How to Wear Knee-High Socks the Prada Way

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Miuccia Prada is known for two things: her feminism-touting collections and her all-over-the-placeness (recall the designer’s Fall 2017 runway, wherein ostrich feather separates walked alongside corduroy suits and knit bras). However, on the designer’s two most recent runways (Spring 2018 and Resort 2018), there was one very noticeable common thread: printed knee-high socks.

Knee-high socks and coordinating Cloudbusts on the Prada Spring 2018 runway.

Knee-high socks and coordinating Cloudbusts on the Prada Spring 2018 runway; Image: Imaxtree

Some knee-high socks came paired with modernist kitten-heel slingbacks, others with pointy studded brogues, still others paired with the brand’s newly released Cloudbust sneakers (yes, like just about every other elite fashion house, Prada has hopped on the fashion sneaker train). In the latter case, the socks appeared a natural extension of the models’ pillowy, Velcro-strapped, chunky-soled shoes — which is to say, Prada went with tonal styling. It was almost as if the girls were wearing especially bulky over-the-knee boots.

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The overall effect was certainly eye-catching (especially when paired with the brand’s tailored shorts and pieced-together shirts), but it’s actually one of the easier, more minimalist ways to wear statement socks — particularly those that rise to the knee. Just ask Rihanna, whose latest Fenty campaign shows the singer clad in baby blue knee-highs, matching velour sweatpants and coordinating kitten heels. Or former VFiles/current Helmut Lang intern Sabrina Fuentes, who looked every bit the school-age fashion minion in white knee-high socks, white-trimmed baby pink Converse and a perfectly coordinated striped knit/mini skirt look.

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So, in keeping with the experimental, anything-goes fashion mood we all adopt come fall when chillier temperatures allow for weirder coats and more layering possibilities, we invite you, yet again, to think sock- and shoe-first, then build the rest of your (high-hemmed) outfit from there. Ahead, five Prada-esque knee-high socks pairings to get you started.