Here at Who What Wear headquarters, we always keep a vigilant watch on the footwear worn by the well-heeled Hollywood elite. While over-the-knee boots and ankle booties still rule for fancy, non-working nights out, fashionable celebs pick a more moderate style for their daytime activities. The favored selection-henceforth to be referred to as cropped boots-is invariably paired with a loosely tucked-in pair of deep blue or black skinny jeans, resulting in a perfectly undone, totally easy-going look.
While the way these ladies wear their cropped boots might not seem revolutionary, the subtle style tweak makes all the difference. Don't forget that up until recently, a casual boots-and-jeans look always required a pair of knee-high equestrian or vintage boots and some methodical denim tucking (one never wants to add bulk to ones calves). However, as witnessed on some of the savviest trendsetters, the cropped boot is fast replacing its taller counterpart.
As for why this look is dominating, well, we're not exactly sure. Maybe everyone loves cropped boots because they offer a weather-appropriate way to transition into a spring wardrobe? Or perhaps it's a time issue: who has the patience to zip, button or lace a boot all the way up, when you can just pull on a boot that is roomy enough to easily slip your skinnies into? Whatever the reason, we are quite taken with the look, and can't wait to showcase our favorite cropped boots, as seen on some of the most stylish tastemakers from coast to coast.
One of the most popular ways our trendsetters style their cropped boots is with menswear-inspired pieces. While running errands around Beverly Hills, Emma Roberts paired her Doc Marten 1460 Boots ($99.95) with Current/Elliott's The Legging Jean ($218) and Elizabeth and James' Double Breasted Blazer ($471). Kate Moss wore a shrunken schoolboy blazer with buckled boots while shopping in central London, while Agyness Deyn opted for a boyfriend jacket to create a strong T-shaped silhouette when picking up coffee in the East Village last week. Though neither of the Marc by Marc Jacobs' boots seen on Moss or Deyn are available for purchase, try BCBGirls' Herry Boots ($69) or Topshop's Aztec-Studded Ankle Boot ($160) to duplicate their utilitarian chic look. We are also keen on Nicky Hilton's military-esque boots, which looked smashing with her tucked-in Jet Trasher Skinny Jeans ($188) and leather moto jacket. Try Michael Kors' Mogul Boots ($399) for a similar effect.
Of course, some fashion-forward forces prefer to wear simpler styles. For example, Mary-Kate Olsen and Michelle Williams both opted for no-fuss flat boots to run errands in Manhattan and Brooklyn, respectively. Olsen may have paired a vintage embroidered poncho with Vivienne Westwood's AngloMania Boots, but we love DV by Dolce Vita'sKent Buckle Ankle Boots ($71) for a well-priced alternative. If you want Williams' carefree and casual look, slip on Free People's Landon Bootie ($118) and jaunt around your neighborhood in understated style.
In addition to biker buckles or simple slouchy models, many celebs are also going for boots embellished with studs, ruching and fringe for a decidedly hippie vibe. Rachel Bilson reached for a cropped boot with gathered leather details, much like Forever 21's Nadia Slouched Boots ($35). Sienna Miller selected a boot with metallic adornments to get a luxuriously boho look. The British beauty chose a pair of Strategia's Studded Buckle Suede Boots ($437), but we like Forever 21's Monet Studded Boot ($34.80) even more, considering the lower price point. Claudia Schiffer slipped her cobalt blue bottoms into a pair of fringed Minnetonka Moccasin Trampers ($55) which complimented her floral belle sleeve blouse beautifully. And there you have it: nine cropped boot examples, each one cooler than the last.-Kate Mulling
Photos of Emma Roberts, Michelle Williams, Agyness Deyn, Mary-Kate Olsen, from Splash; Photos of Kate Moss and Nicky Hilton, from Pacific Coast News; Photos of Rachel Bilson and Claudia Schiffer, from INF; Photo of Sienna Miller, from Bauer-Griffin.