It is quite common to see women wear boots with dresses but some of these combinations look awkward. Obviously not all dresses and boots are meant for one another. To pull off a combination of them, you need to know how to match a pair of boots with your dress in style and color.
For a Floral Dress
Pick round-toed or square-toed boots for the pastoral aura of a floral dress. A pointed toe would look too edgy. Cowboy boots can complement a floral dress even if you don't do country dancing but they must be a lighter pair to match the dainty floral pattern.
Select mid-calf boots, which look the most natural with floral patterns, but make sure the hemline is above the boots or else there would be an illusion of thicker legs. Forget about boots if the dress is longer than mid-calf. Don't wear ankle boots because, with a floral dress, they would create a granny-like look.
Stay away from suede boots or fur-trimmed boots. They would look too winter-like to accompany a floral print.
Choose boots in the same hue as one of the floral pattern's colors; or go for an earth tone like brown, which will be in harmony with all flower colors.
For a Plaid Dress
Look for a pair of boots at least mid-calf length, preferably knee-high, to enhance the school-girl look of the plaid dress.
A laced pair of boots would add to the youthful style.
Wear a black pair of boots, which will match most plaid patterns, or opt for white if the plaid is in pastels.
For a Denim Dress
Determine the length of the boots based on the length of the dress. The shorter the dress, the higher the boots. Consider thigh high for a mini denim dress.
Avoid stiletto heels, which go against the casual nature of denim. For clubbing, the heels can be high, just not too thin. In most cases, low-heeled or flat boots match denim better.
Be bold about the boot color. Red will be hot, purple cool and silver foxy. All colors go with denim. But if you are wearing a belt, the belt and boots should be in similar colors.
Follow the new trend of cut-out boots if you wish. Cut-out/open-toed boots don't go with most dresses but can work with denim ones.
For a Sparkly Dress
Stand out more in high-heeled boots when your dress shimmers. Low heels may work if you are tall but sparkles usually call for the company of heels higher than two inches, which can be thick or thin.
Get a pair with a narrow toe, preferably pointed but a small round or square toe would be fine, too. Avoid wide-toed boots; they would look too casual to match the glamorous sparkles.
Avoid bright-colored boots with sparkly dresses. Black or white boots work best. But you can also opt for burgundy boots with a pink sparkly dress or dark brown boots with a gold frock.
Laced boots would look too "busy" and take attention away from the sparkles on the dress. The boot surface should be plain to let the sparkly dress shine.
For a Sweater Dress
Put on slouchy boots only if the sweater dress is thin and form-fitting. For a loose sweater dress, the boot legs must be skinny or else you may look chunky and stocky.
Wear opaque tights in the same color if you choose ankle boots to match a sweater dress. Ankle boots tend to make the legs look shorter but the tights can help extend the lines. Tights are not necessary if the boot legs are higher.
Contrast colors. Black boots with a white sweater dress or white boots with a black sweater dress will look chic. So will red boots with a gray sweater dress. But if you are wearing a belt, color-coordinate the belt with the boots (not necessarily in the same hue but in similar tones).
Crystal Tai started freelance writing in 2004 while working as a government employee. She has an e-book, "Secrets of Asian Women," published by Seashell Books in 2009. Tai received a Master of Arts in education policy with a minor in journalism from Stanford University.