Bells and whistles


As the temperature dropped this season, I braced myself for another flood of the same Uggs that formed the foundation of the fall outfit in past years. I have been pleasantly surprised, however, to see that the Uggs craze has worn off, only to be replaced by the sleek, regal riding boot. These leather knee-grazers are the supercharged cousins of Uggs, decked out with all kinds of bells and whistles like leather straps with buckles, funky studs, rich colors, and interesting stitching details. Wearing these boots says that you mean business.

But boot-wearer beware! Choosing a riding boot enters you into a delicate game of proportions where the boot becomes the wild card. Plop the boots on top of jeans, and you’re good to go. However, skirts are another matter. Boot height and skirt length must be compatible. The skirt boot ratio varies directly, meaning that the taller the boot, the longer the skirt, and the shorter the boot the shorter the skirt, though short boots could really be worn with any length skirt. Riding boots are meant to create the look of long legs, but tall riders with a short skirt create choppy proportions.

Uggs do have one thing on the riding boot: a cozy interior. I say, go for the fashion statement. Wear fuzzy socks under your riding boots. No one will know!