Inspiration, Style

How to Wear Ankle Boots: Styles & Outfits (Part I)

Ankle boots and booties have become autumn’s favorite footwear and a key piece in fall outfitting. But trying to figure out what to wear with booties can sometimes take more thought and planning.  I think many of us get stuck in a rut and just throw on the usual skinny jeans because that’s what’s always been done and it’s an easy go to.

I was recently asked if I could do a blog post on how to wear ankle booties. Having styled some looks of my own and done some research on all the types of booties out there, and there are many,  I thought I’d break this post up into a three part mini series. I’ll be covering the most common styles: the wedge, the block heel and the heeled ankle bootie.

This week’s post will cover the wedge ankle bootie. I’m going to show you how best to style your booties and make them work for your wardrobe. You can use these outfits as a guide and inspiration for your fall repertoire.

The Wedge Bootie | Low and High

The weather doesn’t get much cooler in fall here in Florida. The months are all that really change. But a wedge ankle bootie in brown or black suede add warm texture and certainly has the look of fall.

the park

Flat or low ankle booties have a more casual, boho-chic look. Just recently I’ve gotten into wearing boyfriend jeans. I often find them to be frumpy looking. But the slim boyfriend jeans pair well with the casual, low wedge booties. I’ve grown to love my Coclico’s  more and more. I wasn’t sure how flattering they’d look on me but I wear these a lot in fall, especially with shorter dresses.

Style Tip 1: Because boyfriend jeans tend to sit lower on the hip and have a wider pant leg, I leave about 2 inches of space between the bottom of my pant hem and the top of the bootie. You don’t want your legs to look shortened or chopped off.

Style Tip 2: With boyfriends jeans I typically like to style v-neck tees and this flute sleeve top with a tied knot on the side for extra style and fit. Try it!

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Style your booties with a short, lightweight dress layered with a knit vest over top. I love this outfit. It’s my seasonal go to! This is a great example of how you can dress up your low wedge booties.

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Low wedge booties can also update last season’s favorite floral or lace dress. Just throw on a jacket and viola, you have the perfect fall outfit! How cute is this lace dress with that olive green jacket?

Style Tip 3: With a lower ankle bootie, you want the hem of your dress or skirt to fall above or just below the knee to keep a longer leg line.

Shoe Recommendation: Sam Edelman Petty Bootie (ON SALE)

Higher wedge booties have a slightly dressier look to them and usually come higher up on the ankle. Two best ways to style these types of booties are to wear them with cuffed skinnies or with leggings.

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Depending on how slim-fit your denims are one cuff or two cuffs are the general rule to wearing skinnies with your booties. If you try tucking your pants in your shoes they often pucker and look funny.  You generally want to leave an inch of space between the bottom of your pant and the top of your bootie. Just enough to expose your ankle.

Nothing says cozy like a knit poncho. I don’t see many of them worn but I think they can add sophistication to an outfit. As it does here, worn with my cuffed skinnies and high wedge booties. This outfit is perfect for traveling! I plan on packing this ensemble for my trip to Kansas and Nashville this November.

Style Tip 4: For longer skinny jeans a larger cuff (2-3 inches) looks best.

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Some people shy away from wearing ankle booties because they feel it makes them look choppy. But tucking your leggings or tights into your booties actually elongates your legs and creates a seamless look. The key is wearing the same color, black on black. Stiletto or heeled booties are best for evening wear but I styled this outfit to show you how a high wedge bootie can also work for you at night. Here I’m wearing them with a graphic print Salaam dress. This outfit is more street-chic and city.

Shoe Recommendation: TOMS Desert Wedge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Style

The Secret to a Healthier Wardrobe

 

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Psst…I’m gonna let you in on a little secret stylists have known for some time. It’s a remedy to your closet woes and clutter. One that will cure you of your overspending and lack of outfits.

Build a capsule wardrobe.

Some of you may be thinking…Huh? This “inside” buzzword in the world of styling, refers to your closet go-to’s. These are things you wear all the time that can easily be mixed and matched with other items. Building a capsule of these key pieces is a way of minimizing your wardrobe into a small collection of clothes you love and actually wear!

The term “capsule wardrobe” was first coined in the seventies by London boutique owner, Susie Faux. The goal is to simplify your closet and life. The less clutter you have and money you spend on the extra stuff the happier you’ll be. Less is more.

Care to give it a go?

The Key Ingredients: Back to Basics

Here are some general rules to follow:

  • Scale Down: About 30-40 items. Includes clothes, shoes and outerwear. Pajamas, accessories, fitness apparel and special-occasion outfits are not included.
  • Shop by season: The items should last you a season (about 3 months) until you’ll need to refresh.
  • Simplify: You want to minimize. Store or donate what you don’t need.

The Closet Cleanse: Discovering Your Personal Style

One of the exciting things about my own closet cleanse was what I learned about my wardrobe. The holes that needed filling in my closet (what I needed but didn’t have) and my personal style (the things I gravitate to).

Get down and strip down to the essentials. It’s important that you be honest with yourself when decluttering your closet. Remember, you want a working wardrobe and pieces you’re going to love yourself in.

First step, divide and conquer! Separate your clothes into three piles: Never wear, Sometimes wear, Often wear. Donate what you don’t wear. Are there items in your “sometimes” pile that don’t fit? Give them away. If you love an item from this pile it’s likely you don’t have anything to pair it with. Put it aside for now, this might actually go with something from your “often wear” pile. If not, make a note of what’s missing to grab on your next shopping trip.

Floral Romper
Pretty and polished. I mixed prints by layering this floral romper with a blue striped button up top. These ankle-strap heels add delicate sophistication. A simple chambray blue clutch keeps things light and easy.

Here comes the fun part, start pairing things together from the group of clothes you wear often. Sometimes it’s hard to visualize what you want and need for your closet. A stylist can help you ask the right questions and hone in on your personal style. They’ll show you what the holes are in your wardrobe and what fits you best. You’ll be surprised with how many outfits you come up with! And those outfits, madame, will make up your capsule wardrobe. And the best part is you won’t spend a dime! You can add to these key pieces as the seasons change.

Here’s a glimpse of some outfits I put together from the capsule wardrobe I built during my closet overhaul.

Chic Shorts Outfit
Feminine Chic. These black and white striped shorts pair lovely with these soft and sheer blouses. Mix old with new. There’s something vintage and elegant about those suede booties from Audley shoes. The scallop details are so feminine!
Chic Stripes Outfits
Coastal Chic. This outfit just goes to prove that key pieces can be paired with multiple items in your closet. This sheer black and white beach halter is a personal favorite with those striped shorts and Paul Green sandals.
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Trendy Traveler. I layered this olive jacket over a romper in a darker hue within the same color family. The leopard scarf helped break up the colors and add a fun contrast. The brown gladiator sandals are comfortable and casual without being boring. The reptile handbag plays on the “wild animal” print theme.
Fall Outfit
Fall of the Wild. Animal and reptile prints can be bold and loud. The same olive jacket from the previous outfit brings balance and tones down this snake print tank. Worn over another staple – these dark denim jeans, which I cuffed at the bottom, show off these rock’n suede booties. A great outfit for fall.

 

The Shopping Diet: Build Around Your Lifestyle and Budget

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Having a better understanding of what you need and want will help curb your clothes spending and keep you from buying things that will sit in your closet and take up space. When shopping think about your lifestyle and ask yourself, what do I feel most comfortable in during the week and on the weekends? What fabrics are easiest for me to care for? Maybe it’s not in your budget to go shopping. That’s okay, just hold off until you start planning for the next season. Typically you should update with a few trendy pieces and seasonal items 2-3 times a year. Before you go shopping set a realistic budget for yourself and know exactly what you’re looking for. Don’t feel like you have to buy everything your first trip. Buy quality not quantity. Take your time finding what you really want. Seeking advice from someone who is knowledgeable to help guide you in the process of refining your wardrobe can pay off! Susie Faux explains in her blog, often “when people feel they’ve over-bought, it’s generally because they’ve gone shopping without a good plan and budget for what they need.” Your aim is to find clothes that showcase your true beauty and what you have to offer the world.

Cheers to a healthier wardrobe and a fabulous you!