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The stylish beauty of new-look winter booties

Dec 04,2007
This season’s bootie. Provided by Starlet Ash
Winter is a season for boots. Until recently, the most common variety spotted on the streets were knee-highs, either comfortable rough-textured leather riding boots or sexy skintight stilettos.
This season a new species has arrived on the scene, though when you see them for the first time, they don’t really look as if they qualify to be called booties ― they barely touch your ankles.
“They [booties] have been appearing on the runways since the 2006 fall and winter season, but they’re particularly big this year,” said Jang Mun-seok, merchandising manager in charge of shoes at Shinsegae Department Store, downtown Seoul.
The difference is, according to Jang, booties are tighter around the ankle, whereas ankle boots have a wider fit.
“They come in various shapes. Some look like classic oxfords, while others have zippers on the side, sometimes on the back of the shoes. The overall design and look is usually very attractive,” Jang said.
Kim Chae-yeon, director of Starlet Ash shoes, said this winter is all about retro and minimalism.
“For Korean women, booties are actually a better fashion choice than ordinary ankle boots. The general opinion is that they make legs look longer.”
The top style tip for booties this season is to pay special attention to the ankle, Kim suggested.
“Match the tone of your stockings or skinny pants with the booties to make sure there’s continuity,” she said.
“If your pants are too long, all the charm will be lost. Cropped pants are also tricky because they tend to divide the length of your legs. Make sure that the line through your leg, ankle and foot flows smoothly.”
According to Jang, Korean women are appreciating the finer points of the new bootie.
“Normally, sales for long boots account for about 60 percent of all shoe sales during the winter season,” she said.
“But that figure has dropped to about 40 to 50 percent, while booties make up about 20 percent,” she added.
The price varies, Jang said, but booties from domestic designer brands retail for between 200,000 won ($216) and 300,000 won.
Trendy items go for a lot more, and imports sell for about the same price, but if they are brand-name products or if they’re made from exotic leather, they tend to become more expensive.
Picking the right booties is now the fun task of the season. “Toned-down colors or black are always the best bet,” Kim said.
“If you went for a conservative color, add fun with texture and material. Patent leather or velvet is good to add that extra glitter for the season,” Kim added.
Proportion is also a key consideration. Skinny jean or leggings with bulky sweater tops are an easy match for booties. Colorful opaque stockings under a mini dress are another option to show off your legs.


By Ser Myo-ja Staff Reporter [myoja@joongang.co.kr]



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