AP Fashion Writer, New York
Whether you are school-age or significantly older, there is something exciting about fall clothes. You want to start wearing them this very second.
In most of the country, though, it’s simply too warm to wear that new tweed suit or metallic-thread evening coat. But another one of the season’s hot trends can tide you over: the shoe-bootie.
They’ve been around a few years, but this year is likely to be the peak in terms of sales, says footwear designer Stuart Weitzman.
"The bootie is the new shoe," he says. "They were not a runway fashion item at first, they were street fashion items–and that’s a much stronger influence."
Shoe-booties are available in open-toe versions, ones that look Goth or ones that look like oxfords. Weitzman says they sell just as well in sunny, warm climates as those preparing for the leaves to turn.
They are substantial shoes that can take a towering heel, whether it’s chunky and stacked or a slim stiletto.
Other than that, though, the shoe-bootie is hard to define because there is such variety. Booties are Weitzman’s second, third and fourth best-selling items at retail right now, topped only by an over-the-knee riding boot–another trend. But with that, he explains, women are likely to only buy one pair while they’ll fill their closets with booties.
James Ferragamo, women’s leather product director of Salvatore Ferragamo, says a form of booties have been worn since 1300 B.C. in Spain and they have been part of the Ferragamo collection since the 1930s. Booties, however, really caught on when the miniskirt was popularized in the ’60s.
Images courtesy of the Fashion Spot forums.