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BootiesHow often have you coveted a pair of boots, felt sassy as you pranced around the slippery carpet in the shoe department, couldn’t wait to get them home, and then, damn, are these the same boots I tried on?

• Did they pack the wrong size, they are so tight!
• Were they this stiff when I was prancing?
• Seriously, these are a 4-inch heel, I thought for sure it was a 2-incher.
• What the heck is the gap around my ankles for, my cell phone?
• Where am I supposed to put my skinny jeans, inside the boot or perhaps outside with duct tape?
• What was I thinking; I look like I am from the Red Light District!
• The salesperson told me I looked fabulous, how do you spell commission?

Oh boy, buyer’s remorse, not to worry ladies, you are not alone.

The shoe/boot category has the highest return rate because it has the highest amount of buyer angst attached to it. Why do you think Zappos just threw their arms up and built an empire on free shipping – both ways? Because they know that eventually the sale will stick – even if a woman has to exercise her right to buy eight and return seven, that still calculates as a sale! If you interviewed the UPS driver and asked what the most common size box that they tote around all day is, no doubt the answer would be shoeboxes! Kind of surprised actually that there isn’t a ‘Dominos’ for shoes, wouldn’t that be delightful, “That will be $85.00 and they will arrive in less than 20 minutes.”

But alas, I digress. Let’s get to work figuring out how we can buy the right boot from the get-go. Because this is a huge category, today we are only tackling ‘booties’. Let’s start with how much we hate the word booties. Just so you know, booties are a category on the sidebar of every shoe webpage, so we are stuck with it, despite the visions it conjures up.

Let’s break the ‘booties’ down into three categories, because if we define it that way, perhaps you will shop for them that way, and then maybe actually wear them that way. Why? Because the biggest problem with booties is that many women think one bootie style serves all, and we know that just is not true.

First Category – Pant Booties
The main thing to consider about pant booties before you buy them, is what kind of pants you wear and what type of look you are going for. Check out the difference below between the style/feel/look of the Dansko boot and the Munro boot. If your personal style tends to be a bit more conservative, the Dansko would be a good choice for you because it can be worn with leggings, skinny jeans or skinny corduroys. It is a good workhorse, no nonsense, type of boot. The Munro on the other hand bumps up the style factor and looks good with leggings and boot cut jeans, but causes challenges with the skinny jean for obvious reasons. Who trumps, the top of the boot or the bottom of the jean? It becomes a power struggle with the jean not staying inside or not fitting over the outside and then when you think you have it all straightened out, you sit down and the ‘situation’ becomes a situation all over again. Whew – too much work. So first assess your pants, then shop for boots. Always note the size of the opening at the top of the boot and make sure it is not too tight (making your calf look choked) or too loose (making your calf look like it’s lost in a bell jar).

Pant Booties

Second Category – Dress Booties
How to make a statement without really trying – let the boot do the talking! There really is no better way to jazz up a tired old slim skirt, add flare to a knit chemise, or sass up those skinny dress trousers than finishing the look with one of the beauties shown below. For the office, the David Tates trump. Stylish, sophisticated, comfortable and they communicate that you are in control. They have a solid platform so if you are wearing a Fitbit as arm candy, you can still keep up the pace. These booties yearn for textured hose to complete the look. Then there are the Michael Kors; he pretty much designs with the woman in mind who likes a bit of bling. These have a bit, but remain classy and stylish. They will look great in the boardroom (think Good Wife) and the heel is just high enough to give your gams a workout.

Dress Booties

Third category – Rockin Booties
Okay, the workday is over, time to grab your party shoes, your American Express card and hit the night scene. Just think how good your legs are going to look in these! Again, first choice here is textured hose, but a colored sheer would accent the look if your skirt or dress is a busy pattern. If the thought of a sky-high heel like the Vince Camuto is scaring you, note the platform in the front of the shoe. That makes the pitch a bit more palatable and for the vertically challenged woman, popping on an occasional heel will give you a different view.

Rockin Booties

Lastly – here are a few hosiery ideas, just to get the juices flowing. All booties and hosiery available at Nordstrom.

Textured hosiery

Remember, assess your pants, make a plan, shop online first for ideas and shop with purpose. Next week we will tackle the midway and tall boots – stay tuned!

And of course add your comments below because we love your feedback!

Doreen Dove empowers women to use style as a tool to take strategic control of their image. She is an image consultant, personal stylist and professional speaker. Her extensive background in all aspects of retail has uniquely qualified her to work with women of all ages and professions, coaching them to personal style success. www.DoreenDove.com

Book a complimentary Boost Your Image Breakthrough Session with me. We’ll chat about buying the boots! Then we’ll move on to your closet, your image and whatever else comes up! I look forward to ‘meeting’ you on the phone!

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