As a petite gal (I’m 5’2”), I can attest: There’s nothing we love more than an ankle boot. But while a classic Chelsea style is a staple, come fall—and winter, TBH—the knee-high variety also makes us swoon. But since it can be tricky to style a taller boot when height isn’t on your side, we asked Ashlyn Greer, a professional stylist, to share her best advice for how to choose the perfect pair of knee-high boots when you’re petite.
The 4 Rules of Wearing Knee-High Boots When You’re 5’4” and Under
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Rule 1: The Boot Should Hit Two Inches Below the Knee for the Best Fit
For knee-high boots, whether you’re petite or not, look for a pair that hits perfectly below your knee cap—about two inches below the center of your kneecap. (On the flip side, over-the-knee boots need to fully cover your knee.) The height of the shaft of the boot is actually one of the biggest factors when it comes to a more flattering fit, says Greer, so start there when choosing a style. (Note: This can require some trial and error given, that knee-high boots aren’t always designed for women with shorter calves.)
Rule 2: The Most Flattering Knee-High Boot Is One That Dips in the Front
While it can be a bit harder to find, a knee-high boot with a slight dip in the front center tends to be significantly more flattering if you’re petite, says Greer. The reason? The V shape can help elongate your legs, making you appear taller.
Rule 3: To Balance Out Sartorial Proportions, Show Some Skin
When you’re petite and wearing knee-high boots, if you choose to wear a skirt, it can help to show even a little bit of skin as a way to balance out longer or oversize silhouettes and ultimately give the illusion that you’re taller. Opt for a mini skirt or a midi and maxi that has a high slit rather than bottoms that totally cover you up. “You could even balance out the look with a lower neckline or by pushing up your sleeves,” says Greer.
Rule 4: If You’re Petite, Don’t Shy Away from a Boot with a Heel
Even if it’s just a kitten or block heel, a little bit of extra height is usually going to look better than a flat boot if you’re petite. “A knee-high boot with a heel can be worn with jeans or pants, shorter or longer-length dresses and skirts, too, whereas flat boots will often only work with a small range of silhouettes when you’re on the shorter side,” she says.