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If we had to pick one outfit to wear for the rest of our lives, it would definitely involve boots and jeans. But what if we were only given the choice of ankle boots, and we weren’t sure how to wear them perfectly with said jeans? Well, in the words of the great Tim Gunn, we’d “make it work.”
In all seriousness, ankle boots and jeans are an adorable combo — but they are also notoriously tricky to pair together. We’ve rounded up some handy tips to make sure you know exactly how to wear booties with jeans.
1. Roll the cuff of your jeans just above your boots to show them off.
If you tend to reach for your skinny jeans every time you’re in the mood to wear ankle boots, it’s time to change things up. Cuffing denim above the ankle (rather than trying to tuck jeans into your boots) allows you to wear straight leg or boyfriend jeans, too. Just think of all the possibilities! This pairing works best when you’re working with a pair of high-heeled booties—added height offsets the tomboyish look of baggy cut jeans.
To cuff your jeans, simply fold the hem of your jeans about two-inches, and then fold a second time to get the desired length. A little tip: it’s often easier to cuff your jeans before putting them on, and then just adjust afterwards as needed.
2. Fold the hem of skinny jeans inward.
If your jeans are too long to really show off your boots in the best light, fold the hem inwards and tuck them in, so that the fold is invisible. This works best on skinny cuts and will look like you’ve had your jeans tailored to the perfect length, rather than cuffed. Do this before you actually pull the jeans on, and iron the cuff to make sure the crease stays sharp and flat all day.
3. Rip your hem.
Pull out a pair of scissors and snip your skinny denim to crop them at the perfect length to show off your ankle boots. We recommend that you use a tape measure and pencil to mark exactly where you would like to cut, and then use a sharp pair of fabric scissors to cut along the outline. Leave them un-hemmed for an intentionally distressed finish. Try this trick to give your tired skinny, boyfriend, or straight jeans a fresh attitude.
4. Go monochromatic.
If it’s longer legs you’re after (who isn’t), pick boots in the same color as your denim. This is an easy way to make your legs appear leaner and longer, and works best when you also choose a high-heeled boot.
5. Opt for pants with a zipper cuff.
Are you wearing jeans or pants with a zipper hem this winter? Well, rather than zipping ’em up and tucking them into your boots, open up the zipper, and leave the hem open and untucked over a pair of statement ankle boots.