15 Ways to Wear Ankle Boots That Haven't Already Been Done to Death

Just when you think you've figured it all out.

Unlike some other footwear you need all synapses firing to figure out, ankle boots are just shoes—you can consider the rest of your outfit without fearing that they'll throw the whole thing off at the last minute. Still, tried-and-true is just a few shades away from snoozy, so take our advice and flip through the 15 fresh ways to think below-the-calf first.

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Ask Not What Your Ankle Boots Can Do for You

Shop similar: Frances Valentine, $359

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But what shopping you can do for ankle boots that are a little bit different from the ones you already own. Look for lace-up, lug-sole ones similar to those you'd wear to hike or be punk in. Then style them like a magazine spread set in a field that's all swirling plaid skirts and ruddy cheeks, or any of the other ways shown ahead.

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Alicia Vikander

In Louis Vuitton

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Elsa Hosk

Shop similar: Off-White x Dr. Martens, $540

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Kaia Gerber

Dr. Martens, $135

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Just Get White Ones

Shop similar: Stuart Weitzman, $598

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Still fresh, still graphic. (In fact, the rest of your accessories are only going to get whiter next year too.)

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Michelle Williams

Shop similar: Topshop, $160

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In Louis Vuitton

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Pick a Color, Any Color (Except Black and White, Because We've Already Covered That)

Shop similar: Stuart Weitzman, $598

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Think those Balenciaga boot-pant things, but chopped short. Then you're left with cool colors like acid green and Barney purple.

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Gigi Hadid

Shop similar: Dr. Martens, $135

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Victoria Beckham

Shop similar: Balenciaga, $617

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In Balenciaga

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Some More Styling *Notes*

With a suit, your first instinct would probably be to put on some loafers to complete the dude-screaming-on-the-trading-floor theme. Mais non—the simple swap for boots transports you from the world of analysts and bitcoin futures for the far nicer one of Italian men's shows.

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With Some Weird Pants

For trousers that are this kind of flippy, you've got to come up with some kind of solution to be able to keep wearing them in cold weather. (Mules ain't gonna cut it anymore, my bud.) An ankle boot that hits right at (standing) or above the hem creates a sleek line while adding height.

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Matching Your Dress

This might require more shopping (whoops), but you might not mind given the payoff is a sense of harmoniousness one rarely feels in this friction-fraught world. (But it also doesn't have to be perfectly the same print, because trying to match the exact brocade without having something custom-made would be crazy.) Keep a target dress or boots in mind, but don't hurt yourself.

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Ankle Boots for Evening

Like evening evening, not just shenanigans-with-friends evening. When you need to make an impression, the natural inclination is to suck it up in stilettos, but you could just not do that and look a hell of a lot cooler, too, in boots with your cocktail dress. 1) Easier to balance in, so better for dancing. 2) You can wear socks. 3) More shoe material means more surface area for shiny things.

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Kristen Stewart

Shop similar: Jimmy Choo, $995

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In Chanel

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Noma Dumezweni

Shop similar: & Other Stories, $155

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