The 6 Best Ways to Wear Knee High Boots

Over-the-knee boots boast a near superhuman strength to command attention at every sexy step. But as with any superpower, it must be wielded carefully and appropriately. One wrong step with this footwear, and you’ve fallen into a fashion hole a la Pretty Woman (before the makeover) that you didn’t intend. When it comes to these super-sultry boots, finding the right balance is everything. You want to look breezy not cheesy — and chic not cheap.

Sophisticated, even sporty, styles that promote a lean, clean silhouette are often a no-fail option. But, at the end of the day (or night), the key to pulling off OTKs is striking the right balance. Layers are always a good option, and limiting the amount of exposed skin is also wise. March to the beat of these IRL tips that will up your street-style cred faster than you can zip up those boots.

1. Go for monochrome

#SooJoo just chillin after the #Gaultier #couture show #Paris #streetstyle

A photo posted by Tim Regas (@wheresmydriver) on Jan 29, 2016 at 2:24pm PST

Rock those over-the-knee stunners in monochromatic fashion, and you instantly become queen of chic. Look for tights or pants that are black or a similar dark shade to your boots. This one-tone color palette creates an even longer, leaner leg line, and it has style in spades. Add some edge with a leather moto jacket, or keep the classic vibe going with a long blouse that hits below the hip. You can even add a belt to cinch the waist, which provides a bit of structure. Because of the lengthening effect of the monochromatic palette, this look is particularly ideal for curvier and more athletic builds, too.

2. Keep it short but sweet

Weather-denier #JessicaHart in #miniskirt and #croptop at the #ToryBurch show #NYFW #streetstyle #streetfashion

A photo posted by Tim Regas (@wheresmydriver) on Feb 18, 2015 at 10:16am PST

If you want to keep some skin in the game by wearing a thigh-high hemline, then just make sure you balance out that mini (or pair of fashion shorts) with a more covered-up top. This could come in the form of a sweater, a bomber, or even a layered-up long coat. Another option to maintain the equilibrium is to take a more casual, sporty route with a long-sleeved raglan and a varsity jacket. Over-the-knee boots that rise up even higher to your thigh will also help keep too much skin from being on display.

3. Flaunt your good jeans

Morning everyone ! I am Horsewoman today , featuring #lovelypepaxcrack #overthekneeboots #lovelypepa #ootd #lookoftheday

A photo posted by Luba Dimitrova (@lubadimitrova) on Nov 13, 2013 at 11:47pm PST

One of the easiest ways to have an over-the-knee moment is by pulling the boots over your favorite pair of skinny jeans. Denim downplays the va-va-voom factor of OTKs while still allowing them to stand in their full glory. On the other hand (or foot), as the case may be, the boots immediately gussy up that pair of jeans so you’re ready for day-to-night glam in no time. Just make sure you don’t try to fit your boot-cut or flared pairs into the shoes.

4. A-line is A-plus

A teeny mini is likely a bit too much for most stylistas during the daytime hours, but an A-line skirt that hits just at or above the knee can cut the right profile. Because of its more conservative side, the skirt also allows you to take a bit more liberty with the rest of your look and have some fashionable fun with a sporty T-shirt-style top or a fuzzy coat. Another option is a slim-line pencil skirt. The body-skimming nature of this style is a way to celebrate those sultry curves but in a manner that feels more appropriate and sophisticated than a mini on many occasions.

5. Be a “knitwit”

When it comes to OTKs, knits always have the “it” factor. Whether it’s a cozy, oversized pullover, a nubby jumper, or a textured and patterned sweaterdress, knitwear always lends a dressed-down, casual ease that’s still high on style. If you have a suede pair of over-the-knees, knits are an especially good pairing option.

6. Watch the wow factor

Over-the-knee boots have built-in, attention-grabbing attributes, so it’s important to make sure that your outfit not only packs a knockout punch, but that it also reflects your unique style personality. You may want to temper the rest of your ensemble’s look-at-me effect by skipping any ultra-sexy cutouts, exploded prints, or skin-baring separates. Easy, understated silhouettes will deliver a subtle power that won’t steer you wrong. Wearing a lacquered boot with a Lacoste tennis skirt and polo top may be a bit more tricky to pull off, but even so, such a look is still balanced between athleisure-style sportswear and glam footwear.

Follow Rachel on Twitter @rachellw and Instagram @rachellwatkins