without a pair of knee-high boots, your accessories arsenal is simply incomplete.

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