I’ve been playing around with the socks-with-sandals trend for the past couple of years. In the beginning, this freewheeling, utilitarian movement was supposed to look uncontrolled, thrown on. I saw this style most often on younger women. It had the insouciant look of, “I can’t be bothered with putting on more appropriate shoes after realizing that it’s cold out.” In reality it took me a lot of planning and consideration to keep this look more fashionable, so that I stayed out of teen world or crunchy granola. The specific combo that looked right to me was scrunched-down, beefier, ankle socks with flatforms. If I got the outfit pairing just right they looked hip, if not, they went into granny territory.
Enter Fall, 2016 and our eye has normalized the trend–it’s no longer a jarring, second-glance look. These days socks worn with sandals, and now also heels, looks modern and chic—not freestyle.
It wasn’t until writing this story that I remembered that as a California transplant starting college in Iowa in the fall of 1978, I wore knee socks and squared, wooden-bottom flatforms in inappropriate weather —it started snowing one time! I still wait until the last-minute to put away my open toe shoes—my toes love the freedom.
This fall I’m thinking I’ll first try a simple, chunky-heeled sandal, or a closed toe, open back platform heel with socks. The evolution of the sock height in this trend is at mid-calf now, standing up or scrunched down with a knee-high. My favorite way to put the look together is minimal—long knit slim skirts or dresses. I also like it with a printed georgette, victoriana dress. And with a cropped trouser—out of control!