Oh Joy, It's Boot Season (Time to Shop for Boots that Fit.)

Have you measured your calf? I didn’t think mine was considered wide until I checked it against an incredible pair of Missoni boots sitting on a sale rack at Saks last night. In preparation for the holidays, I’ve been hunting for just the right pair and so was completely excited when I discovered my dream boot…. on sale.

Suddenly I got a bit of a calf complex when it became clear that my calves are in fact too much for Missoni this season. Beautiful or not, no pair of boots is worth that internal debate.

Turns out that although they aren’t particularly large (my boyfriend says to tell you they’re shapely), my calves do command a certain amount of real estate. So while boots are undeniably ‘In’ for fall and winter, with some brands, healthy calves are ‘Out’.

Good news though. When it comes to boots, shopping the Web has a huge advantage over the mall: here you can browse by category and find all your options on one screen. So take note, my fellow curvy fashionistas, online retailers are catching on and offering calf width along with heel height as a standard basis for sorting through options.

Now, pick up a tape measure and get your stats. Here’s how to interpret your numbers.

Wide calf :  over 14” or over 15.5” (depending on the brand)
Narrow calf (as if): Under 13.5”

A little information and an Internet connection will save you from throwing your love away on a pair of impossible boots. Until more designers catch on to offering multiple shaft widths, you’ll find my annual expedition conducted online where I’m in control.

Whether you wear a plus size like me or are simply the owner of a solid pair of athletic gams, customize your selection by choosing the Wide Calf category.

If you’re looking for YOUR perfect pair of boots, head straight to any one of the major retailers that now make boot buying easy.

Kudos to Nordstrom. Not only do they have a gorgeous shoe department, they’ve sorted everything by width. As more designers offer multiple calf width boots, Nordstrom is where you’ll find them.

Still looking? Stop by Zappos.com. I was impressed by their variety. Bet you will be too.

Like the idea of 4” heels in your size? Check out Torrid.com for some seriously high and seriously affordable ($49) designer-inspired boots.

Want to get the look without buying actual boots? Try a classic pump (or even an ankle boot) and opaque, same-shade tights. Instant effect.

And finally, remember three final facts:

Over the knee heights are tempting but hard to fit. I know, I love ‘em too… in pictures. On my 5’5” cello-shaped figure they’re just sadly wrong.

Ankle boots and a skirt make your legs look shorter (unless you match them to opaque tights, then they’re great).

Looking for just one pair of beautiful boots this season? You can’t go wrong with a mid-calf height and a neutral color (like black, brown or beige).

Happy hunting!

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