There are few things I consider more essential for fall than the perfect ankle boots, or booties. Sure, you need that great coat, probably a cool hat, maybe a sweater or two—but booties? They’re critical.
As they’ve become increasingly omnipresent on the feet of well-heeled women, the versatility of ankle boots has made them hard to avoid, and equally hard to live without. It seems there’s no limit to the styling and details that give us ever more options each season—from buckles to laces, prints, fabrications and heel heights.
It felt like last fall was the season of the Rag & Bone ‘Harrow’ bootie—so what will take it’s place this season? My hunch says buckle-happy boots like the above Tabitha Simmons‘Harley’ wedge ankle boots will dominate the streets.
However, I’d never encourage you to blindly follow a trend that doesn’t feel like you—and there are plenty of handsome ankle boots in classic, rustic, sexy and quirky cuts that feel just as fresh.
J. Crew’s animal print Chelsea boots have the potential to become your new favorite ankle boot, since the print functions like a neutral and the flat heel invites everyday wear. If your style is ultimately pared down and classic (and even if it’s not), Rag & Bone’s ‘Classic Newbury’ or Acne’s ‘Cult’ ankle boots should do perfectly.
Just how should you wear this season’s best ankle boots? The short answer is: with anything and everything. From skinny trousers to rolled-up boyfriend jeans or tights and a midi skirt, you can’t lose. Above, shop our 10 favorite pairs of booties for fall 2013.