How To Build The Ultimate Boot Wardrobe

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Add these boots to your wardrobe, STAT!

Getty Images / Timur Emek, Christian Vierig

If you haven't started already, don't worry. Building the ultimate fall boot wardrobe can take time, and perhaps even a few years to perfect. And, chances are you already have one or two of our eight essential styles!

The key to a great boot wardrobe is to have a mix of fun, special pairs that make you feel amazing every time you put them on, and pairs that act like the workhorses of your wardrobe — becoming part of your everyday wardrobe because they look good with just about everything.

In the slideshow ahead, we have narrowed down our list of essential boots to just eight pairs, and have found plenty of affordable options that you can shop now.

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Black Leather Ankle Boots

Aldo Shoes / Le Fashion

You probably don't need us to tell you this — but a pair of minimal, low block heel black leather ankle boots are probably the most useful and versatile footwear in your fall and winter wardrobe. Not only can you wear them with your trusty ultra-skinny jeans and jeggings, but with bare legs, too. They work with dresses and skirts of all lengths, trust us! If you want to be very au courant, try them as above with a pair of cropped flare jeans. Finding just the right pair of black ankle boots is a matter of taste and budget, but we happen to love those that come in an easy pull-on style and have a nice, pointed toe. These Aldo ankle boots have everything going for them and cost just $60.

Get the look: Aldo ankle boots, $60.

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Chelsea Boots

The Fashion Cuisine / Nordstrom

Chelsea boots came on the scene in the 1960s and were a symbol of the swinging, mod British crowd — typified by The Beatles. Today they're back and more wearable than ever for both men and women. Again, you can get ultra-trendy and try them with a pair of cropped jeans, or simply pair them with your trusty skinny jeans. Then just layer up the rest of your fall favorites like cozy knits, a nice wool coat and a cool fashion hat.

Get the look: Topshop 'Kaiser' Chelsea boots, $60.

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Over-the-Knee Boots in Suede

Getty Images (Christian Vierig) / Nordstrom

Before you feel too intimidated to even try this trend, read our post on How to Wear Over-the-Knee Boots. These statement-making boots have become one of the most enduring trends of the past few years, with good reason. OTK and thigh-high boots have major leg-lengthening powers, and serve to keep you warm, too. Just remember that with boot this tall, you'll probably need to try a few pairs in order to find the right fit. Those with larger calves may need special sizes, and those with slim legs might need to seek out a pair with elastic backing or a tie at the top to hold them in place.

Get the look: Dune London 'Sibyl' over-the-knee boots, $206.

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Rain Boots

Gal Meets Glam / Amazon.com

Unless you live in San Diego or Arizona, you need to have a good pair of rain boots on hand for those ugly, drizzly, puddle-filled days. We all experience them, and they can prove to be a major damper on your fall fashion. But, they don't have to be — with the right pair of boots. If you ask us, it doesn't get more classic and dependable than a pair of Hunter Original tall rain boots. As you can see here on Julia Engel of the fashion blog Gal Meets Glam, these rain boots can actually be styled to look so cute! we love how she's wearing them with ripped jeans, a vest and a cozy scarf.

Get the look: Hunter Original high gloss tall boots, $130.

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Knee-High Equestrian Boots

Classy Girls Wear Pearls / Amazon.com

Equestrian style or riding boots might not be the trendiest boots at the moment, but they are an enduring wardrobe essential — one that's actually worthy of the adjective "classic." Since these boots were (and still are) actually worn while riding horses, they have an element of utility and elegance that give them timeless wearability. We love how Sarah of Classy Girls Wear Pearls styled her boots with a cozy, preppy sweater and skirt, as well as tall knit socks. These boots are a great option for work with rights and a skirt and jacket, and the weekend too with jeans tucked in and paired with just about any top — from a simple white T-shirt to a pretty, feminine blouse.

Get the look: Frye 'Dorado' leather riding boots, $360.

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Hiking-Inspired Boots

Getty Images (Timur Emek) / Nordstrom

Boots inspired by the ruggedness of nature have come in and out of fashion several times in past seasons. Sometimes they're lined with warm shearling, sometimes they're built on a wedge heel. This fall, the hiking boot du jour is this red-laced high heel version from Tod's. We have to admit, we're quite smitten with the style, but completely hindered by the price tag. Luckily, plenty of contemporary and high street brands are making their own, more affordable versions. Go against the rugged nature of these boots and pair them with a slip dress or luxe cashmere knits.

Get the look: Tod's 'Gomma' boots, $1155. (Aldo makes a more affordable version, here.)

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Novelty Boots

Getty Images (Michael Stewart) / Nordstrom

The final pair of boots in our list of fall essentials is like the wild card bonus round. We believe that every woman should have a pair of boots that make you feel super special and confident, even if they don't go with everything. A pair of "novelty" boots would be a pair in an unexpected print (like leopard) or fabric (like velvet). These will become the focal point of your outfit, rather than support or foundation. We're particularly smitten with velvet this season, and love how Kendall Jenner is wearing hers with a knee-length skirt, T-shirt and fun fall hat. This look would actually be quite easy to recreate in your own closet — it just requires a dash of creativity and spunk.

Shop the look: Steve Madden velvet ankle boots, $98.