First things first: There’s no wrong way to wear socks. That said, a good statement sock makes your whole outfit better. We’re living in the era of experimental, statement-making fashion, from the tips of our toes to the tops of our poof-accented, pin-pierced berets. Eye-grabbing, fun socks — novelty, frilled, pompom, what have you — were once relegated to occasions like the first day of kindergarten or the last day of our laundry cycle. No more. The accessories you long ago paired with patent Mary Janes — or not so long ago, unsexy pairs of pajamas — now grace the Gucci-clad feet of the fashion set.
For several seasons running, designers have asked us to reconsider the statement sock. It’s an easy task. Socks are, for the most part, inexpensive. We wear them on a practically everyday basis. And even fashion minimalists can’t argue with affordable, easy to style, readily showed off or shielded hosiery. Plus, fresh (read: no holes or pilling), fun socks can revitalize your tired everyday footwear. Why not spend a few bucks diversifying your sock drawer and save a pile on new shoes?
When making fun socks the focal point of your outfit, the key is to build your look from the feet up. As far as office attire goes, sock experimentation requires a fairly simple getup (a tonal look is always a safe bet). Toe the line between distinctive and distracting — slide a pair of silky socks in a rich hue (pattern optional) on under your go-to loafers.
On days or nights off (or in more fashion-forward work environments), feel free to play with contrasting colors, textures, proportions and sock-to-shoe ratios. As with all trends big and small, we consulted the runways for styling inspo. At Alberto Zambelli Spring 2017, stirrup socks added interest to ballet flats. The daredevils at Daks teamed flatforms with knee-high hosiery. Marc Jacobs paired strappy velvet sandals with silky foot warmers. Antonio Marras favored a striped pump and tube sock duo. Preen shielded its shoes under an umbrella of silk and lace. Lastly, as Reem Acra (and Stance collaborator Rihanna) will tell you, you can’t go wrong with a statement sock-stiletto combo. Extra points if said heel is attached to a PVC boot.
Below, 34 statement socks that’ll help you put your best feet forward — winter, spring, summer or fall.