Boots are shoes with a shaft that extends over the ankle. Generally, boots – with the exception of ankle boots – extend up to the lower calf or higher. Traditional boots are usually elegant and tight fitting footwear. They are smart, classic pieces and are optimally paired with equally timeless outfits such as wool or tweed knee-length skirts. High boots tend to look very good with shorter skirts. Woolen tights can soften the look a bit.
Some boots differ from the classic form. This difference is not necessary due to a variation in the height of the shaft, but in the general style. Some boots are flat, tough, and gutsy and have little or no heel. Biker boots and Uggs are great examples. These sorts of boots can be worn with just about anything. Short skirts work well, especially combined with leg warmers. Delicate materials like silk or chiffon, however, are too be avoided as light and elegant fabrics can be easily overwhelmed by more rugged footwear.
Ankle boots are a subcategory of boots. Their defining feature is that they extend just up to the ankle. Whether they have high heels or none at all is not important to the classification. They tend to be classy shoes. When combining ankle boots with short skirts it is best to avoid long tops such as oversized shirts.
Heels and court shoes (also known as pumps) tend to be open at the top revealing much of the foot’s instep, but, unlike sandals, usually cover the entire foot. “Low heels” have heels of up to 6cm, “mid heels” from 6 – 8.5cm, and true “high heels” have heels over 8.5cm. Every woman needs a pair of smart black heels. They can be worn on almost every occasion, whether to a party or a job interview. Combine them with skinny jeans or a classic pencil or full-bodied skirt. Just make sure to follow these two rules when wearing heels: the higher the heel, the longer your skirt should be; and the wilder the shoes, the smarter the outfit!
Sandals are shoes with straps to secure the foot, with or without a heel. They can be combined with almost any outfit. Leather sandals particularly suit hot pants, a floaty top, and playful accessories, but look equally great with jeans or a pleated skirt. Just take care not to wear them with pencil skirts. In summer, you can combine pretty heeled sandals with even smarter outfits and fitted skirts – especially when you accessorize with a matching bag. Take care with high-heeled sandals: these are only for the well-practised, as thin straps don’t offer a lot of support and narrow, high heels can impede walking. If you’re not used to wearing them, you might be better off in a pair of wedges or sandals with a sturdier wooden heel.
Ballet pumps are flat slip-on shoes whose name references their likeness to ballet slippers. They can be worn for any occasion as they are currently available in every imaginable style. They’re also a great alternative to high heels. Nowadays, pretty ballet pumps are often paired with 7/8 cropped trousers.
Trainers are sport shoes which can be worn every day as well as during athletic activities. Not all trainers resemble classic sport shoes, but as practical sport-inspired street shoes, they are still reminiscent of their original function. As street wear, trainers are almost always paired with long jeans. If you team them with shorts in the summer, just remember to wear trainer socks or no socks at all.
Moccasins are soft, flat, slip-on shoes made from leather. The back of the shoe, sole and sides are usually a single piece of leather stitched together, sometimes with a separate piece of leather stitched to the top, or vamp, of the shoe. These shoes are currently experiencing a revival, and particularly suit the hippie/boho look with fringed hot pants and tunics. Smarter moccasins can also be worn with 7/8 trousers or pencil skirts.
Peep toes are open-toed shoes – either flat or heeled – and stylish all-rounders suited to everything from jeans to office wear. They guarantee a smart, super-feminine look. Platform peep toes are particularly eye-catching! Peep toes are a blessing for any woman self-conscious about her toes. Thanks to a narrow opening, they only reveal two or three toes and guarantee a neat, pretty look. Unlike sandals, peep toes can also be worn with tights.
Lace-ups are shoes with lace fastenings. Business shoes are probably the most popular kind of lace-ups, but outdoor and simple leather shoes are often lace-ups too. Smart lace-ups have established a place in women’s fashion for several years now as part of a dandy look. Lace-ups can be worn casually paired with a simple pair of skinny or carrot cut trousers.
Loafers are light shoes similar to slippers often worn in the summer months without socks. They can be real eye-catchers in bright colours or as part of a nautical look. They look best worn casually with 7/8 jeans or mini dresses.