Call it what you want. Whether you refer to it as a bootie or an ankle boot, you can trust that the inimitable shoe with undeniable staying power is one of the most versatile pieces you will ever own. Consider it the alternative to the delicate ballet flat or the sporty canvas sneaker. It’s the fill-in when you realize you want to look a little more pulled together and give your ensembles an edgier finishing touch.
How to make them work for you? Take your cue from these creative suggestions.
1. Go for Denim
Styled the right way, booties have the potential to establish a lean silhouette and truly flatter your figure. Sure, some theorize that the low-profile shoe may make petites appear even smaller in stature. Wearing a pair with a sleek, high heel and skinny jeans or leggings promotes a taller appearance.
If you’re already tall, grab a pair of hyper-neutral ankle boots in a shade like tan or beige and slip them on with cuffed jeans and a slouchy, tucked-in camp shirt. It’s the ultimate earthy-girl-gone-glam look.
2. Slip Into a Dress
Few outfits are as safe and fuss-free as a pretty dress and a pair of booties. The beauty of this look is that the possibilities are absolutely endless. If you’re rocking a pair of tan suede ankle boots, for example, then you’re good to go in a floaty, casual shift dress and a couple of statement necklaces.
Love your pointy-toed black booties? Pair them with a white dress for a show-stopping look that creates just the right balance of edgy and sweet. You could even wear a vibrant dress and match them to a pair of jewel-toned boots.
Rosetta Getty Embroidered Satin Shift Dress
Oscar de la Renta scarf detail shift dress - Green
Diane von Furstenberg Tie-Front Tunic with Linen
Carven Printed Silk Tunic Dress
Alberta Ferretti oversized roll neck maxi dress - Black
Self-Portrait Crochet Tunic Dress
Y's shift dress - Black
Victoria Beckham side drape tunic - Black
P.A.R.O.S.H. draped detail sweater shift - Purple
Proenza Schouler sheer panel long shift dress - Black
Stella McCartney lace insert shift dress - Yellow
Mugler v-neck shift dress - Blue
Dolce & Gabbana tailored shift mini dress - Pink
3. Try Some Shorts
Warm weather permits you to finally shove your winter coat in the closet and lose the fuzzy sweaters. While booties do feel decidedly cool weather-friendly, they’re mercifully versatile enough to wear year round. That alone is reason enough to add a pair—or two or three—to your spring wardrobe. The proof? Booties look amazing with denim cutoffs, as Aimee Song and Kendall Jenner have shown us time and again.
Opt for an open-toe style so you can show off the pedi and let your feet breathe when temperatures rise. Another option? Try some flat booties with a grandpa cardi, a pair of relaxed shorts, and an airy white tee for a high-fashion take on off-duty style.