How to Wear Thigh-High Boots to a Cocktail Party

Thigh-high boots can be intimidating to wear. But there are ways to overcome the fear of looking like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. In fact, we recently wrote about how to wear over-the-knee boots.

As long as you follow the 5 simple guidelines featured in the article, then you need not cringe at the thought of wearing thigh-high boots ever again. But let’s talk about something else. What about wearing thigh-high boots to say, a cocktail party or a high-profile event? Can you? Would you?

Today, we’re going to show how, courtesy of some famous personalities. True, a lot will depend on the kind of event you’re off to. If it’s the Oscars, then be ready to ditch the boots for a pair of high-heeled sandals and a long gown. But if it’s a movie premiere, a launch, a more low-key award ceremony, a fashion shindig, or a company party, then go right ahead and pair your cocktail dress with those standout boots. Just remember to take note of the following:

1. Pick the Right Boots

First rule of thumb is to make sure you pick the right pair of boots. As stated in the previous article, stay away from patent or high shine. Next is to pick boots that are elegant, sleek, and sophisticated. Avoid bulky boots with extreme platforms or heels. Go with a silhouette that will easily complement your cocktail dress.

stuart weitzman highland thigh boots-horzStuart Weitzman Highland Suede Over-the-Knee Boots, $750

Lastly, make sure you wear boots that are classic and neutral in color. Avoid boots with too many patterns or too much decoration.  Black suede is always the safest and the easiest to pull off. You may also wear boots made of matte black fabric materials like neoprene — just like Charley Webb’s pair below.

The Inside Soap Awards 2013Charley Webb attends the 2013 Inside Soap Awards at the Ministry of Sounds in London on October 21, 2013

2. Pick the Right Dress

Once you’ve acquired your boots, the next thing that you should do is to pick the right cocktail dress to match. Never use a dress that is too revealing or too sexy. Over-the-knee boots, no matter how simple they look, ooze with sex appeal, so downplay them by going for a more conservative-looking frock.

Dresses with sleeves work best. If you’re going to use a dress that is glittered, sequined, or patterned, make sure your boots are classic and understated. Also, be sure to pick a frock that isn’t too short nor too long. Maintain a 3-inch gap between the hem of your dress and the top of your boots. If you want to push it, maybe 5 inches max.

Pick the Right DressLilly Pulizer Kariano Wool Crocheted Dress, $228 / French Connection Sequined Panel Dress, $298 / Milly Butterfly Sleeve Dress, $350

Here’s Petra Nemcova sporting a champagne-hued beaded long-sleeved number with her thigh-high boots. The conservative sleeves kept the boots from looking too sexy, while her glittery dress provided a wonderful contrast to the matte texture of her shoes.

The Atlelier Pronovias 2014 Bridal Show - ArrivalsPetra Nemcova attends the Atelier Pronovias 2014 Bridal Show in St. James Church in New York on November 12, 2013

3. Keep Your Accessories to a Minimum

Generally speaking, over-the-knee boots are statement accessories. That means you have to keep your add-ons to a minimum — especially if you’re going to pair your boots with say, a patterned or beaded dress.

Petra Nemcova (above) and Jamie Chung rocked their boots with barely-there extras. Petra went with a neutral clutch and very delicate strands of bracelets, while Jamie completely opted out of accessories save for a black hardcase and matching red lipstick.

2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion ShowJamie Chung attends the Victoria Secret Fashion Show in New York on November 13, 2013

Jimmy Choo 'Tamba' Over the Knee BootJimmy Choo Tamba Over-the-Knee Boots, $1895 at Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom

Credit: Jeff Grossman/Jeff Grossman/Lia Toby/WENN

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