Knee high boots: why knee high is back, and thigh high is out

knee_highKnee high boots are rising up from their purgatorial banishment to become a trend once again. The classic can stay classic, but if fall 2012’s runways are anything to go by, this year will give ample opportunity to make the humble knee-high boot a statement, and a force to be reckoned with.

If we exclaim that knee high boots are back, you might question whether they ever actually went anywhere. After all, how many women’s winter wardrobes don’t house at least a pair? And it’s not as if the major shoe houses stopped making them, right?

But when something becomes a classic that endures year after year, that doesn’t mean it can’t also experience a revival. What we’re talking about is the humble knee-high boot not just as something you pull on when you want a fail-safe classic look but as something fashion-forward, as something that swept the runways. As a fall 2012 fashion trend.

So we admit that the knee-high boot may not have gone anywhere as a classic, but it sure has been laying low as a fashion item. Replaced, in 2009, by the liberation of the thigh-high boot into the mainstream and the polar opposite success of the ankle boot. For several years the knee-high boot was deemed too boring to be worn with bare legs and skirts, when the ankle or thigh-high options were so much more fresh and exciting.

But fashion is cyclical and we start to miss those things that have been lying at the back of the wardrobe neglected. We want to dust them off and give them new life. To do that, designers in fall 2012 looked to interesting ways to give detail and flair to the knee high boot.

Knee high boots: the runway rule

midkneebootsWhile rule is strong word, and rules are always made to be broken, there was a general pattern on the runway of how knee-high boots were being presented for fall 2012. If the weather allows it: with stockings, tights, or pants, wear ankle boots. With bare legs, wear knee-high boots. Bar for some exceptions (like Gucci and Givenchy, whose outfits of pants tucked knee-high boots were opulently Gothic), the key way to wear the style this year and into next year isn’t the traditional jodhpur equestrian look. Instead it’s about bare knees or bare upper thighs; a tough yet sensual marriage of masculine and feminine.

The mid-knee cut

The key style of knee high boot in fall 2012 is the cavalry boot. It’s not quite a thigh-high but it doesn’t stop below the knee, either.

Look for styles that are cut higher in the front, either with a separate panel rising up to cover part of the knee, or with a gentle curve from back to front.


Head to Fashionising for the complete breakdown of the knee high trend report, visit fashionising.com


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