Something Extra

October 17, 1991|By Knight-Ridder News Service

People who live in cold-weather climates have always known the importance of boots and gloves. Staying warm and dry, protection against frostbite, that sort of thing.

But practical doesn't have to mean boring, and gloves and boots needn't wait for the first snowfall. Especially this season: With '40s styles marking a return to sophisticated glamour, gloves are the ideal finishing touch. And boots, from ankle-high styles to over-the-knee, are the footwear of choice among fashionoids. Also, they don't cost as much as a new suit or a coat.

"The great thing about it is you get a whole lot of punch for not a lot of money," says Cheryl Hall, a fashion director at Saks Fifth Avenue in Troy, Mich. "And you don't have to have a lot of confidence, either. If you want to add some plaid but you don't want to buy a plaid suit, for instance, you can do it with a pair of gloves. It's an opportunity to add some fun without going the whole route."

Ms. Hall says boots, in addition to being fall's hippest footwear, offer customers "a bridge" if they can't decide between long and short hemlines.

"For a one-time investment, over-the-knee boots or riding boots will take you through many seasons," Ms. Hall says. She says if you want to wear short skirts, "but aren't that sure about your legs, you can go with an over-the-knee boot for more coverage. And I don't think anything looks quite so right with a long skirt as a great riding boot."

There is also an abundance of choice with glove styles.

For fall, some whimsical choices include patent leather, plaid, houndstooth, color-blocking, metallics and gloves with dressy trims such as pearls or gemstones. Some long gloves flare dramatically above the wrists; others button or zip.

All can be worn to add extra pizazz to anything.

And you don't have to worry about a manicure.

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