By TERI AGINS
Q: It's getting colder and I need new ideas for boots. I am the lady in pants all the time—skinny jeans, not leggings. (I am 45.) I want boots that look trendy, but no high heels or platforms, and nothing stout, like Uggs.—A.T., Stamford, CT.
A: Forever, it seems, the go-to winter boots have been tall and sleek, designed to be paired mostly with skirts, dresses or leggings. But shorter boots—from ankle to mid-calf height—are all the rage, with plenty of fresh, walkable styles that look good with skirts and pants.
What's the best mid-calf boot that won't optically saw your legs in half? Should you stick with low-slung boots that just cover your foot? It's all a question of proportions—factoring in how thick or thin your calves are. Start studying every fashion spread, especially on-the-street candids, of ordinary women in boots.
And when you go to the mall, remember that markdowns have already begun, so you may wind up scouring for your size online. Just remember to write down the boot style name, so that you can search it online across all the stores. Canvass sites like Shopstyle.com, that link you to lots of retailers.
To go with your skinny jeans, I vote for suede desert boots with a narrow high wedge sole—either covered or with a rubber heel and sole. I love the snug and secure fit of a lace-up. Consider dark green or gray, as well as the standard black or tan. Surprise: When the wedge heel is rubber, a three-inch desert bootie is steadier to walk in than you might think.
Short boots favor embellishments such as crisscross straps, decorative zippers (designed to stay unzipped), studs and buckles, as well as fur (faux and real) linings that spill over the bootie's top. My favorite short-boot heels are variations on cowboy-boot ones that slope inward.—Email questions to email@example.com