How To Wear Ankle Boots To Work

A good pair of ankle boots is the best of all worlds. You get the support of a solid boot but without the bulk. For the person who works in the office environment, it's the best of all worlds, and especially if you have a quality pair of ankle boots.

But how do you wear them to the office? Can ankle boots work with a suit? Or are they more of a Casual Friday thing? Can I have boots made to order for occasions such as this?

You can do any darn thing you like. If you're working for people that chide you for not wearing dress shoes, they're clearly more interested in telling employees what to do instead of productivity. That's a lousy gig, and you should quit as soon as you possibly can to work for an outfit that has their head on straight.

However, if you wanted to conform a little more to conventions of men's fashion, then there are a few pointers that may help.

Ankle Boots Can Be Covered With A Slightly Longer Hem

wearing ankle boots with proper jeans

While it may be in for the kids these days to roll up the hem of their distressed jeans, the discerning gentleman should get a slightly longer hem to wear with ankle boots.

If your office or work demands either daily or occasional business formal/business professional dress, ankle boots require a modicum of concealment to satisfy a more conservative dress code.

The reason why anyone balks at potentially wearing ankle boots with semi-formal to formal wear is the potential sight (gasp) of the taller boot mouth, which of course diverges from the low cut of Oxfords or brogues which, of course, should never, ever be worn.

In reality, if anyone notices and has anything to say about it...they're probably paying a little bit too much attention to how other people dress. Unless of course it's a compliment, in which case they have impeccable taste.

The conservative nature of formal dress is such that dress clothes require dress shoes, and ankle boots are often not dress shoes. However, many ankle boots are - near as makes no difference - the same design as a more formal dress shoe with a slightly taller mouth. If that part can't be seen, there's not going to be a discernible difference by outward appearance.

Therefore, get your suit pants slightly longer than normal - perhaps a half-inch longer - and no one will ever be the wiser.

Pair Your Ankle Boots With A Good Pair Of Jeans

wearing ankle boots at work

If your place of business has more of a business casual dress code, pair your ankle boots with a good pair of jeans. Color is a matter of taste, of course, but stonewash and classic blue denim pairs well with black or brown boots, and the darker shades of denim pair well with an oxblood or orange/brown pair of ankle boots.

Leather shoes and boots pair well with denim, hardly new information to anyone.

Besides, if you're going to bother getting a pair of serious heritage boots, you might as well invest in great jeans to go with them. Levis are still the standard by which others are judged, though they are a bit more for the budget-conscious when it comes to quality denim.

Top Tip: never, ever send your jeans through the drier. The best practice is to hand wash or machine wash separately, and air dry. It keeps the denim from stretching, maintaining the integrity and allowing patina to develop...just like a great pair of leather boots.

Black Ankle Boots Go With Anything

Another great tip is that black ankle boots tend to go with anything. A 6-inch boot is the perfect middle ground; with a longer hem they can be worn with a suit without issue and of course can be worn with slacks, khakis or chinos, and obviously with jeans or other pants.

Give them a high mirror shine before meetings (or court dates, if you're a lawyer) or put just enough on to keep the leather protected the rest of the time.

There's nothing wrong with brown, honey or any other color, but it's also true that black shoes are the Swiss Army Knife of footwear. You can use them for darn near anything.