Socks & Shoes

A major impression was brought up in last season’s Spring & Summer collections, when one of the dominant trends to hit the runway was pairing socks with sandals. Whether you were the one who got called out on the “what-not-to-wear” list for wearing socks with sandals, or the one who absolutely loved and sported the idea of them, wearing socks with your favorite pair of sandals, clogs, heels, or boots is no longer a fashion faux pas. If you’re still hesitant, it’s time to start thinking outside the box, especially since this season’s trends are filled with ideas that can compliment any individual style. Look on the bright side too – socks are cheap, won’t take a lot of space in your wardrobe, and are very practical.

Courage and confidence are key when trying this new trend, as some may not feel brave enough to pull off this look (but you definitely can!) I’m here to give you an in-depth guide on how to stylishly wear the three most common socks with your shoes: ankle socks, knee high socks, and thigh high socks, and how to complete an overall look! This will be my first how-to and style guide – please let me know what you think below (I know it’s not as in-depth as I, or you, would have liked it, but it is my first!)

Designers have revolutionized the latest trend in accessories both with their unique go at updating past trends and meshing them with current looks. Not many would have thought of the idea of flashing your cute and warm socks with shoes would become a true fashion statement. Those who are tempted to experiment with this trend should not limit themselves, and instead learn how to match the colors and patterns with that of the shoe and outfit. Before summer comes to a complete finish, try these trends with your shorter garments! Enjoy (:

Ankle & Mid-Calf
These socks are found in almost everyone’s wardrobe, men and women, as they can be paired with practically every shoe – man-style flats (lace-up oxfords or brogues), or with heels for a downplayed, flirty glamour. Some may be concerned that ankle socks don’t exactly provide the best amount of warmth; but fortunately, they don’t always require you to have bare legs! This season, you can wear socks on top of your stockings to create an interesting, layered look, or stick to wearing them with a short skirt or dress – it always depends on your mood and the look you’re going for, of course.


Having socks bunched up at your ankles might make your legs appear a bit shorter; which is why it will come as no surprise that this look is suited best for those with longer legs and/or defined ankles. However, of course, there are ways around this conundrum for those not blessed with sky high legs: try mid-calf socks, thinner, finer fabrics that won’t bunch up too much, or very low-sitting ankle socks that peep just above your shoe to elongate your legs! Since shorter socks are simple and sleek, it is important to avoid wearing them pieces that are too short and garments with too many details – simplicity is key.

Styling Tips:
  • For your first attempt, stick to neutral colors – blacks, grays, creams.
  • When you’ve become accustomed to the look, don’t be afraid to experiment with different colors and patterns, to add a pop of color to your outfit: cozy wool knits in earthy tones are perfect for a relaxing day; delicate pastels have a subtle, feminine, romantic feel; and simple blacks, grays, or whites are perfect for sleek, sophisticated minimalism which can also create something sexy. Even something with a little shimmer works perfectly for hitting the town at night.
  • Try pairing brown leather sandals or wedges by slipping on a pair of gray socks underneath – lighter grays with lighter browns and camels, and charcoal grays with dark and chocolate browns.
  • Try wearing your socks over a pair of slim-fit pants or leggings, with booties that sit right below the socks.
Knee high, Over the knee, Thigh high:

For the past couple of seasons, knee high and thigh high boots have been so prominent; so this fashion trend should come as no shock. Knee high socks and similar styles will be one of the most defining looks to incorporate into your wardrobe. The best part is that they work through practically every season, something to keep a hold on to for Spring 2011! To compliment your Fall 2010 wardrobe, consider investing in these three predominant styles: knee high socks, over the knee socks, and thigh high socks.

Although thigh high socks will make the greatest statement considering their length, styled correctly, any of the three types can make an outfit stand out from afar. I haven’t always been one to follow fashion rules to the exact degree; instead, I take a few simple pointers and tweak the rest to my own liking, in order to make the trend I am attempting to accomplish work right!


The great aspect about these socks is the fact that they do not need garters to stay in place or have uncomfortable elastic tops that bite into your leg. Instead, knee high, over the knee, and thigh-high socks are like any ordinary sock, just longer, and will not compromise your look (or your circulation!) With fun patterns or eye-catching tops, the natural look for these socks is to wear them with short skirts or shorts. However, many women worry that this look may be a bit too risqué. Although I love wearing them with short skirts since they elongate my long legs even more, I’ve found a number of other options when I don’t feel like wearing something short. One of the easiest and most fun alternatives I’ve tried is to wear them with a short garment, but pair them with a contrasting color pair of tights underneath! This way, you have added more warmth to your body and definition and flair to your overall look. Another method is to wear them underneath dresses or over the knee skirts, where they will have more of a peek-a-boo effect. Lastly, try wearing them with your knee-high or thigh-high boots, making them above the top (I love this look).

Styling Tips: 
  • Pick the length wisely, as they must fit your body shape and height:
    • If you have bigger thighs, thigh high socks will draw too much attention to them, try sticking to knee and over the knee socks to flatter your legs more. 
    • Knee socks that finish below the knee may compliment your bone structure more socks above the knee. Try both styles on to see which works best.
    • If your legs aren’t very long, try to avoid thigh high socks as they will make you look shorter. Stick to knee high (or even mid-calf) socks paired with tops with a shorter hemline for a more flattering, elongating look.
  • Don’t be afraid to layer! Like ankle socks, knee high socks and over the knee socks can be worn over sheer, patterned stockings to add a whole new dimension to your look.
  • Also, don’t be afraid to add color and texture, especially if you want your socks to be the main focal point of your outfit.
Don’t forget!
  • Choose the right length of socks to flatter your legs and body shape: to add definition and length, ankle socks work best, especially for shorter legs.
  • Colored socks serve as the perfect canvas to flash the beauty of your shoes. Skip stripes and dots since they tend to dress down apparel. Blacks, whites, and nudes go well with everything.
  • Choose the proper height of heels and length of your shoe (boots, heels, flats), depending on what you are wearing. Do what makes you feel confident, while still complimenting your body.
  • Don’t be afraid! Experimenting with fashion trends should always be fun – if you are not comfortable with something, ask for a second opinion; if that doesn’t work, toss it behind you and try something else! You will find something that works for you!
There you have it! Hopefully this guide has given you the courage&motivation (if you haven’t tried it before), inspiration, and knowledge on wearing socks with shoes in the most stylish manner possible. I, once again, cannot wait for fall to arrive so I can finally expose my large assortment of socks!
Let me know what you think, and if you have any ideas yourselves!

Until next time,
photos via fashionising & chictopia

7 responses to “Socks & Shoes”

  1. A lot of people don't like it if you wear heels with socks in it but I think it looks cute. Like, really cute ♥


  2. This is very helpful! I like the trend on other people but didn't think I could pull it off myself. This definitely inspires me to give it a try! I'm following you, hope you will do some more these with other trends!

    follow me back?


  3. I really like it! 🙂 xxx


  4. I'm all about the socks and shoes. Thanks for your styling tips! These would definitely come in handy over the next few months!


  5. fantastic post, great in-depth styling tips! I love the socks/heels combo!



  6. Helena: Right? I can't see why they don't like it, but I'm glad you do!

    Lindsay: I'm so happy you're going to give it a shot! Let me know how it turns out – post pictures! I'll definitely do some more how-to's from now on (: Thank you!

    Janelle: Thank you so much! I'm glad you think so (:

    Stiene: Good! I love it (:

    Abi: Anytime! I'm glad they help (:

    Nav: Thank you so much! I'm glad you love it as much as I do (:

    You're all amazing! xo


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