Over-the-knee boots need little explanation, but given that their past is murkier than Liam Fox’s, they do need a little caveating. Their purpose is to allow you to wear a skirt without tights. Counterintuitively, this makes them a great summer boot. At school we called them F-me boots, a sentiment echoed by their saltier appearances in cultural history: Pretty Woman, Victoria’s Secret models. You know, all the great taste-dodgers.
They’ve recently been given an acronym – OTK – which is red rag to me, and which is presumably how I found myself Googling them in secret, in the dead of night, in my kitchen, only for my search to be exposed thanks to the online cookies which followed me on social media in the days that followed. Still, with the cat out of the e-shopping bag, it seemed like a good time to give in. All they needed (I thought) was to switch the context (from winter to summer) and wear them with the right things.
There are variables to consider. How much leg you show depends on where you sit on the Fun Spectrum. You can show none and wear them under a longer dress, but what’s the point in that? The same goes for wearing them over jeans, which also feels a bit Victoria Beckham pre-rebrand. The skirt length depends on the height of the boot, but a wrist-thick sliver of flesh is a good starting point. If you nail the silhouette you can even show an inch more. Given these are tantamount to bodycon, the rest needs to be fluid: I’d go for a loose shift dress. Tether the whole look with a long duster coat if you want to take the edge off.
I suggest clothes in neutral pinks, greys and taupes – very Gigi Hadid, a committed over-the-kneer. As for the boots, go for block heels or flats over stilettoes, and avoid anything that resembles a leathery shar-pei. Vetements have a brown pair with a headlight in lieu of a heel, while Asos have plenty of black versions, if you’re skint. How about that for changing their narrative?
Styling: Melanie Wilkinso. Hair and makeup: Laurence Close at Carol Hayes Management.