Ask Allie - Fabrics that Compliment Knee High Boots

Ask Allie – Fabrics that Compliment Knee High Boots

Fashion Advice


Reader Amber writes:
What kin

d of dresses/skirts are appropriate with knee boots? Are you limited to heavy sweater dresses like?


wool dress tall boot



this (see left), or


 is matte jerse


y (such as you


r previously posted LBD selections OK?

Hi Amber:

This is a great question, and I bet many others are wondering the same thing.

I think knee


-high boots can work with a variety of fabrics; it's less about the actual fabric than the cut of the dress. Matte jersey, cotton knits and even silk can work with knee-high boots in leather and suede if cut in the correct silhouette.

The lighter weight the fabric, the more “sturdy” the silhouette needs to be to balance out a tall boot.

ralph lauren dress tall bootdonna morgan dress tall bootIf you are choosing matte jersey, finding a dress with an angular cut (shift dress or boxy style), or more girth (wrap dress, babydoll style with fuller skirt) can usually do the trick. Classic styles like a tee-shirt dress or wrap dress can work if they are low on frills and feminine touches. Strong details like wider self-belts and waistbands, smooth hems, v-neck, crew or boat necklines will balance out the substantial boot.

For knits and silk, you want to balance out the delicate fabric with a more modern or angular silhouette. A feminine close-fitting dress from a lightweight fabric can make the most elegant of tall boots look trashy and out of place (hello Pretty Woman). Choosing an a-line or trapeze silhouette, an empire waistband, or a layered style will compliment the study leather or suede on your bottom half.

silhouettes dress tall bootbanana republic dress tall bootI often pair tall boots with baby-doll style dresses in cotton jersey, sheath dresses from lined suiting fabric or sturdy ponte knit, matte jersey wrap dresses with long sleeves and clean lines, and straight or a-line skirts with figure-skimming knit tops.

Gray Merino Wool Belted dress from Semantiks, teal Sleeveless Knit Shift dress from Banana Republic, green matte jersey Tie-waist Wrap Style dress by Donna Morgan, black wool acetate Boat-neck Belted dress by Lauren by Ralph Lauren, gold A-line dress by Silhouettes.

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