I Never Wear Basic Ankle Boots With These Pants—Here's Why

Secret’s out: the number one pant-and-shoe combo I avoid at all costs is basic, wide-shafted ankle boots (as opposed to ultra tight–fitting ankle boots) and jeans, as modeled above. Why? Because while the aforementioned image may not seem offensive at all to you, as it shouldn’t, let me remind you that you’re looking at the legs of a 5’10” supermodel. Trade hers for those of a 5’2” editor by the name of Nicole Akhtarzad, and you’ve got the recipe for looking, well, short (and thus, stout).

This is because since the ankle boots don’t have a narrow shaft, one is forced to wear them over their jeans, rather than tucked under, thus cutting off the legs and making them appear shorter. Even if the jeans were cropped, the wideness of the boot would meet the hem of the pants in a less-than-flattering way. This, of course, doesn’t affect Elsa Hosk, whose legs go on for days, but for the rest of us in the average-and-below height category, this is something wise to avoid.

As such, a general rule of thumb of mine is that if I’m wearing jeans, I avoid the wide boots and only wear ones that can tuck under them (such as a sock or Chelsea style), or any other shoe really. Boots like Hosk’s then get reserved for skirts and dresses, which don’t pose the same issue as denim.

Easy enough, right? Now shop some of my favorite jeans and jean-approved shoes below!