THE SHOES: Topshop ‘Captive’ 70-style tan knee boots, £120
You can’t beat a good pair of tan knee-high boots, can you? I’d more or less live in them every autumn and winter – if I could only find the perfect pair! Alas, I seem to have been on that particular search for years now. I do have a pair of “not-perfect-but-they’ll-have-to-do-for-now” boots, but the problem, as is always the case with tan boots, is with the calf width. They need to hit that perfect sweet spot where they’re wide enough to let you tuck trousers and jeans inside them, but not so wide that they’ll gape like wellies if you’re just wearing them with tights.
It’s hard (and sometimes feels downright impossible) to find that combination, but it’s well worth the effort, because tan knee-highs are the kind of boots you’ll have for years, and wear with countless different outfits. Topshop may describe their ‘Captive’ boots as ’70s style’, but while these boots do have a definite 70s vibe about them, I think they’re actually quite classic, and not the kind of thing that will date too easily.
These boots are just the right shape for a smart/casual look. Topshop don’t actually give the heel height (or not that I can see, anyway), but it looks to me to be around 3.5″, which is a great walking height: the fact that it’s fairly chunky will also help with the comfort factor. A rounded toe also helps give these a classic feel: these aren’t dress boots, so they’re probably best reserved for weekend wear, or more casual days, but they’re still reasonably smart, and will work equally well with skirts and trousers. The colour, meanwhile, is the perfect shade of tan leather: I’ve paired these with complimentary shades of beige and cream, but I think this colour also look great contrasted with navy, black or green.