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How To Wear Combat Boots, This Winter's Surprisingly Versatile Footwear Trend

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So you prefer Bach to Blink 182, or maybe Mac Demarco tops The Clash on any given day. But, just because you wouldn't consider yourself "punk rock" doesn't mean combat boots are out of your sartorial depth. In the last few years, luxury brands including The Row and Proenza Schouler have debuted elevated, sleek takes on this classic rough-around boot style. And while for some Dr. Martens are the only boots worth wearing, for others something more subtle might be the ideal. How you choose to wear combat boots is all up to you (and frankly, has nothing to do with musical taste). It's all about finding a way to incorporate a traditionally tough style with contrasting — or coordinating — pieces in your own closet.

If you're still feeling hesitant to buy into the trend, start simple with a sleek leather lace-up boot styled with a ladylike midi skirt or perhaps a colorful maxi dress. For a more casual look, take a page out of the fashion playbook of models like Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner, and try styling these chunky boots with jeans and a tee. For those that are more committed to wearing a polished ankle boot, consider this fact: Come inclement weather, nothing will keep you from sliding quite like a boot that was designed to handle any sort of terrain.

Below, find seven surprisingly polished ways to pull off combat boots. Whether you get dressed in the morning blasting Fur Elise or Blitzkrieg Bop, you'll leave the house sure footed (and totally on trend).

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If you're still unsure about testing the trend, a simple sleek boot along with polished preppy separates is the way to go. Classic pieces like a blazer and midi skirt will help balance out the inherent toughness.

Fara Leather Combat Boots

$1,390

The Row

@mariabernad

If you're willing to give this season's top trends a go all at once, try a neutral ensemble finished out with a high fashion pair of combat boots. Little details like leather laces and a stacked wood sole streamline the look.

Ruben Leather Combat Boots

$1,090

Gabriela Hearst

@aemiliafay

Yes, you can wear these tough boots to the office, the key is styling them with pieces that keep the rest of your look streamlined. Black trousers and a simple black sweater are ideal.

Lug Sold Boots

$485

Proenza Schouler

Claudio Lavenia/Getty Images

As warmer weather approaches, consider swapping out more delicate footwear to style with your shorter hemlines. Combat boots and a white minidress shouldn't work together, but the push-and-pull feels just right.

Pascal Boots

$125

Dr. Martens

@alyssainthecity

If jeans are your go-to on any given day, try swapping out your standard tee and sneakers to go alongside, and style them with a ladylike blouse and cool pair of boots instead. One additional tip: polished accessories like pearl jewelry or a chain-strap bag hit just the right note with this ensemble.

Women's Patent-Leather Combat Boots

$495

Freda Salvador

@oursecondskin

White boots are a great alternative for those who want a slightly less tough take on the trend. White boots have been a trend all their own over the last two winters, and swapping out booties for a more utilitarian take on the trend will add a cool factor to even the most basic outfit.

Kennah Boots

$895

Alexander Wang