Cuissardes, over the knee boots: history, combinations and models

Iconic footwear of the fashion world since the 60s, cuissardes are perfect both with jeans and skinny pants and with miniskirts and fluttery dresses. Over-the-knee boots are back among the fall/winter 2021/2022 trends. But how to match them? And most importantly, what will be the trendy models this year?

Their name comes from the French “cuisse” which means thigh, while fashion experts identify them as “overknee boots”. This particular model of boot is up to mid-thigh high and is usually very tight: it slims the legs and the entire silhouette of the wearer. Yes, because they are not only intended for very tall figures and long legs, because if chosen and worn in the right way they enhance every body. Elegant and sensual with a mini-dress or a short skirt, more sporty and casual on skinny leggings and tighter jeans, over the knee boots are a real must have.

Indispensable during the cold season, they are practical and versatile, and also have for the extraordinary ability to repair the legs from the cold. Every year, in fact, cuissardes boots seem to win back designers, creative directors and international catwalks. But what is their history? How do they match? And above all, what will be the trendy models for the next fall/winter 2021/2022 season?

According to historical tradition, cuissardes are directly descended from the boots of privateers and were then taken up, revamped and relaunched by the fashion world during the years of the economic boom. But it is the sixties to crown them as iconic footwear of women’s clothing, also thanks to the revolution of the miniskirt. Elegant and refined is the style of Jane Birkin, one of the first to wear them: very tight, she sported her black cuissardes combined with a pair of jeans, while more provocative and rebellious is the unmistakable signature of Brigitte Bardot, who combined them with daring miniskirts, leaving part of the thigh uncovered. Famous and unforgettable is the sequence of “Pretty Woman” in 1990, where a very young Julia Roberts “walks” on the sidewalks of New York wearing a pair of patent leather cuissardes with stiletto heels, but we find them again in a chic and feminine key on the legs of Anne Hathaway in “The Devil Wears Prada” in 2006.

Cuissardes boots are a very versatile footwear and by following a few small tricks, you will be able to find the right model for your figure: they slim the legs and the silhouette, they can be worn with jeans and tight pants as well as with skirts, shorts and dresses.

Those in suede tones are ideal for leisure and office outfits, to be worn with a pair of jeans, a shirt or a colored sweater and a wide contrasting overcoat. Style icon Olivia Palermo pairs her tight-fitting cuissardes with stiletto heels with shorts, blouse and cape, perfectly in line with fall/winter 2021/2022 fashion trends.

But the big news this year will be the new sporty-chic strand: strictly with low soles and special details, such as laces and studs, the over-the-knee boots this fall will live in symbiosis with military jackets and sportswear, with strict and severe lines. If you want to show them off during a special occasion, our advice is to focus on particular and unusual colors, such as dark purple or burgundy and, like the model Sara Sampaio, combine them with a patent leather miniskirt and a very light silk top.

If, on the other hand, you do not want to stray too far from the classic taste, choose models in shiny black leather and, like model Elsa Hosk, match them with a maxi-cut jacket with a wide belt to enhance your waist.

If the common denominator of cuissardes is the fact that they are tall and slender, what makes the difference is definitely their style: they can have a very high and stiletto heel or flat, but what distinguishes them are above all the materials and the design with which they are made.

Ideal footwear to show off during your hectic fall days is the model “Elle”, signed Public Desire and available in the new fall catalog of ASOS: with a heel just mentioned, this cuissardes boot has a side zipper closure and a refined back strap.

Perfect for wearing tight-fitting, sensual-cut dresses, or more jaunty and floaty, is ASOS Design’s ‘Korey’ model. Inspired by typically Parisian lines and very tight, it has a square heel, high but wide, to ensure maximum comfort.