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Beverlyheels StyleFootwear: Thigh High Boots

Footwear: Thigh High Boots

Posted on Mon, Oct 23rd, 2017

Kinky Thigh Highs

When Anne Hathaway walked in, in her Chanel boots in Devil Wears Prada, you just knew those thigh high boots had to be a part of your wardrobe. Such is the magic of those boots that it was used to show her metamorphosis into a glam doll.

Thigh high boots usually conjure up images of musketeers, pirates and cavaliers. Also known as top boots, hip boots or waders, thigh highs have been around since the 15th century. They were usually featured in medieval paintings. Originally created as a man's riding boot in the 15th century, they became a part of women's fashion during late 20th century. This style of boots also gave rise to the term "bootlegging", which came from the practice of concealing hip flasks containing alcohol in the boots.

In the 19th century, the thigh high boots became a trend with actresses who would occasionally play men in what was referred to as a "breeches role". The costumes often included tall boots that are typical of menswear during that time. However, because of overtly sexy connotations of this boot and also because during that time these boots were worn by prostitutes in London, thigh high boots failed to catch on with women as fashion wear during that century.

Over-the-knee boots became a fashion item for women in the early 60's. In 1962, Balenciaga's fall collection featured a tall boot by Mancini, followed by Yves Saint Laurent's collection that featured a thigh-high alligator skin boots by Roger Vivier. This was originally designed by Vivier for dancer Rudolf Nureyev in the ballet Swan Lake.

As fashion evolved post World War and skirts became even shorter, the thigh high boots became even more popular. Different materials started being used for its production. Pierre Cardin featured shiny black PVC thighbones as part of his futuristic 1968 couture collection. Over the next three decades, these boots hit the rough road. Then in 1990, Karl Lagerfield included thigh length satin boots in his Fall Winter Couture collection for Chanel, using the boots as an alternative to leggings. Since then the thigh high boots were back in fashion. Couture designers use these boots to imply glamor and practicality. Wear your thigh high boots with a short skirt, sweater dress or even over skinny jeans to emphasize the length of your legs.

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