When can you sock it to me?
December 5, 2011 1:37 PM   Subscribe

Is wearing socks with a long skirt a fashion no-no?

I like wearing long skirts, but sometimes a boot is just too much and I don't feel like putting on nylons.

Is wearing an opaque, calf-length sock an amazing faux pas which would label me as amazingly out of it? Or is it just something that's not part of the mainstream fashion lexicon?

In commentary I've found, socks seem acceptable when paired with slacks or with a plaid schoolgirl-esque type look. Outside of those contexts, do socks really stand out as a viable option?

I'm not talking about an interview skirt suit or formal affairs, here. The outfits I'm contemplating are dressy casual, but for which tennis shoes and white socks would definitely send the "this is my evening-commute-home-on-the-train" footwear message.
posted by TranSubstantial to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (27 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You could always just get thigh-high or knee-high stockings; they do make them where you don't need a garter belt. There's a fun site for socks in varying lengths here, and I swear I am not employed by them (I just ordered a pair myself becuase I LOATHE tights and panty hose and I was just that damn thrilled to have another option).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:42 PM on December 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

If you have those ones that go up just under your knees it can look really cute. The exact right length probably depends on your specific legs, but it's certainly not something I'd see as being weird in general. Particularly under a long skirt where you won't even see the socks (and under a knee length or shorter skirt can also be fine).
posted by shelleycat at 1:42 PM on December 5, 2011

Would you be able to see the top of the sock? If so, very no. If not, they'll just look like tights, which is fine. What sort of shoe are you thinking of wearing them with?
posted by brainmouse at 1:43 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh, and I wear these under long skirts all the time.
posted by shelleycat at 1:43 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Calf-height? Do not do this. To just below the knee? Fine.
posted by jeather at 1:50 PM on December 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

I would suggest intentional-looking socks - frankly, I find the neutral-nylon-trouser-sock-and-long-work-skirt combination really ew...it looks awkward and is usually visible if you bend over, climb stairs, climb onto the bus, sit wrong, etc etc. Or if your skirt has a back kick-pleat, the sockiness of the sock will be visible too. Long skirts and knee socks look weird to me, honestly, but a long skirt with colorful/interesting/patterned socks would be the best option.
posted by Frowner at 1:51 PM on December 5, 2011 [3 favorites]

I'm going to agree with jeather. Knee socks are the way to go! They look rad with everything (on preview, I am definitely talking about intentional-looking socks as Frowner suggests).

(Maybe not a bathing suit, but I am seriously not able to brainstorm any other outfits that knee socks don't work with.)
posted by Kronur at 1:52 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

I think it's really going to depend on the outfit, and it's going to depend on the shoes you're wearing as well. I'm having a hard time picturing what shoes you're wearing with these skirts. When I wear skirts (granted, I tend to wear knee length or shorter skirts), I wear either flats, boots, or heels. Only the boots work with socks, and you've specifically excluded boots. I don't think that traditional ballet flats and socks work in general, but perhaps you're going for a different kind of shoe entirely.
posted by insectosaurus at 1:55 PM on December 5, 2011

IMO it depends on the length of the skirt, the height of the socks and the shoes but if in doubt wear knee-high nylons/stockings (over here we call them pop socks - no idea why).

If you're wearing an ankle length skirt and a calf-high sock, so long as they don't get creased/bunched up around the edge of your shoes, I don't see a problem with it. (my rule of thumb - if I cross my legs, can you see the tops of my socks? So long as the tops of the socks are seen, its fine.
posted by missmagenta at 1:58 PM on December 5, 2011

No no no please don't ever do this. It is one of the biggest fashion faux pas you can make.

The most casual I would go with the skirts you describe are nice flats with thicker tights.
posted by DoubleLune at 1:59 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: The specific combination I had in mind was an opaque black sock that reaches up to just below my knee, and an ankle-length skirt, with either black ballet flats or black pumps.

I am pretty sure I wouldn't draw any raised eyebrows at all with either nylons or boots, but for various reasons I'm trying to figure out whether different combinations would work.
posted by TranSubstantial at 2:01 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

It depends. On skirt length, style and the look you're going for as well as on sock length, style and the look you're going for.

Generally short socks don't work with skirts of most lengths, knees socks that you can't see the top of are fine. You have more latitude if you're really fashion forward and call pull off experimental looks, skirt, high heels and short socks.

Short skirt and short sock can work if you're young or for a fun weekend look - not for a job.

But some looks break the rules and manage to work.
posted by shoesietart at 2:03 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

The last couple Anthropologie catalogues have featured quite a few socks-and-heels outfits which I think are amazing, but it's fashion, so obviously YMMV. For examples this sock shows three outfits with the yellow color, and a trouser outfit with the pinkish color.
posted by emyd at 2:04 PM on December 5, 2011

I'm a big fan of knee socks. Especially with just above the knee A-line skits. I can absolutely see this working with a much longer skirt. It will look like you are wearing tights. I second the idea to keep it real-sock specific, though (half-tights/hosiery, when visible, are kinda not great). I'd use argyle, cable knit or some other thick/textured wool.
posted by marimeko at 2:04 PM on December 5, 2011

Well, if it's any guidance I've gone to two interviews with that combination of long black socks, long skirt and feminine shoes and got the job/course both times. I know they don't get a long look at your feet, but I think that's a reasonable vote of confidence in professionalism.
posted by Coobeastie at 2:05 PM on December 5, 2011

Ankle length skirt + pumps or ballet flats + knee-height socks seems fine to me.
posted by jeather at 2:06 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Dressy knee socks fall down and bunch around your ankles - or at least sag with some bunchiness. So unless yours magically stay completely taut, they'll end up looking stupid at some point in the day.

Also going matchy matchy with the ing skirt may not work, since it'll look like 2 black sticks coming out of your skirt. This depends more on the color of your skirt and shoes tho.
posted by DoubleLune at 2:16 PM on December 5, 2011

there are a lot of solutions for slouchy socks. sock garter, sock glue, better socks...

i can't wait for winter because it means i can start wearing my stack of sock dreams socks again! my most common outfit is a long skirt (calf length, above the ankle, well below the knee) and o basics. i pair this with slip on shoes, most of mine are somewhere between a ballet slipper and a vans slip on. they also have some super pretty trouser socks.

i think it's a cute look if you're confident in it and occasionally add some flash with a pattern or stripes or a bright color.
posted by nadawi at 2:27 PM on December 5, 2011

I get how sheer hose is destroyed easily, but why not a pair of knit tights? They're comfortable, sturdy, and available in lots of cute patterns (like cable-knit).
posted by acidic at 2:51 PM on December 5, 2011

I know several hippie-types who wear socks & skirts; probably not the look you're after. With an calf- or ankle-length skirt, it will look like tights, perfectly fine. I wear tights with skirts for the slightly slimming effect of the tights.
posted by theora55 at 2:54 PM on December 5, 2011

Knit tights are great if you're the right height, but don't work as well on the taller end of the spectrum. Knee high and thigh high socks have been a real boon (It doesn't matter if they come up an inch or two shorter than they would on another woman.) I think they look fine with ballet flats or Mary Janes, but wear boots myself just because they keep me so much warmer.
posted by Margalo Epps at 3:20 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Have you seen the film Amelie? She often wears long skirts paired with chunky Oxfords and short socks. I've tried to pull off that look at few times, but you may have to be French to work it properly.
posted by web-goddess at 4:40 PM on December 5, 2011

Wait - calf-height socks? No. Get knee-high socks.
posted by theora55 at 6:49 PM on December 5, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks so much for the comments, everyone. I think I'm confident enough to experiment around with this look.

Here's a picture of the look I had in mind (please excuse the fuzzy croppiness of it all): http://imgur.com/a/1kYss

Based on comments here, I will definitely try expanding my sock repertoire. :)
posted by TranSubstantial at 8:23 PM on December 5, 2011

It might work if you're not trying to fool anybody. But if you are: What about wind? what if there's a slit in the skirt? what about sitting down, bending over?
posted by serena15221 at 11:38 AM on December 6, 2011

i've never tried to fool anyone that my socks were tights (although, i did have tights that looked like thigh high socks and that fooled a few people). no one ever seemed to mind a momentary peek at my knees.

i think your look is cute. personally, i rarely wear the same color socks as skirt, but i don't think it's a bad look.
posted by nadawi at 11:44 AM on December 6, 2011

and if you're at all concerned about socks staying up, if you buy them from sock dreams, their customer service is awesome and you can ask them before you buy.

i also love target's knee highs. they never slouch for me.
posted by nadawi at 11:45 AM on December 6, 2011

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