With a few notable exceptions, socks are the stigmatized workhorse of clothing. Providing comfort and protection, but not welcomed at fancy parties, they’re expected to do their job while remaining invisible. And it’s easy to see why – nothing says “I’ve given up” like wearing black socks with white sneakers, sports socks with picnic sandals, or any socks with Crocs (I personally don’t advocate wearing Crocs for any reason outside of gardening, but to each their own.)
The dirty little secret, of course, is that socks are too often treated as undergarments, immune from the need to coordinate with the rest of the outfit – which is anything but true. But when this simple issue is addressed, when socks are properly selected to contrast, compliment, blend in or stand out as best suits a look? Well, that’s when the fun begins.
Socks with shoes and sandals have become runway and streetwear staples of late. Likely this is due to the long, cold winter followed by a chillier-than-we’d-like spring. Most of us are itching to break out our warm weather shoes, but the weather hasn’t been cooperative. Socks in this case can be the great equalizer, providing just enough warmth to make those summer shoes comfy in a time when 40s and rainy is still the order of the day.
This can be a tricky trend to pull off. Some of the best printed socks can quickly take your outfit in a direction that is a little too sweet and you risk looking like you’re five. To make this work, start by focusing on the color combination of your sandals and socks. They should compliment each other and you should be drawn to how well the colors go together, not by the fact that you have kittens on your socks (that’s just a fun bonus.)
Second is to keep your overall look a bit edgier or fashion-forward. For the above picture, I paired a vegan leather pleated skirt with my kitten socks and Michael Michael Kors sandals. But for my pretty floral socks below, I instead went with a vintage inspired look including a pastel kimono and mint jeans.
A safer look might be a simple solid colored ankle sock with a pump and a knee-length pencil skirt. Keep it simple and ladylike so your outfit doesn’t look too much like a throwback from the 80s. No ruffles!
For more inspiration, I’ve picked out some fun sock/sandal combos below and check out my socks and sandals Pinterest board!