How to Wear Socks With Sandals — the Right Way

From platform slides to flip-flop heels, it seems no “fashion faux pas” is off-limits for becoming the next “it” trend. And now wearing socks with sandals — one of the most infamously undesirable pairings — is the latest to join the group.

First worn by the Romans between 250 and 420 A.D., the look has earned a key spot in today’s fashion zeitgeist. It first popped up practically everywhere on spring ’18 runways, while it’s gotten an even more recent revival thanks to Anna Sui (her collaboration with Teva was worn with floral socks for spring ’19). Naturally, celebrities and street-style stars have followed suit.

In fact, they’re living proof that although the trend can seem daunting, it can look effortlessly cool when done right. That’s why we’ve turned to said A-listers and style aficionados for inspiration and rounded up top tips for wearing all different types of socks with sandals. Just keep in mind the pairing offers more coverage than going barefoot, so you’ll want to take the weather into account when deciding which look is best. Read on to discover them all.

Sheer Socks With Sandals

Sheer socks offer elegant flair, so they’re best paired with dressier sandals like a suede platform heel or ladylike slide. A pair of socks that hits just below midcalf is great for complementing all types of leg shapes.

Kacey Musgraves2019 Variety's Power of Women NY - Presented by Lifetime, New York, USA - 05 Apr 2019 Wearing Calvin Klein
Kacey Musgraves wearing sheer socks and platform sandals.
CREDIT: Kristina Bumphrey/Starpix/Sh
Shein Galaxy Pattern Slouch Mesh Ankle Socks
Shein galaxy pattern slouch mesh ankle socks.
CREDIT: Shein

Chinese Laundry Avenue2 platform sandal
Chinese Laundry Avenue2 platform sandal.
CREDIT: Nordstrom


Tube Socks With Sandals

When reaching for tall tube socks, it’s best to opt for athletic slides or Birkenstocks. These styles are heavier and thus pair well with the fuller-coverage sock. In this case, skip the sweats and show off the look with a pair of tailored bermuda shorts, which will add an element of sophistication to your outfit.

Fashion designer Elizabeth Akingbade wearing Yemzi, backstageAfrica Utopia, fashion event, Southbank, London, UK - 03 Sep 2016WEARING YEMZI
Fashion designer Elizabeth Akingbade wearing tube socks and chunky sandals.
CREDIT: Wayne Tippetts/Shutterstock
Urban Outfitters Sport Stripe Sock
Urban Outfitters sport stripe sock.
CREDIT: Urban Outfitters

Birkenstock Arizona Birko-Flor
Birkenstock Arizona Birko-Flor
CREDIT: Birkenstock


Colorful Socks With Sandals

Brightly colored socks will truly pop with a neutral-colored sandal, such as one done in silver, white or brown. If you’re feeling daring, you can also try playing with colors that slightly clash, such as orange and red, for a fun twist.

Jasmine SandersMarc Jacobs show, Arrivals, Fall Winter 2018, New York Fashion Week, USA - 14 Feb 2018 Marc Jacobs Fall 2018 Show - New York Fashion Week - Outside Arrivals WEARING MARC JACOBS
Jasmine Sanders wearing orange socks and silver sandals.
CREDIT: Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock
Miu Miu High Rise Socks
Miu Miu high-rise socks.
CREDIT: 24Sevres

Jeffrey Campbell Patio Sport Sandal
Jeffrey Campbell Patio sport sandal.
CREDIT: Nordstrom


Patterned Socks With Sandals

This look can be one of the hardest to pull off but is made easier with a simple trick. When choosing a graphic sock, match the pattern in the sock to a detail on the shoe (for example, the design on the cuff of the sock can be coordinated with the color of the sandal strap).

Attendee at Milan Fashion Week, fall 2019.
Attendee at Milan Fashion Week, fall 2019.
CREDIT: Shutterstock
shot for bkg
Ganni embroidery socks.
CREDIT: Shopbop

Aldo Dwylia
Aldo Dwylia
CREDIT: Aldo


Neutral Socks With Sandals

For a truly streamlined look, opt for monochromatic socks and shoes in the same color. It’s a great way to keep the look low-profile, especially when paired with jeans and a tee.

Faith EvansFaith Evans at LAX International Airport, Los Angeles, USA - 09 Jul 2018
Faith Evans wearing black socks and matching black sandals.
CREDIT: Shutterstock
Wolford velvet 66 socks.
Wolford velvet 66 socks.
CREDIT: Shopbop

London Rag Sandra Sandal.
London Rag Sandra sandal.

All products featured have been independently selected and curated by our editorial team. If you buy something through the links included on our site, FN may earn a commission.

Watch FN’s video on celebrities who love Manolo Blahnik shoes below. 

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