Of all the boot styles out there, mid-calf silhouettes can be one of the most daunting to wear. The edge of the boot typically hits between the ankle and knee, making it hard to decipher exactly which dress lengths and jeans will complement the look.
To get to the bottom of this, we’ve drawn inspiration from chic celebrities and street-style stars on how to style the boots — plus rounded up some must-know tips for choosing the right fit and silhouette. Below, discover everything you need to know.
1. Choose boots that fit comfortably around the calves.
Boots that are too narrow in the calf will be uncomfortable to wear, while boots with lots of excess room can actually make your calves look bigger. The key to achieving the perfect fit is finding a pair that hugs your calves and ankles without it feeling constricting. To test this, try wedging your finger between your calf and the back of the boot. If your finger fits just right, the boots should be wearable (and not require much breaking in). You can also look for styles with zippers or elastic at the back for extra flexibility. If you’re into a more relaxed fit, try a slim cowboy boot.
To buy: Forever 21 Western Mid-Calf Boots $14 (was $55).
2. Opt for a heeled pair to make your legs look longer.
To elongate your frame, try a heeled pair. The style looks amazing in practically any heel height, from a sexy stiletto a la Kim Kardashian to a modern kitten heel for greater walkability.
To buy: Yeezy lace-up knit ankle boots (season 5), $696 (was $995).
3. Pair them with a knee-length skirt.
While mid-calf boots work with many skirt lengths, we love the idea of pairing them with a knee-length skirt or dress — as this offers a svelte effect.
To buy: Sam Edelman Calexa Sock Bootie, $70 (was $140).
4. Or try a shorter skirt for a sassier look.
For a slightly less covered-up aesthetic, mid-calf boots also look stunning when paired with a miniskirt.
To buy: Kendall + Kylie Calie Leather Boot $90, (was $175).
5. Style with cropped jeans.
Follow Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s lead by pairing your mid-calf boots with cropped jeans. For this look, it’s best if the hem of your pants hits the top of the boot to avoid awkward gaps.
To buy: Aldo Schuler, $150.
6. Pair them with skinny jeans for a lengthening effect.
Similar to a heeled style, wearing mid-calf boots with form-fitting pants will help elongate your legs. Tuck a pair of skinny jeans or leather leggings into the style to create a streamlined effect.
To buy: Sbicca Noelani, $63 (was $70).
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