Taking requests: Lace-up boots

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“So for whatever reason (midlife crisis?) I’ve been painfully missing my 90s Doc Martens 8-eye boots,” writes a reader named Sara. She wonders if she should buy herself a black pair, or “is there a more grown-up, chic alternative?” I love the idea of the GOACA army decked out in Docs (and I know that quite a few of you still wear and love them) but the notion of a more polished version also appeals. This suede pair from Vince would look so great with skinny trousers.

Here is a very splurgetastic but also quite chic pair from Ann Demeulemeester that I have lusted after for ages (pretty much every season she does a slightly different version).

The lug soles on this pair would make them great for trekkingin the snow. Also, they’re kind of tough-chick-looking.

A pre-worn option, for those of you who enjoy such things.

I’d love to have the nerve to wear a to-the-kneee lace-up.

This just looks eminently cozy.

The most feminine choice of the bunch, with a nice wedge heel.

I like the ever-so-slightly platform sole here.

These brogue-style boots are actually Doc Martens and I think they’re wonderful.

Dresses with grown-up hemlines under $100

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A very feminine dotted number with some frilly business at the chest that might typically turn me off but that I really like here.

The knotting at the waist is nice and figure flattering.

I’d wear a long-sleeved tee or a turtleneck with this wrap dress when the weather turns cool.

The slit sleeves here are an interesting touch, and it’s such a good blue.

Such a pretty, sweet velvet dress with cool black-on-black dots.

I like that the puffed sleeves here are not too puffy, which would overwhelm this otherwise nicely streamlined dress.

I usually don’t like sweater dresses, but this is so sexy.

I love that the zipper allows you to choose your own neckline, and also that this option looks so damn comfortable.

More black-on-black dots, this time on a lovely, flowy confection.

I like when an otherwise straightforward dress has one or two interesting details, which is how I feel about the contrasting belt and asymmetrical hemline here.

This feels wearable for weekends or work.

And this feels very work-to-evening.

Top 5 of the week: Business casual

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This is actually a request, from a reader named Meghan, who writes, “I’d like to know your ideas for business casual. I’m packing for a conference in Chicago and kicking myself that I didn’t ask about this sooner!” This is a tough one, as it has been seven years since I’ve worked in an office, and from what I understand, things have gotten much more dressed-down since then. Which is cool, but can be confusing when you want to look on point. My advice is to play things pretty straight: it’s a look I like anyway, and one you can’t really go too far wrong with. I’d start off with a nice cashmere V-neck.

And then I’d go for some tailored-but-casual trousers, like these chinos from Vince.

Under the sweater I’d layer a cotton button down like this one.

I’d have a little fun with footwear and go for these burnished metallic boots. (Here’s a cheaper pair I  like too.)

And—just so I wouldn’t come across too preppy, I’d throw on this faux fur jacket.

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About

Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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