BOOTS

Boots

Boots are one of my favorite things about winter - once the novelty of snow and sweaters has worn off, anyway.

Boots can be practical or sexy, although rarely both in the salt-laden streets of harsh winter climates. Speaking of which...

While it may often seem like store clerks are just trying to boost their commissions by ringing up protective sprays and gels, their sales gimmick is not totally bogus.

It is essential to understand that not all boots are created equal. The word 'boot' is not synonymous with water-proof or snow-friendly. Respect your fashion investment by weather-protecting and cleaning all of your winter footwear regularly.

Realize that protective and restorative shoe applications cannot perform miracles. Have the common sense to know when to air on the side of practicality and not to wear your suede stiletto calf-cut boots. Salt and water produce damaging, lasting stains which - in addition to ruining boots' finish - actually corrode the integrity of genuine suede, leather and fabric. Purchase a swank boot bag in which to tote your trendy footwear to work in nasty winter conditions while opting for damage-proof snow or rain boots while en route.

Boot Tip: If you remember nothing else: Be seasonally consistent when putting an outfit together. Do not wear boots and a skirt with bare legs; tights, nylons, or even flesh colored fishnet stockings help bridge the (thermal & fashion) gap between your knees and your hemline.

Ankle Boots
Very funky footwear when worn with tights and a skirt. Avoid wearing ankle boots with long skirts past the knee - this tends to look frumpy and matronly.

Mid-Calf Boots
A unique cut that looks great with skirts of all lengths. This style accentuates your calf muscle and stands out from the crowd of knee-high boots. Very sexy, indeed.

Tall Boots
The classic knee-high boot. Ensure that the boot fits snugly around your leg; if the boot gapes open you may need to have it altered for a more chic look—a standard procedure at most cobblers.

Fur-Lined Boots & UGGs
Narrow, fur-lined lace-up tall boots are a sweet accompaniment to a flirty short skirt. For a funky casual style, try wearing knee socks over your tights and letting them peek (ever so slightly) over the top of your boot. This look works best if your socks and tights are contrasting colors.

UGGs have become all the rage as the surfer-type's (and urban wanna-be surfer type's) winter foot-wear of choice. These robust, wooly sheepskin boots have been fashioned for years by Australian craftsmen, and were first mass introduced to North America in 1978 by Brian Smith, a young Australian surfer seeking to spread the UGG-love across the United States.

Twenty-five years later, and while UGGs aren't exactly the height of chic sophistication or glamorous sexiness, they are hailed by wearers as the ultimate in comfort and warmth at 30 below.

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