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Ask Avery: Knock your socks off

blog by Avery Hartmans  • 

Dear Avery,
I keep seeing girls in over-the-knee socks and I think they’re really cute, but I can’t figure out how to wear them without looking like a school girl. How can I wear them in a way that looks cool and not childish?

There’s a fine line between looking edgy and looking like you’re wearing a costume, and over-the-knee socks certainly toe that line — no pun intended.

Every girl you know with questionable morals has probably donned a pair at least once to play the part of the school girl, but that doesn’t rule out high socks as a fun, sophisticated option. You just have to make them your own.

The great thing about centering your outfit around an accessory is that even though they’re your statement piece, they cost six bucks at Target. High socks are an easy addition to your wardrobe without costing you a fortune, and I guarantee they’ll work with something you already own.

But before you start replacing pants with socks and thinking you’re the most fashionable chick on the planet, I have to warn you: over-the-knee socks rely on more than sheer force of will to keep them up.

I once left the house feeling fierce and didn’t even make it to the end of the block before they became knee socks, and then mid-calf socks. Different methods work for different girls, but just ensure your socks are secure before you head out the door.

Option No. 1

I’ve never been the biggest fan of wearing shorts during the winter, only because I think wearing shorts and tights looks silly and nonsensical. But now, you can wear your favorite shorts and actually have warm legs if you just swap your tights for socks.

If you’re going to wear such a fashion-forward and slightly provocative look, however, keep the rest of your outfit kind of classic — with an edge.

High-waisted, tailored shorts will add structure and elegance to your look, and a printed blouse with leather accents will add a pop of color. Opt for brown Chelsea boots over black for the daytime, and add a tortoiseshell chain for a quirky, unexpected touch.

Something about this outfit just screams “London,” so you might as well head across the pond to wow the Brits.

1. Zara, $19.99
2. See by Chloé for Madewell, $250
3. Target, $6
4. Bauble Bar, $34
5. SOLES, $170

Option No. 2

There’s something so feminine about over-the-knee socks, so why not stick with the theme? Plan an outfit that’s one part girly girl, one part tough girl for a look that’s just about the most fun you can have with your clothes on.

Seriously, there’s no way you’ll have anything but an excellent day while wearing a bubblegum pink overcoat.

A striped, drop-waist dress is a great complement to the socks, since the low waist keeps your dress from looking too short and, frankly, trampy.

Plus, the silhouette is youthful without being childish and the thin stripes are easy to accessorize with a chunky, bejeweled necklace. A pair of black quilted booties will add some edginess and keep you from looking like a cupcake, but when you top it all off with the world’s most perfect coat, you’ll still look good enough to eat.

1. Topshop, $48
2. Target, $6
3. River Island, $74.08
4. J.Crew, $138
5. Miss Selfridge, $137

Option No. 3

My philosophy is, if you’re already wearing something that’s a little unusual, you might as well make the rest of your outfit awesome. Which, in my world, means looking like a total bad-ass. Over-the-knee socks are about to revolutionize your night-out ensemble and soon, all the other girls are going to try to copy you.

Rather than wearing the same pair of black, opaque tights you always wear, or worse, no tights at all, pair an adorable floral mini with high socks and perhaps some black ankle booties. Add a boxy, striped top to balance out the proportions and mix up the patterns, then top it off with a leather-sleeved moto jacket. A pair of sparkly earrings are all the accessorizing you’ll need before you head out for a night on the town.

1. H&M, $34.95
2. Mango, $29.99
3. Target, $6
4. Target, $23.98
5. Coast, $27.78

TAGGED: ask avery, fashion, over-the-knee socks, socks, stockings

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