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How to Celebrate Halloween
     The Lowdown on Ankle Boots

By Karen R. Smith

Fashion

At every Fall and Winter show I attended, ankle boots were the big news. They completed every look, and whether they were paired with feminine dresses or butch trousers, they looked perfect. After years of high boots and the endless UGG craze, ankle boots look fresh, finished and fabulous!

Affordable choices

As usual, Zara (or Zara.com if you’re shopping at home) has a bevy of reasonably priced options; to update everything in your wardrobe, you’ll want the red high-heeled pair ($139.). These are block heels, so they don’t feel high at all, and you’ll be able to walk for hours in complete comfort. Leather, they feature an almond-shaped toe cap and a side zipper. The color is fabulous, a deep ruby that actually works as a neutral, believe it or not. This is a cheap way to make last year’s clothes look brand spanking new!

Velvet is huge this winter, and a great way to embrace the trend is with Mango’s ankle boot, under $80 (www.shop.mango.com). These are polyester, with a comfortable inner leather sole and a side zip. The stacked block heel is made for long walks, and just a touch of velvet will make any outfit special.

If you prefer a more casual boot, look no further than H&M, whether at the local mall or on their website (www.hm.com). At $69.99, their beige suede ankle boots might be the find of the season. They are reminiscent of that pair of Frye’s you wore into the ground back in the day...and the color just gets better with wear. Rubber soles with a simple one-inch heel make them perfect for every day and every activity. Pull on tabs are beautifully finished with overcast stitching.

Designer options

Isabelle Marant’s Dicker Suede Western Bootie is flying off the shelves, and it’s easy to see why. The western styling is highlighted by topstitching, and the gently pointed toe is easy on the feet. The heel is a bit under 2.5” which is a really comfortable height for most of us. Leather lined, with a side zip, they are available in black or taupe for about $640.

Not quite a Beatle boot, not quite a western either, Acne Studios Jensen is sleek, modern and very black. Elastic gores mean they will fit you perfectly, and the thin gunmetal trim elevates the pointed toe to quiet exclamation. These are fabulous and retail for about $550.

Best of the new moto boots is undoubtedly Ash Tatum’s totally tricked out model, with silver studs galore. They have the traditional low heel and rounded toe, so if motorcycle comfort is your bag, up your game with these, which retail for about $400.

Stella McCartney’s vegan ankle boot perches on a faux tortoise-shell block heel. The gold zipper runs up the back of the shoe and had a tiny circle tag that looks like jewelry. The taupe bootie retails for about $665.

Do-it-youself

If you’ve been pining for a pair of Yeezy sock boots, listen up! They are easy to make from an old pair of heels and a new pair of socks! Lots of fashionistas have posted tutorials to walk you through making Yeezy boots quickly and easily. Here’s a look at several thanks to the folks at Footwear News: http://footwearnews.com/2016/fashion/designers/diy-yeezy-season-2-boots-shay-cherise-blogger-261079/

I went to the Dollar Store and picked up a package of non-slip insoles to glue onto the bottoms of mine. They are now totally fabulous!

Last year’s suede boots looking a bit worse for wear? Brush them as clean as you can, and then paint them yourself! You can use shoe dye, of course, but suede and leather can also be painted with acrylics from the craft or art supply store, and even from spray paints from Home Depot and Lowe’s!

I redid a pair of dingy beige booties with two coats of Rust-O-Leum’s bright gold spray paint, and they look marvelous. The key to paint adherence is removing any loose dirt and grime first. I used a cardboard box as a spray booth and worked right in the garage. Disposable rubber gloves kept my hands clean. Right now, I’m working on a pair of faded black booties. I’m pasting stick-on stars randomly all over the boots, and when I’m finished I will paint them silver and then remove the stars. The look should turn out similar to those rockers by YSL!

About the Author:
Karen R. Smith is an award-winning journalist and publicist. Her book, "Stylishly Sexy" is available online and she takes private style clients throughout Arizona and across the country. Visit her at www.stylesmithtransformations.com

More information about Karen’s new book at TucsonHappenings.com/fashion

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