How To Do the Socks-With-Shoes Thing Without Looking Like a #FashionFail

While we’re admittedly still sort of freaked out by the whole metallic leather toe socks with futuristic sandals thing Prada had going on at the Spring 2013 show, we do love a good ankle or knee-high sock paired with the right shoe—especially for fall. To nail the look, we asked a few style experts and designers to share their top tips. Check ‘em out below.

Socks with shoes, Victoria Beckham, Fall 2012Laura Bailey, socks with shoes

Victoria Beckham, Fall 2012 (IMAXtree); Laura Bailey (Lia Toby/

Try the Trend with Tall Boots

One foolproof way to wear this trend for fall is with tall boots, says on-air fashion stylist and author Dawn Del Russo. “Let the top of your sock peek out over a pair of stockings or simply sport them alone (perfect for gals who live in LA like me) for a chic look.” For example, knee-high socks look fabulous styled with just-below-the-knee boots or mid-calf boots, while thigh-high socks go great with over-the-knee boots.

Stick to Neutral Colors

If you want to play it safe, stick to neutral colors for both your socks and shoes, recommends Matthew Mull, designer for Gold Toe. “Colors that work best are black, gray, ecru, and navy. Black on black is also a wonderful way to break into this trend.”

Match Your Socks to Your Shoes

When in doubt, match your socks to your shoes! As Matthew mentioned above, black boots, booties, heels or even oxfords look awesome worn with black socks. Take a hint from this recent Sartorialist post for a little “black on black” inspiration. FYI, another color combination we love is nude on nude.

Just Say No to Knee-Highs & Heels

Unless you’re going for a cutesy Britney Spears schoolgirl look, Dawn suggests steering clear of knee-high socks with heels. Instead, try a heel that wraps around your ankle close to the top of your sock to create the illusion of the sock as part of your shoe, like in this Louis Vuitton ad,” she says.

Style With Shorter Hemlines

Don’t have legs that go on forever? Opt for dresses or skirts that hit about mid-thigh to 2 inches above your knee, advises Matthew. “Pencil skirts and dresses with some structure are ideal so your ‘socks with shoes look’ appears more sophisticated.”

London street style images: IMAXtree

Throw On Some Thin Socks

To avoid the inevitable sag as the day wears on, Matthew recommends donning thinner socks, such as trouser socks, which are less likely to fall down.

Keep It Monochromatic

According to Dawn, sheer, calf-high socks in pretty jewel tones look stunning styled with coordinating pumps. The key is to keep the entire ensemble monochromatic, she notes.

Think Little Girl Ruffles

Last but not least, think ruffles! “A cute ruffle style sock with a pair of Mary Jane platform pumps can be adorable and right on trend for fall,” says Dawn. Check out this photo for some style inspiration, and remember, no matter what you decide, rock it with some confidence and you’ll look killer!