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Though indisputably in vogue, the surfeit of rugged workwear boots for men hasn't yet been able to break into the workplace. The opposite is true this season with women's styles, which, when high-heeled and polished, successfully elevate the lowly lace-up into the boardroom. Follow these steps and you won't have to work too hard to get there.

1. These boots are made for working when paired with crisp, cuffed trousers to show off the style. Take a cue from Tommy Hilfiger's fall collection (above left) and top the look off with a super-preppy knit to balance the more casual elements.

2. Keep it short and sweet: Stick to ankle-high models. Anything higher or - eek! - above the knee will call to mind the wrong kind of working girl.

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3. Remember those Manolo Blahnik-Timberland-hybrid heels that J. Lo popularized eight years ago? Today's boots are rounder, dressier and less ostentatious, so if you've been waiting to bust those out again, don't. Keep them in check like La Lopez's ego.

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