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Put your best foot forward this winter
By Nicole Milstead

As our winter worsens, the fashion industry steps it up a notch. Boots may be expensive for winter, but don't consider it a pricey accessory. It is an investment in your feet.

Uggs are back in style with a vengeance this year. The toasty toe warmers are a chic add-on that are not just meant for leggings like their previous push in 2002. The boots cost $125 to $250. This year, additional styles added to the line - such as metallic finishes and braided fabrics - are hot with skinny jeans.

These jeans retail from $45 to $69 at stores such as Express and Gap. The stores have updated their fits for the young and old with various washes and rises on the waist.

New style trends for boots this year include the slouch cowgirl boot and over-the-knee boots from designers such as Steve Madden and Aldo.

"A pair of over-the-knee boots instantly updates last season's skinny jeans, makes a mini more interesting and adds a layer a fashionable warmth in the cold weather," said fashion expert Sharon Haver, founder and editor in chief of FocusOnStyle.com.

"Women are absolutely responding to the over-the-knee boots trend this season," Haver said. "Look for suedes and flats for a less va-va-voom and more modern feel that will solve the 'Do I look like Julia Roberts in 'Pretty Woman?' a fear commonly associated with such an implied sexy style."

The boots vary in material from leather to suede and have hot new details such as straps and scrunching. These are less expensive than many other popular styles and can be found for as cheap as $50.

"When money is an issue, most of us look to as few pieces as possible to provide the biggest fashion update," Haver said.

Rain boots are also in the trend and on the runway this year. However, unlike the two previous years, prints such as stripes and polka dots, have been swapped for more rustic matte tones and a look similar to old-fashioned riding boots. These boots retail for anywhere from $20 at Target to $200 at Macy's. Raw rubber on your toes may not be as cozy as Uggs, but high-end boot manufacturer, Hunter has come up with a solution: inserts. Hunter makes fleece sock inserts that fit into the boot and overlap fold over the rim. This chic accessory greatly increases warmth and adds style to even the most mundane colors.

If you are looking to spice up your wardrobe in the dead of winter, a great pair boots will go a long way. 


Story published Friday, January 8, 2010 ( Volume 5, Number 1 )

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