Spring’s Foot Fashion: Booties

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Although almost the entire country was under a thick layer of fluffy white snow about a week ago, America’s favorite groundhog told us on February 2nd to pack up the parkas and slap on the sandals. Feeling a little blue about the weather right now, I’ll believe anything Punxsutawney Phil says if it means spring is coming early this year!

My feet have been held up in all sorts of closed toe footwear since early October, and while I’m excited to break out the peep-toe flats and platform espadrilles again, I can’t help feeling a little nostalgic about my beloved fall kicks already. It seems too soon to send them to their back-of-the-closet grave until the next time the leaves turn orange! I have to admit: while I love a cute set of strappy spring slingbacks as much as the next girl, I am in love with a pair of leather equestrian-inspired zip-up boots. Which is why it’s a good thing spring’s bringing a new trend to town. BOOTIES.

You read that right. And I’m not talking about your derrière! Fall had us gaga for tall boots that reached anywhere from the middle of your calf to above the knee. But as the sun creeps up on winter days, boots are creeping down toward the ankles. "Booties" is the perfect word for the 2011 spring trend–it perfectly describes how these shoes didn’t grow to be quite as tall as their older sister, the boot, but are still as versatile and useful.

The main factor that distinguishes a boot from a bootie is the height it comes up on your leg, but there are lots of other great things about them too. Booties are lighter and more appropriate for spring clothing. When the weather gets warmer and outfits get smaller, it’s only natural that your shoes should follow suit! While you might be a strictly sandal girl in the sunny months, consider giving booties a try–they are a fun and unconventional way to spruce up an outfit.

Don’t worry, booties can still be worn with pants. In fact, they look fabulous over a slender fitting pair, or even jeggings. But the amazing thing about these shoes is their ability to transcend traditional fashion guidelines to achieve staying power in all seasons and styles. Booties look cute with a billowy spring frock, jeans and an embellished tank, and even your go-to LBD.

There are two emergent styles within the booties genre. The first is a more casual approach to footwear: the flat bootie. These tend to look like shorter versions of fall classics. The second type is the bootie-with-a-heel combination–my favorite! Whether you’re walking on a wedge, platform, or stiletto, the added height elongates your legs and further adds to the amount of leg you’re already showing off by forgoing traditional tall boots.

Booties are truly an artist’s dream palette. Not too enormous that any embellishment would overwhelm the innocent passerby’s eyes, and not too tiny that all detail would be lost, booties classily display accents that show off each pair’s personality. Rhinestones, studs, buckles, shoe laces, flowers, fold-over fabrics, and layers are just a few of the ways designers have been bold with the texture of this spring’s cutest foot fashion.

Last but not least, one of my favorite things about booties is that your toes can peek out the end! Unlike boots, it’s not uncommon for booties to have a peep-toe opening for your tootsies to take a breather–and for you to show off a pretty pedicure!

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