Fashion & Style

What socks to wear with what?

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Funky, colorful socks are perfect for wearing under boots
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Do you know how to decide what socks to wear with what for great fashion sense

The fact is women need to keep their legs warm in the winter. Socks to the rescue! But … what socks to wear with what?

A woman has several choices in leg wear, including tights, hose, ankle length or bobby sock length, knee high or even over-the-knee socks. Men have choices, too, but generally their socks are not so obvious to the world because they’re covered by pants legs.

When wearing boots, choose socks that are longer than the boot and which can be rolled over the top edge or pulled up higher than the top of the boot. Pair this with short skirts and dresses or jeans that are tucked into the boot.

In the spring and fall months, when women are not quite ready to stash their summer footwear, don socks with sandals, even though this used to be a fashion faux pas. Wear them scrunched down over sandals or sneakers so that they gather around the ankle. Of course, there are those fashionistas that will always object to this practice so don't be surprised if you get a citation.

The younger a woman, the more likely she can successfully pull off flamboyantly decorated, patterned and colored stockings. That is not to say that colorful socks are the exclusive domain of the young. However, most “mature” women are a bit more conservative and may not want to draw attention to their legs.They gravitate toward a more neutral palette, including gray, black, mauve,  and tan. Some prefer sheer stocks that are crafted from tight material.

The socks you choose can completely alter the overall effect of an outfit. An edgy pair of socks worn so that they show under leather boots can give a dangerous vibe while the same boots worn with a sheerer or lighter colored stocking can transform the look entirely and the wearer comes across as angelic .

Many women are afraid they will be hunted down by the fashion police (Egads! Joan Rivers) if socks are worn under open toed shoes. This can be done but it’s imperative that they are the same color as the shoe (or very nearly so.)

Tall, thin women can wear chunky socks and it isn’t going to make them look fat but shorter, heavier women should step away from the chunky pair because they will add volume and make the woman appear squat.

  •     To make legs appear longer and thinner stick with dark color socks.
  •     When wearing a chunky heel or wedges or boots that have stiletto heels, trouser socks are a good bet.
  •     Don’t match socks to accessories but to a color that appears in the ensemble. This sends the message that the stocking is part of the outfit and not an addition to it.
  •      To show off your footwear to the best effect wear skirts that are slightly above the knee.
  •      Try sheer footwear with platform sandals and a flirty skirt. The stocking can be ankle length or to the knee.
  • Thick ankles are disguised when wearing knee high socks.

Wearing white socks with dress shoes has never been a good look, even though some embraced this style purposely in the mid '90s. White footwear, regardless of its length, looks best when worn with athletic shoes or exercise pants. Dark colored footwear should be combined with dressy outfits, including and primarily men's suits. Men need to pay particular attention to this fashion rule.

Wear a pair of textured socks over opaque tights or a pair of plain socks over textured tights. When mixing various patterns, textures and colors keep in mind the kind of shoe you are wearing because the overall effect might be crazy busy and not at all flattering.

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