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How to wear knee-high boots

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Allow me to introduce you to some dear old friends of mine: these boots. Every week in these photos, I wear something from my own wardrobe mixed with clothes that are in the shops now, and this week I’m wearing knee-high Mulberry boots that I wore and wore years ago, and that then languished in the bottom of my wardrobe for several winters, during which I wore ankle boots. Until last winter, when I sat catwalk-side, ankle-boot clad, watching knee-high boots in fashion shows and realised I wanted to wear them again, because… fashion.

So here they are. Except they look different, because the rest of my clothes are different. I’m not wearing skinny jeans these days, so I can’t wear my knee boots over the top of those, which was definitely a thing last time around. This time, the boots go under a loose, mid-length skirt. I know this because I saw it on the catwalks, like I said, but it’s taking a bit of getting used to now that I’m trying it out on me. This silhouette – a chunky heeled, sturdy boot disappearing under the hem of a skirt that swings loose below the knee – radiated effortless, laid-back nonchalance when I was watching it being worn by high-stepping 6ft-tall glamazons, but in the mirror, it looks a little… challenging, let’s say.

Related: How to wear a big easy coat | Jess Cartner-Morley

Challenging is good, though. Challenging is what new year is all about. This is the time of year to make some changes; maybe you will find a new job or go vegan. But for now, the out of office is on and there is brandy butter in the fridge that it would be silly to throw away, so in the meantime, boots are as good a place as any to start making changes. This is what I’m telling myself, anyway, while looking in the mirror and wondering why I look a bit like I’ve remembered, in the middle of a party, that I left my handbag in the car and have pulled on a pair of gardening boots to go and get it.

Worn under a loose skirt, my knee boots look less slick and more relaxed than they did when they were meeting the hem of a pencil skirt or had jeans tucked into them. But we’re getting used to each other, again. Should auld acquaintance be forgot, right? The new year starts here.

• Jess wears her own boots. Shirt, £25.99, and skirt, £49.99, both zara.com. Styling: Melanie Wilkinson. Hair and makeup: Lucy Ridley using Maria Nila and Nars.

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