Stella McCartney f/w 09 Thigh-high Boots
While rsearching these I found a great comment/essay by an anonymous boot fetishist on the Hapsical blog that I want to share here:
My own theory about Boots as Women’s fashion is that Boots are likely to be worn during Progressive periods. Women choose to wear Boots as a symbol of Power. They are, after all, the footwear of choice for dominatrixes and superheroines.
In the early part of the twentieth century, Boots went out of fashion more or less as soon as Prohibition started. The style didn’t come back into popularity until the very Progressive sixties.
As a life-long Boot fetishist, I have also studied the history of the ThighBoot ( as well as the Over Knee Boot ) as Women’s fashion. The first examples were found in the early sixties at the Paris fashion shows. These were derided as ‘sewer boots’ by some, but obviously made a huge impression on others. These included the wardrobe designer Michael Whittaker of the TV series ‘The Avengers’, in which Honor Blackman, as Cathy Gale, appeared in truly knee-high Black Leather Boots. As well as a full black leather outfit to match. For the year 1963, this was pretty shocking television. In February of 1964, Blackman and Patrick Macnee ( John Steed ) would release the hit single 'Kinky Boots'. KB mentioned every possible style of women's boot, including Thigh-highs.
In the U.S., the Thigh-high style really took off in 1965, some say as a result of the success of the then blockbuster film ‘Dr. Zhivago’. From the second half of the sixties and especially throughout the seventies, ThighBoots ( even Thigh-high Frye Boots ) were a must-have in a Woman’s footwear collection. Many of the era’s actresses, including Faye Dunaway, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jane Fonda, Dianna Rigg, Sally Fields and Rachel Welsh would often appear on film in tall or over the knee boots.
Thigh-highs were to stay fashionable until the year 1980. Right at the time when Progressivism was in freefall and Reagan and Conservatism began to Rule. Anyone stating that thigh-highs were still part of the fashion scene in the ’80’s is distinctly incorrect. In 1980, the de rigueur style was ankle-low and flat-heeled. In anything, the popularity of Punk meant that combat boots were also the new sensation. Along with, of course ( yawn ), leg warmers.
Today, the longevity of the ThighBoots style is likely a result of the explosion of adult images on the web, particularly the number in which the female subjects are clad in over-the-knee footwear. In addition, the oughts have been a decade in which conservatism has been in ever increasing retreat, especially with the election of Obama.
Patrick Macnee & Honor Blackman - Kinky Boots