I am starting to see what the Victorians meant about ankles. I have a bit of a thing for them myself these days. And it’s not just me: right now, they are a much-appreciated erogenous zone, sartorially speaking.

Ah, excellent point. You’ve noticed that you can’t actually see my ankles. But here’s the thing: you can see that I have ankles. Bear with me. What I mean is that you might notice my ankles, even though you can’t see them, because my skirt is of a length that shows ankle, rather than leg, so it points to these rather eye-catching boots. If I had been wearing this skirt five years ago, I would probably have worn it with dark-coloured high heels, because it wouldn’t have occurred to me to make ankles a focal point; but in 2019 it calls for a jazzy ankle boot.

The jazzy ankle boot is one of those trends that started as a silly fling and, against the odds, stuck. It stuck because it is simple and effective. My absolute favourite fashion tricks are the kind that are big on impact but don’t make your life difficult. A well-chosen pair of spectacular earrings, for instance: they fit into your handbag, and turn a black sweater and jeans into a passable evening look. A pair of interesting ankle boots with a modest heel works along the same lines. They transform a midi skirt, or trousers or jeans cropped at the ankle, into an interesting look.

The ankle boot has risen as hemlines have fallen. An ankle boot is not particularly flattering, so when skirts were short and leg-lengthening illusions were called for, it didn’t really work. But when your skirt shows only a few inches of ankle, there is really no need to get hung up on leg-lengthening illusions. (There was never actually any point getting hung up on leg-lengthening illusions in the first place; but most of us feel those pressures and I don’t think it’s helpful to pretend we don’t.)

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Vijay Nanda

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