On an unexpectedly chilly day in Ames, I stumbled upon a beauty that has mastered the art of functionality while maintaining a trendy appearance. Now, let me backtrack for just a moment to explain.

It’s all too often that college students run into certain constraints that limit their ability to express style. Maybe it’s the fact that stress translates into sweatpants, or you haven’t slept in 24 hours and the energy just isn’t there. Another problem could be a lack of practicality: when you ask yourself, “Will I rather be barefoot than wearing these 4 inch wedges by the time 3 p.m. rolls around?” Walking around campus stylishly sometimes takes a sacrifice; the famous trade-off between comfort and fashion.

And this brings me to the Fashionista of the week. She manages to rock a comfy shoe that doesn’t look cozy at all! Her short ankle boots she claims she’s had forever feature a small heel, about 2 ½ inches. The height is absolutely manageable and not difficult to walk in. At the same time, the shoe has the appearance of a heel rather than a flat boot. It conveys just the right amount of polish, an air of professionalism and sophistication. These ankle boots from Steve Madden, found at DSW, and these 7 For All Mankind boots from Nordstrom have a similar feeling of refinement but, combined with trendy pieces, puts a clean spin on any ensemble.

Spotted: Gucci has some gorgeous pairs of walkable, practical boots online at Neiman Marcus with manageable heel heights.

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