How to Wear Ankle-Wrap Shoes

We’ve decoded this must-have style, from how to tie a no-slip knot to what to wear them with.

Photo by Jens Mortensen Prop Styling by Angharad Bailey

How to tie them:

DO tie the strings or ribbons while you’re sitting down, with your foot flexed, to create maximum tension on the ties so they won’t feel too tight as you’re walking. Most styles are made with enough length to wrap around the slimmest part of your ankle a few times.

DO tie a square knot before tying a bow to make sure the knot will stay in place all day.

DON’T try to extend the ties up your calf unless they’re supposed to reach all the way to the knee. Straps that only reach to mid-calf are meant to be tied around the ankle, so they won’t stay up well.

With Jeans or Pants…

DO opt for boyfriend or wide-leg cropped styles that expose the ankle, so the wrap detail won’t be hidden.

DO wear heeled styles with jeans or pants (especially wider cuts) to help elongate the legs.

DON’T try to tie ankle wrap styles over (or under) skinny jeans or leggings—you’ll just wind up with lumpy-looking hems.

With Skirts and Dresses…

DO wear pointy-toed or sandal lace-up styles for a leg-lengthening effect. If you’re self-conscious about the wraps “cutting off” your legs and making them look shorter, opt for a skin-tone hue that will create less contrast.

DO wear any length skirt or dress. Flat styles give shorter, above-the-knee hemlines a playful appeal, while ladylike, midi-hems get a feminine lift from heels.

DON’T pair dark-colored, chunky styles with lightweight fabrics and light colors. This makes an outfit look bottom-heavy and can make feet appear clunky.