Thursday, January 14, 2010

Booties, not booty

First of all, thank you to Beth for the title and purpose of this blog. Yesterday, she left a comment on my "Rate My Look" post:

"I always think that because I have wide calves, I can't wear booties and tights. Any advice on the bootie (not booty) front?"  - Beth

For starters, I want to say that there is a bootie out there for everyone. I'm not saying it will be easy to find, but I promise you, it's out there. You may have to go shoe shopping and try on 20 different pair of booties until you find the ones you love. All good things are worth working hard for, right? Here are some basic tips to pull off the bootie look regardless of body type.

For starters, if you want to wear booties, but have short or thick legs, the first thing to do is try to maintain a long leg line. How do you achieve this? Simple: wear the same color tights as the booties- black on black, brown on brown, purple on purple- whatever the color scheme, keep it monochromatic. Avoid embellished or patterned tights, just stick with your basic opaque, solid-color tights. A monochromatic color scheme on your legs will help elongate the leg. The one draw-back with booties is that they can potentially cut-off the leg line at the ankle and as a result, they can be very unflattering. By keeping the monochromatic color scheme, you avoid the drastic cut-off and keep the line going. Of course, wearing really high heeled booties helps elongate the leg, too, but not everyone is up for that. An alternative to high spike heels? Wedges! Anther alternative is platforms. Look for four- inch heels with a one- inch platform. The 1 inch platform in the front of the shoe actually makes the 4 inch heel only 3 inches.

Second, look at the angle of the leg opening on the bootie. If it angles down from the back, it's going to be more flattering than straight across or the opposite- angling up from the back. These booties by Kelsi Dagger were featured here on a previous blog because they do exactly that: (and also because they're so pretty, they make my heart ache)

Also, look in the mirror and take note of where the top edge of the bootie falls. Is it on the narrowest part of your ankle? If so, the booties will most likely be more flattering, particularly if they are snug around your ankle. If not, and the top rests somewhere closer to your mid-calf, then they will be less flattering, particularly if they are rather boxy in shape and don't conform to the curves of your leg and ankle.

Another key element to keep in mind is the overall weight of the boot. Don't take me literally- I don't want to see you girls lugging a bathroom scale around the shoe store. Considered the visual weight of the shoe- is the heel narrow and sleek or thick and chunky? Are the details of the boot adding weight, or helping to create a lighter, sleeker feel? I recommended wedges in a previous paragraph, so consider how sleek the wedge looks. Is it the kind of wedge that's narrow or is it chunky like a pair of platforms out of "Saturday Night Fever?"

The Charles Albert New 1213 Booty ($27.96) available at Endless is a good example of a stable wedge heel that isn't too "heavy."

Finally, look for booties with pointed toes and avoid the ones with rounded 40's style toes. The more pointed the toe, the more it will help elongate the line of your leg. I've never been a fan of super-pointy shoes, but that's my own personal perference. However, where boots are concerned, particularly ankle boots, I always look for ones with the long shape of a point that's been slightly rounded. It's my happy compromise between what I love and what I know will flatter me the most.

These Hypnotic Finale Short Booties ($27.95) also available at Endless are a good example of a rounded off pointy-toe (sounds like an oxymoron, but you get the idea):

Some other booties available at Endless that I recommend:

Michael Antonio McKey Boot, $35.80-$54.95 (Here's a tip: buy 2 faux-leather or even fabric floral clips and attach them to each of these booties- like THESE or THESE or THESE or THESE. You've got yourself an instant knock-off of the Kelsi Dagger ones pictured above at literally less than 1/2 the cost! Whoo-hoo!)

Hypnotic Northern Short Stud Booty, $35.95- Since studded clothing and accessories is SO hot right now, you might want to add these inexpensive booties to your collection for the sole purpose of participating in that trend.

Annie Heather Ankle Boot, $38.68- Not everyone wants to wear super high heels. These booties offer a more sensible heel, but still have interesting detail- check out the cool stitching on the side.

White Mt. Mars Bootie, $43.37- Here's another more sensible pair of booties, but they still meet our criteria- downward angle, pointed toe, narrow fit against the ankle, plus there's a nice buckle detail to give them a little added punch.

Beth, I hope this post helped answer your question. If not, let me know and I'll be happy to have another go at it! Happy boot hunting, everyone!


Beth said...

Hooray! This is great, and now I really want to go to DSW and try on all the booties. Thank you!

Renée T. Bouchard said...

I'm so glad you like the post! Happy bootie shopping!

Lauren at Ruth Parker Jewelry said...

Those Kelsi Dagger booties are probably one of my favorite pairs of shoes EVER! I have been lusting after them since you first posted them!

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