When it comes to fashion, there are a few universal standards: florals for spring, linen for the summer, and denim for… well, every season. Denim jeans are the classic garment that will never go out of style, so they’re often the first step in building an outfit you’ll love.
The second step? Ankle boots.
Ankle boots have taken many shapes and styles over the years, but none that didn’t look fabulous alongside denim. Despite only reaching 1 to 4 inches above the ankle,1,2 these classic boots pack a whole lot of punch (sorry, kick). Between assertive block heels and chic knit shafts, each ankle boot style offers something uniquely interesting to spice up a neutral classic like denim.
For tips on how to wear ankle boots with jeans, look no further. Just sit back (in your comfiest jeans) and let this blog serve as your expert guide for curating the ankle boot look that’s right for you.
Finding the Perfect Pair: Choosing Ankle Boots That Complement Your Jeans
Even as a go-to combo, not all ankle boots will complement each pair of jeans (and vice versa). Because not one size fits all, it can be difficult to intuit how to style ankle boots with jeans of any kind, not even to mention which ankle boots and jeans combo is best for you.
If you are wondering how to wear jeans with a bootie, the good news is that there are many denim-ankle boot pairings that work well—it’s all about finding the right one for your style and wardrobe.
Elevating Your Style: Ankle Boots and Flared Jeans
Flared jeans were quite literally made for ankle booties. No, seriously. Their extraordinary flare cuffs were specially designed to allow bulkier shoes like boots to fit underneath wear-to-work styles.3
These jeans gave way not only to the 1960s bell bottom craze but also to the modern-day affinity for flares and bootcut jeans. It wasn’t a coincidence that the popularity of the trusty ankle boot rose accordingly—flared jeans and ankle-length boots are the tried and true dynamic duo of fashion history.
Your ankle boot choice will not only beautifully balance out your flared jeans but also embolden your entire look. Though the volume of your flares will always tuck your ankle boots away a bit, they still peek their toes out and always pack a punch. Try out some of the following styling ideas to channel the timelessness of this fashion combo:
- Don’t forget the heel – With so much fabric on the lower leg, understated shoe styles like flat boots can get lost underneath. Instead, try going for a heeled shoe similar to our Shantelle Ankle Boot or Cecily Ankle Boot. Even a delicate kitten heel or a slight platform can add height and harmony to a flared jean look.
- Pair with a flowy blouse – To mirror the loose fit on your lower leg, pair your flared denim with a loose-fitting blouse or a fitted top with wide, flowy sleeves. With the larger proportions of this combo, you can’t go wrong with a chunky heel.
- Match in monochrome – Choosing jeans and boots in the same colorway can lend an air of sophistication to your look with only a fraction of the effort. And not only will you look amazingly put together, but your legs will also have the illusion of being longer.
No matter the final outfit you choose, know that it’s part of a long history of effortlessly chic fashion. From cropped cowboy boots to studded suede ankle booties, you can’t go wrong.
Styling Ankle Boots with Skinny Jeans: Tips for a Sleek and Streamlined Look
Countless cuts of jeans have had their moment at the top of the trend hierarchy, but none are as persistent as the skinny jean—and for good reason. Skinny jeans are versatile, flattering on anyone, and more comfortable than we care to admit (since they’re often made to stretch). If you’re one who reaches for skinnies every morning, try pairing them with your favorite ankle boots next time. Here are some tips on how.
Finding the Right Fit
When learning how to wear ankle boots with skinny jeans, one of the first things to decide is how the bottom cuffs of your jeans will meet the top of the boot shafts. No one wants awkward bunching of fabric, but should you cuff your skinny jeans? Tuck them in? Here’s the scoop:
- If your skinny jeans are too long (the hemline falls below your ankle), and your ankle boots are looser fitting in the shaft (they don’t cling closely to your leg), feel free to tuck your jeans into your boots for a fool-proof fit. This works best if the boot shaft rests anywhere more than an inch above your ankle.
- For ankle boots with a slim fit—like a comfy sock boot, for example—you can wear them right under your skinny jeans without a hitch. And if you find that your jeans are still bunching up in a way you dislike, a few up-turns of the cuff will streamline the skinny-fit look.
- With an ankle boot that’s very short-shafted (perhaps even stepping into the “bootie” territory), you can choose to let your skinny jeans graze the tops of your boots, no problem. Another popular option that’s been trending: wear your ankle boots with jeans that leave just a sliver of room above your boots, leaving a small band of your sock or skin exposed. For bonus points, throw on a pair of socks with a fun print or a colorway that matches your ensemble.
Making the Style Your Own
Now that you’ve figured out your favorite way to rock skinny jeans with your boots, the next step is to devise a look that fits with your personal fashion taste. Though all tastes are unique, everyone can use some fashion inspiration now and again, especially when musing on ankle boots and jeans. Feel free to experiment with the following styles to achieve a look that is as custom to you as it is glamorous:
- Add a thick sole – If you’re feeling empowered, juxtapose the skin-tight look of skinny jeans with a chunky ankle boot, such as the Hazal Ankle Boot, that lets you reach and feel sky-high.
- Show off embellishments – Embellishments are the cherry on top of ankle boots. Buckles, zippers, studs, embroidery, and more all add some fun visual interest to an otherwise classic look.
Pairing Ankle Boots with Straight-Leg Jeans: Effortlessly Cool and Casual Outfits
In the last decade, straight-leg jean styles have been on the rise, seen on the runway, in the office, or even at home. There are many variations—mom jeans, dad jeans, boyfriend jeans (soon we’ll have the whole family!)—but all are famous for their more relaxed, forgiving, and adaptable fit. Sounds ideal for an ankle boot outfit, no?
Yes, totally. With cuffs that aren’t as narrow as skinny jeans but not as wide as flared jeans, you have much more freedom as to how to wear ankle boots with straight-leg jeans. However, with more range comes more styling responsibility.
Because straight-leg jeans, like flared jeans, are extra roomy around the ankles, we don’t recommend tucking them into ankle boots either. To achieve the most flattering fit between your straight-leg jean and ankle boots, consider the following styling tips:
- A one-turn cuff – Sometimes, cuffing your jeans can add unnecessary bulk, which is exactly what you’re trying to avoid here. Instead, simply turn over your cuff a single time. The different denim tone from the underside of your jeans will peek out and better accentuate your ankle boot, regardless of how thick or thin the band is.
- Tapered hems, tighter shafts – The more tapered the hemlines of your straight-leg jeans are, the more welcoming they are to slimmer-fitting boot shafts, generally. Chunky boots, by contrast, would bulk up underneath your jeans. Next time, try tapered jeans with leather ankle boots that are soft, skin-hugging for a pretty and proportional look.
- An added block heel – Calling all boyfriend jean aficionados! You can match the energy with a stylish block heel. The wide cuff of boyfriend jeans demands a presence to fill them up, so don’t spare any punches with a chunky heel. As opposed to slimmer options like a stiletto heel, a block heel adds bold visual weight to support the denim you’re rocking on top.
Put a Stylish Spring in Your Step with Vionic
If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that you don’t have to be a fashion expert to know how to wear jeans with ankle boots and booties. It’s all about finding the denim cuts you already know and love, then finding fun footwear to complement them. Ultimately, the goal is to look and feel your most confident and comfortable in whatever pairing of ankle boots and jeans you dream up.
Vionic’s footwear helps you reach that goal. Behind every Vionic shoe is a fashion-forward design and exclusive VIO-MOTION™ innovation, an exclusive biomechanical technology that supports your feet’s health and comfort no matter the terrain.
Ankle boots are an indelible part of fashion history, and Vionic is bringing them into a new fashion future. Shop Vionic boots and more today.
- Lajiness Kaupke, Laura. “Every Closet Needs a Pair of Ankle-Length Booties.” Vogue. 16 October, 2022. https://www.vogue.com/article/best-booties
- “Booties vs. Ankle Boots: What’s the Difference?” Vionic. 15 April, 2019. https://www.vionicshoes.com/blog/booties-vs-ankle-boots/
- Dervis, Petra. “Bell Bottom Blues.” Made to Measure Magazine. https://web.archive.org/web/20060409134729/http://www.madetomeasuremag.com/features/pre2003/953843329.html