Have you wondered how to take that pair of over-the-knee boots in your closet from the weekend to the workweek? Maybe you've also wondered if it's even possible or if they're just too risque to ever be office-appropriate. Well, wonder no more - we've done the research, and you'll find answers to all of your most pressing questions about over-the-knee boots in this article.
When styled appropriately, over-the-knee boots can be worn to the office, depending on the field. In more conservative offices like law or accounting firms, over-the-knee boots typically don't quite make the professional cut. In most other offices, however, boots of any length are perfect to wear to work as long as the rest of your outfit is professional.
With so many different potential combinations of clothing and boots, it can be challenging to figure what is professional and what crosses the line. But don't worry - we've broken it down and explained it in this article. Keep reading and you'll be ready to style your over-the-knee boots with confidence!
How to Wear Over the Knee Boots to Work
One of the most important things to remember when styling your over-the-knee boots in a professional way is to cover up your legs. The hem of your skirt should be no more than 1" above the top of your boot if your legs are bare, or you can wear opaque tights or pants.
The height of the boot's heel makes a big difference as well. High heeled over-the-knee boots are often seen as sexy, a la Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, but low heels give off more of an equestrian vibe. It's much easier to style low heels in a professional way, but moderate to high heels can work with more formal clothing options such as pantsuits and blazers.
Also, keep in mind the general culture of your office. Any of the options discussed in this article should be appropriate in a casual or creative work environment, but they might only work on "casual Fridays" in a more traditional office. Use your best judgment when deciding what to wear to your particular work environment. Over-the-knee boots are definitely a strong style choice, but they might be just the unique statement you've been wanting to make.
What Can I Wear With Over the Knee Boots For Casual Business?
Business casual is a common work dress code that generally means elements of formal business wear (think blazers or suits) paired with casual wear (blouses, dresses, or shoes with a fun pattern). Even though the rules of professionalism still apply and you shouldn't wear anything like a crop top or strapless sundress, you can have a little bit more fun than you can with business formal. This dress code presents a perfect opportunity to incorporate over-the-knee boots, and here are a few ideas to help make that happen.
- Wear opaque black tights and a sheath dress like this one from Lark and Ro, available on Amazon. The opaque tights ensure that you show only the most professional amount of leg. Plus, you can wear fleece-lined tights in the winter for added warmth!
- Pair your boots with a pencil skirt and tailored blouse. This is a professional, feminine look that's appropriate for even more conservative offices.
- Tuck a pair of black cigarette pants into your boots and add a matching blazer for a unique variation on the classic pantsuit.
- Try a flowing midi dress for a boho vibe that's especially appropriate at creative offices - check out this dress we found on Amazon.
- If your office is more on the casual side, pair your boots with skinny black pants and a tunic-length sweater.
- In winter, wear your boots with a sweater dress, like this one, and opaque tights (you could even wear fleece-lined tights for maximum warmth and coziness that no one will ever guess!).
How Should I Wear Over the Knee Boots If I'm Over 40?
If you love the look of over-the-knee boots, don't let age discourage you from wearing them! Lots of older ladies look absolutely fabulous rocking this style, as it exudes confidence and a spirit of adventure. Most of the style guidelines for wearing over-the-knee boots when you're over 40 echoes the guidelines for professional wear. This means that you should have no trouble looking both work- and age-appropriate.
Something to keep in mind is choosing the right boot for your height and body rather than your age. Any length of boots looks great on tall women, but if you're petite you'll want to choose boots that come to just a couple of inches above the knee. This leaves most of your thigh exposed, creating the illusion of longer legs. You can accentuate that illusion even more by matching the color of your boot with the color of your pants. Darker colors produce a slimming effect.
Can I Wear Over-the-Knee Boots in Spring?
In lots of places, spring means that there's chilly temperatures and sometimes even snow. You might not be ready to pack away your boots quite yet, but how can you give them more of a spring-like vibe? Color makes a big difference when transitioning from a winter wardrobe to spring. You can swap out your black over-the-knee boots with a pair in a tan or light gray, or simply pair your dark winter boots with a light-colored outfit.
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Tan over-the-knee boots, like these from Amazon, help take your look into warmer weather, especially when you pair them with a light-colored outfit. You can make a big statement by creating a monochromatic look.
Wear your over-the-knee boots with a flowy floral midi dress, like this one available on Amazon. You'll stay warm but also embrace the blossoming spirit of spring!
Are Ankle Boots Business Casual?
If you like the idea of wearing boots to work but aren't ready to commit to the impact of over-the-knee length, try ankle boots! Ankle boots have become widely accepted in mainstream style, including the workplace. This style is perfect for business casual wear in any type of office, and the styling choices are endless:
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Wear your boots with a knee-length dress - adding a pair of tights is a popular look, but it looks just as good with a bare leg. This look can work year-round, depending on your choice of legwear.
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Add skinny pants, a button-up blouse, and a sweater for a preppy look. If your pants are long, roll the cuffs so they rest just above your ankle bone. This gives a flash of skin at the ankle that helps visually elongate your legs.
Pair your ankle boots with tights, an A-line skirt like this one we found on Amazon, a fitted sweater, and a chunky necklace. This is a classic cold-weather style that also looks great with a peacoat or blazer.
How Can I Wear Over-the-Knee Boots With Jeans?
Tall boots paired with jeans are a classic combination and one that can be adapted for both casual weekend outings and casual Fridays at the office. Not only are over-the-knee boots a versatile transition piece between warmer and cooler weather, but they also easily bridge the gap between professional and casual wear.
- Wear your boots and jeans with a crisp button-up and blazer for a casual Friday at your corporate office.
- Over-the-knee boots with a plaid shirt, puffy vest (this is a great choice), and a chunky knit scarf is a cozy look for a fall afternoon spent at the apple orchard or pumpkin patch.
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- A striped sweater under a blazer and paired with boots and jeans look just as good at the office as it does when you're grabbing coffee and running errands on a Saturday morning.
What Can I Wear Over-the-Knee Boots With?
Do you want some extra ideas for styling your over-the-knee boots outside the office? There are fewer guidelines involved than styling your boots for work, but you can still keep a few rules of fashion in mind. One of the most applicable is the concept of pairing something fitted on one half of your body with something loose on the other half. With over-the-knee boots, this would typically mean pairing your fitted boots with leggings or skinny jeans and then adding a loose tunic or sweater. However, rules are made to be broken, and you can easily turn up the impact by wearing over-the-knee boots with a fitted sweater dress or mini skirt.
Here are a few more ways to style your over-the-knee boots that are super fun but not completely appropriate for work:
- Bring a summer favorite into fall by wearing your boots with a romper - this one is a great choice. This bold look is sure to turn heads.
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- Pair your boots with a short, loose-fitting dress. Forget about work-appropriate lengths and go as short as you'd like - the over-the-knee length ensures that you won't get too chilly.
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- Add some dimension by wearing a short dress under a longer cardigan, like this one. This is a great transitional outfit for fall into winter since you can simply add tights when the temperature drops.