Can Boots Be Worn With Semiformal Attire?

By Tarah Damask

You may think your boots only go with casual outfits. Boots of all silhouettes and styles certainly work well with laid-back clothing, but this versatile footwear has its place among semiformal attire, as well. While you will be hard-pressed to add a pair of ankle boots to a formal gown, those dressed up, in-between looks are often given a chic, modern energy simply by adding boots.

Michael Kors - Backstage - Fall 2012 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Jessica Alba sports spiky ankle boots at the Michael Kors Fall 2012 show in New York City.

Cowboy Boots

If your style leans toward a bohemian-chic look or if your background is firmly rooted in the Southwest, a pair of cowboy boots might feel like the obvious choice for nearly any outfit. Fortunately, pairing cowboy boots with a semiformal dress creates an cute, down-to-earth appearance. Avoid wearing these rustic boots with heavier ensembles and instead combine them with lighter, more ethereal, hippie-inspired dresses for a soft, balanced vibe.

Ankle Boots

Of all the boots you can wear with semiformal attire, ankle boots will likely go the furthest in your wardrobe. A pair of black leather, patent leather or embellished, high-heel ankle boots perform double duty in your closet. Pop them on with a graphic dress and bare legs or a silky dress and black nylons. In your downtime and for more casual events, throw on the same boots with a pair of jeans and a blouse to get the most out of this footwear.

Knee Boots

Wearing a short dress during winter weather can present a problem even when you're cloaking your legs in opaque tights. For a little extra coverage and warmth as well as a chic addition to your look, consider knee boots. From boots that rise just under the knee to those that qualify as over-the-knee boots, go for luxe sueded or leather boots with slim heels for a dressier look. A semiformal dress with a feminine coat on top and knee boots below creates a cohesive outfit.

Lace-Up Booties

Sometimes the sleek, streamlined appearance of a pair of boots is too minimalistic for your otherwise detailed look. If you're wearing a dress decked out with ruffles or other ornamentation, a boot that follows suit is in order. Try out a pair of lace-up booties with interesting details, such as gently pointed toes, grommets, studs, a flared heel or contrast gold-tone hardware. From a not-too-formal suit to a beautiful dress with a Victorian-inspired high collar, lace-up booties add an extra dimension to your dynamic getup.