How to wear...Slouch boots
Whether you prefer full-on sparkle or understated leather, this season we're going on the pull, writes Meadhbh McGrath
Every season has its cult item. Last winter, we were all obsessed with puffa jackets (a trend that's proven to have major staying power), but this year, it's all about the slouch boot.
All eyes were on Victoria Beckham yesterday as she headed to Brown Thomas Dublin for a private event in a raspberry-hued, peekaboo-backed chiffon midi dress with knee-high black leather boots. The look was worlds away from the flashy body-con of her Posh Spice days and a perfect example of her artful new style, which comes across as sophisticated and polished, yet relaxed.
Many of her recent outfits have paired black and claret slouch boots with flowing dresses and skirts from her own autumn collection, and offer a more subtle take on the season's most-lusted-after boot.
That would be Saint Laurent's 'Niki' boot. Back in February, creative director Anthony Vaccarello presented his sophomore collection for the brand in Paris, and brought us the most Instagram-friendly footwear the world has ever seen. The Niki comes in black and brown leather too, but it was the crystal-embellished disco boots that had fashion fans collectively swooning.
They have since proved inescapable - style stars like Rihanna and Celine Dion have sported them out and about, fashion magazines clamoured to feature them in their September issues, and a waiting list quickly racked up (despite the boots' €8,000 price tag). Now the high street has offered up a heap of imitations and we like Penneys' version best: covered in sequins, they hit just above the knee and have the same cone heel as the YSL ones. Plus, they're cheap enough to dazzle without breaking the bank. Take your cue from the catwalk and pair with everything from 80s-inspired party dresses to skinny jeans and a cable knit jumper.
H&M has a similarly lust-worthy silver pair that will be a dream for the festive season, particularly with an asymmetric hem midi-dress in a muted black. The slouchy silhouette is key for autumn-winter, even if disco-ready glitz isn't your style. Ruched boots dominated the autumn-winter shows, though usually in refined leather or suede. At Isabel Marant, they were glossy and above the knee, Roksanda's came in primary colours and Michael Kors showcased leather knee boots and mid-calf suede pairs.
If you prefer an understated look, wear yours under a midi-skirt and roll-neck knit like VB. Warm autumnal hues of burgundy and this season's red work particularly well. Slouch boots tend to look better under a midi skirt or dress, although the ruching conveniently hides the usual wrinkles when you stuff jeans into boots, so a skinny style is the way to go, with a laid-back cable knit jumper or oversized jacket on top, á la It girl and Attico designer Giorgia Tordini.
For work, a pair of black leather knee-high boots looks chic hitting the hem of a knee-length skirt in on-trend heritage print such as Mango's micro houndstooth skirt, with a black turtleneck or bow blouse tucked in.
Dare to go thigh-high? Pair with a broad hemline that sits just above the top of the boots (a styling trick known as 'lampshading') - we love & Other Stories' supple leather pair with an oversized sweater dress.