Thigh-High Boots Convince Us Pants Are Out for 2009

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Hussein Chalayan. Photo: Imaxtree

Pants might be over as we know it. Thigh-high boots emerged as the hot shoe for fall, landing so far up the leg they doubled as leg warmers. Is this designers' collective attempt to save the world from the pantless ladies everywhere (Lady Gaga and Lindsay Lohan)? Designers even tacked on a few bells and whistles to their boots: Hussein Chalayan added garter belts, Prada made rubber waders stylish, Antonio Berardi lined his in fur, and Stella McCartney's faux-leather leggings were actually boots that pulled up to the crotch. Even Vogue editor Lauren Santo Domingo was so enthralled by the "It" item that she created her own after designers rejected her plea for an early off-the-runway pair, and cameras caught her frolicking around Paris in her DIY boot legs. But are we ready to embrace the implications of this phenomenon? Pants as we know them are losing popularity. And with the surge of thigh-highs, rescuing them is even further from our reach. So grab your ThighMaster and dust it off now ... things are about to get leggy. To see all of the over-the-knee boots, click ahead for our slideshow.