Over-the-knee (OTK) boots are great. They’re slimming, look high fashion, go with everything, and were finally mainstream last year. But, that’s exactly why you should NOT buy them now. A few years ago a nice pair of over-the-knee boots would have been a fantastic investment. However, they’ve made their way into mainstream fashion, and while that’s no reason to not wear a trend, I am personally choosing not to upgrade my OTK boots this year, and I don’t think you should either. I think they are on their way out of style in the next year or so, and here’s why:
A professor named Everett Rogers developed the theory of “diffusion of innovations”. His theory helps us understand trends and how they develop over time. While none of us want to believe we’re late to the game, I guarantee many of the bloggers you see on Instagram (myself included), finally jumped on the trend in the Early Majority, not an early adopter or innovator. Last year I would consider the late majority since most people who were holding out finally jumped on the trend.
By my estimation, at the time of this original post in September 2018, we were now at the end of the Late Majority part of the curve with OTK boots, and moving into the laggards. While pictured on a few runways in the AW18 shows last February, they were not noted as a trend for the season in Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, or Cosmopolitan. Additionally, only a few pairs of over the knee boots were featured in the 2018 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and even fewer in 2019. I usually look to this sale as a note to more mainstream (early and late majority) trends of the season. In the 2019 sale, in two different stores I couldn’t find any OTK boots in store, but there were a few options online! While I doubt they’ll ever go away completely, the innovators and early adopters have already moved on to the latest and greatest.
What is the Latest and Greatest? Tall Boots!
Tall boots come in varying heights, so you can get them a few over-knee styles, but they aren’t your same super-slim thigh-high styles barely-fit-your-thigh-into-let-alone-your-jeans-boots that have been popular in the last few years. The most popular height, and the one I recommend is knee-high, so just a bit shorter than the OTK/thigh high boot, so it hits right at your knee and does not go over.
I got these Sam Edelman boots at the Nordstrom Anniversary sale and am already planning tons of fall looks around the style! (Note: Mine are from 2018, the 2019 version is almost identical, but have a slightly pointier toe.) Personally, I love the tall straight shaft over the super-tight OTK boots or super slouchy styles à la Paulette from Legally Blonde.