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Socks and Heels: A Cautionary Tale

People ask me a lot about socks and heels.

How do I feel about it? Under what circumstances is it OK? What about sandals and socks?


This is a trend I want to like. And sometimes I do like it. On the right people it looks amazing. Unfortunately, I am generally not the right people, so it’s not something I personally wear often. But it looks like it’s here to stay, and if it’s a trend you’re dying to try then jump in.
If you can pull this off, it can look good.

A lot of designers have taken us back to the 1980s with the slouchy, colored socks, dress shoes and skirts. Please don’t layer it up and pair these with tights and add the socks over it. Go bare legged, pick a sock color that matches your clothes, and make sure the heel of your sock isn’t pulled up onto the back of your ankle, looking all stupid.

To truly pull off this look you have to make sure you have a good sock that fits well. Buy socks just for this look. Don’t just pull any old loafer sock out of the drawer, slip it on and jam your foot into a shoe. It will end up looking completely dumb.

Instead go for a slouchy sock that comes up to lower or mid-calf. It helps balance the whole look and gives the illusion of covering the leg appropriately. Plus these taller socks can also be paired with lace up ankle boots for a more chic, military look. This actually is something that I’ll do every so often. I usually reserve it for a night out as opposed to a day at the office, but it’s fun and a strong statement.

If you’re feeling really daring you can go for the folded sock. While this can look cute on the right person, you also need to realize it can also look a bit fetish. Generally speaking, if you’re pairing a shorter sock with a heel, make sure you’re also wearing a knee length or longer skirt.  If your skirt is too short it’s likely to conjure images of school girl uniforms and not an envelope pushing fashionista. You also need to be careful of your skirt being too long though too or it may start to look a little Amish.
I admit I love this, but I'm not sure those count as socks.

If you’re one of those lucky women who has legs for miles, you can even pull off a folded sock or ankle sock and heels with a pair of cropped pants. You usually need a lot of leg for this, and if done right it looks awesome. If done wrong you cut yourself up in all the wrong places and look like a hot mess.

Just remember that as much as you love your socks, they can wreak havoc on a pair of heels if they're too thick. Suddenly your favorite pair of shoes is all stretched out and the only way you can wear them is with socks.

So wear them if you dare, but just remember to look in a full-length mirror before you leave, and if you don't like what you see change. Better to exercise caution than become a fashion victim.


Jenna said…
I think this look is for hipsters and models and 20-year-old hipster models. Meaning I could never pull this off.

Thanks, Cat!
Cat said…
You can always try. Just make sure to look at yourself before actually leaving the house.
Jessica said…
I definitely with you on this. It's something I can appreciate, on another person, and it depends how it's done. I prefer it in a sweeter look like the second photo. But it's too sweet for me personally.

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