Up your bootie game this winter with brighter colors, more embellishments and sculpted heels.

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A stroll through the shoe department is strong evidence that booties have busted out of the “basic” category. Variations are vast, ranging from bold colors and patterns to intricate embellishments and embroideries, along with new sculptural heels, cutouts and shapes.

Real Simple magazine’s fashion director, Victoria Sanchez-Lincoln, believes the way-beyond-basic bootie craze “started with the statement necklace, which trickled down to the statement bootie,” she says. “All accessories are getting heavily embellished these days, including classic booties.”

Sanchez-Lincoln applauds the “seasonlessness” of booties. “You can wear them right now but you even see them in the summer. It’s very Coachella,” she says, speaking of the California music festival.

Zara Contrast Heel Ankle Boots, $90 at zara.com
Zara Contrast Heel Ankle Boots, $90 at zara.com

“In the past where you might have shown your individuality with a handbag, now you can do it with a great bootie,” says stylist Jacqui Stafford. “There are plenty of places where glamorous booties fit in. Celebrities are wearing them on the red carpet with evening gowns, but you can wear them with just plain jeans, too.”

What Sanchez-Lincoln likes best about booties? “Everyone can wear them. Dressed up, dressed down, with skirts, leggings, jeans, dresses — it is definitely among the most inclusive fashion trends,” she says.

For longer-looking legs, “keep everything a little monochromatic,” says Stafford, who recommends matching tights and boots. “Otherwise, a bootie can make you look a little chopped off.”

“Pay attention to your leg shape,” Sanchez-Lincoln says. “If you have curvier calves, a bootie should be lower so you can see the skinnier part of your ankle. If you have very slim legs, you can balance with a chunkier heel.”

And consider skirt length. Sanchez-Lincoln suggests that slightly above the knee and midi lengths work best with booties.