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Do not fear the ankle boot

Ankle boots, booties, shoebooties ... this fall's footwear is more than a little confusing. What do you do with these hot styles that are part-boot, part-shoe?

You can take the easy way out and just wear them with pants. And the ankle boot, especially, can be helpful when a higher-rise boot would create too much bulk under jeans or trousers, says Alison Deyette, co-founder of StyleBakery.com.

But if you really want to be style savvy, wear them with skirts or dresses.

Deyette recommends pairing them with opaque tights and hemlines that fall about 2 inches above the knee. Keep the tights in the same hue as the boot to create a long line, but don't be afraid to go with a vertical stripe or a texture.

Other footwear advice from Deyette: Get a patent leather shoe in gray (it's this fall's hot neutral); and extend the life of your peep-toes well into November by pairing them with opaque tights (just tuck the seam underneath your toes).

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THE BOOTIES

- ECCO Bern Ankle Boot, folder leather detail accented with leather bow on the back and 2.25" heel, $160.00

- ECCO Bonn Ankle Boot, studded at front with an outside buckle detail and 2.5" heel, $160.00

- ECCO Bristol Tie Vintage-inspired leather character with slightly rounded toe, $150.00

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