How to Wear Booties to the Office

how-to-wear-booties-to-the-office2017 Update: We still stand by our advice on how to wear booties to the office, but you may want to check out our recent roundup of sleek strappy pumps for the office if you are in search of other options to wear with tights, or our most recent discussion on what boots to wear with tights to work.

After years of tall knee boots, I’m personally thrilled that ankle boots and booties are 100% back. I started out writing our usual Hunt feature but then realized: There are so many styles now, it’s worth discussing: How many booties/ankle boots do you have for work, ladies, and how do you wear them?

Pictured at top, clockwise: tall bootie / boot-pump / Western boot / low ankle bootie.

To my eye there are a few major styles, with distinct ways to wear them — and not all of them are for work:

how-to-wear-low-ankle-booties-to-the-office1) The low ankle bootie, such as the Petty, pictured — this looks best when worn with ankle pants or possibly wider trousers, but it can be difficult to wear with skirts and dresses unless you are very young and/or attending Coachella. Still, these have been around for years and are the most established and probably the easiest to wear to work. Examples: Sam Edelman (note these come in wide widths sizes 4-13), Vionic, BP., Dolce Vita.
how-to-wear-western-booties-to-work2) The almost Western bootie with a chunky heel, possibly with a dip in the front of the boot (such as the Margot, pictured) — wear them with ankle pants, skirts, trousers, and dresses, but note that these have a more casual connotation because of the Western vibe. Examples: Rag & Bone (buckles), Rag & Bone (sleeker, pictured), Dolce Vita ($142), and UGG.
The Best Kind of Booties to Wear to Work (and they're $99!) | Corporette3) The sleek bootie/pump, probably with a skinny (and high) heel. These come and go in terms of popularity — they were out for a while but seem to be coming back now. These are in many ways the easiest to wear because they’re just like a pump. Anything goes — wear them with pants, trousers, skirts, tights, hose, bare legs, whatever — you can even dress them up to wear with a suit. Examples: this highly-rated $99 pair from Bella Vita (pictured – note that it comes in four widths), this pair from Aquatalia, or this pair from Ecco.
perforated-booties-for-the-office4) The sandal/open bootie, often seen with perforations, a peep toe, a sling back — these are best for transitional weather, and often read to me like bulky sandals. If you can’t wear sandals to work, don’t wear these. Examples: Adam Tucker by Me Too (pictured), Frye, Isola, Free People, Vince Camuto, Paul Green.
how-to-wear-tall-booties-to-work5) The tall ankle bootie, often seen with a block heel — this is the most modern version, in my mind, and I’m still getting used to seeing it around.  I first spied it on BrainDead (this GIF is the best screenshot I can find right now), and thought to myself, well, hey, she’s supposed to be a bit of a rebel/outsider, so it’s fine — but now I’m seeing more and more of them, particularly with skirts (knee length or lower), culottes, and more, including in fun fabrics like velvet. (Nordstrom has a dazzling number of velvet booties right now, including these $89 boots.) Know your office and yourself here — if you have any doubts, I’d say it’s best to save it for the weekend right now. Examples: Vince Camuto (pictured, only $140),  Prada, TopShop ($150!), Paul Green (water resistant), Steve Madden (platform!),
clog-booties6) Weekend booties: definitely save these for the weekend, unless you work in a very creative office: moto booties, clog booties, lug soles, and anything with shearling or a harness. Pictured: the best selling clogs at Zappos from Dansko.

Ladies, what are the major types of booties in your work wardrobe — and how do you wear them to the office? 


The Hunt: Booties for Work

Booties for Fall | Corporette

2017 Update: We still like a lot of these booties for work, but you may also want to check out our most recent discussion on what boots to wear with tights to work

Sure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

Booties: they’re in one season, out the next — but right now they’re hot. They’re inherently a more casual look than, say, pumps — boots become more and more casual the blockier the heels get, and the more Western-y the details get; a seam or two is on one end of the spectrum, while fringe, buckles, and belts are on the other end. For casual days at the office they can be great with ankle pants (worn with low, hidden socks so your ankles are still exposed), tights and skirts for casual days, or — if hemmed appropriately — trousers or flares. (The bottom of the hem should graze the top of your foot, leaving only about 1/2″ of heel exposed in the back.)  On the weekends, of course, they’re great with all sorts of denim, and the bare-leg-plus-bootie look continues to go strong (but to me that really looks like a weekend look!). I thought I’d round up a few that look great to me — readers, which are your favorite booties this season?  Which are your favorite styles of booties (e.g., pump-booties, stiletto booties, rugged booties, wedge booties) to wear to work — or do you primarily wear them on the weekends?

(Another fun question: we haven’t talked about peep-toe booties in AGES — what’s your feeling about them now? Yea or nay?)

First, some roundups of special interest shoes (unless noted, most links go to Nordstrom, or Zappos):

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