How to Wear Socks and Open Toe Shoes

With all this focus on open toe shoes, it got me thinking about how to improve the cost per wear of my obsession. The only way to do that is to wear them more. Or buy cheaper shoes, which really is not an option! If Spring and Autumn are about light weight layers then why not for the feet too? The answer – SOCKS and OPEN TOE SHOES!

Last year I started to dabble a lot more with patterned stockings and tights, and even wore socks with high-heeled boots and a pair of shorts. So I think I need to expand on this concept and embrace more socks and tights with heels and open toe shoes.

It’s a perfect way to usher in spring, wear all my great shoes and keep the tootsies warm. And it also means I can partially cover the winter white legs!

If the thought of this trend frightens you start subtly. Work with neutral socks and neutral shoes. When worn with shorts or a skirt this look can stay professional simply by adding a blazer to your outfit.

When well-matched, socks-and-open toe combos can dress down power heels and add a girly edge to a day or nighttime look, suitable for the boardroom or after hours dinner and drinks. The key to this look is keeping the stockings or socks thin and neutral but using a pattern or texture to add interest.

Of course if you are a little more bold, then feel free to mix and match unexpected colours and textures. Make sure that your socks contrast the colour of your heels.

This can be a really fun way to add a pop of colour to an otherwise simple and neutral look.

What do you think? Is this a trend you would try or is your brain screaming FASHION FAUX PAS!!?

Of course the big key is to keep it stylish and chic and not slip into Brittany does school-girl, but I think I’m going to get a lot more wear out of my open toes shoes now that I know how to wear them with socks.


About astimegoesbuy

Just a middle-aged woman with a love of fashion trying to have a purchasing fast. Spending 90 days dressing out of what is already in the wardrobe.If I can't shop for clothes, I may as well write about clothes! View all posts by astimegoesbuy

60 responses to “How to Wear Socks and Open Toe Shoes

  • TinLizzie72

    I’m not a huge fan of open toed shoes (on me – I love them in general, I just think they look weird on my feet), but I love the look of them with socks and patterned tights. I do have one pair that I love that I was already considering I might need to experiment with as the weather cools. I’d love to see how you rock it, so update us later, please! (PS – i was totally inspired by your silver cap toe post when I wrote mine last night:

    • astimegoesbuy

      I’m glad that I inspired you!
      That is what we are all here for! 🙂
      I think it is cool that you have one pair of open toe shoes that you have already been thinking about trying this trend with.
      Tomorrow I will share a few options with my shoes and of course over the coming months there will be a few looks pulled together with open toe shoes and socks.

  • Paula Parisotto

    You had me at “socks and open toed shoes”……..with a gasp! I was just in Hollywood yesterday talking with a fellow stylist about socks and high heels. It’s one we love in high fashion shoots but just can’t wear ourselves. It just feels weird. Love stockings!!!!!!! But can’t leave the house with a sock and a heel 😦 Glad you can rock it 🙂

    stylist & stiletto (without socks) maven

    • astimegoesbuy

      As with most things style related it is more about attitude than anything else.
      I only can rock it because I believe I can!
      This will be another of those interesting trends for me to play with because I’m not sure there will be that many others in our little town that will. If I wear it once to work I can usually get a good feel for how “acceptable” it is based on the comments.
      I’ll keep you posted about how it goes. 🙂
      geeky girl in socks with heels

  • kategreer

    The hose with pumps look fab! I love the lace hosiery too!

    • astimegoesbuy

      I really love those looks too!
      Very girlie and ladylike with a bit of classic chic thrown in. 🙂
      My hosiery has been getting more interesting and varied over the past year so I should be able to work that look.

  • Clàudia

    I love the first photo, I’ve always wanted to wear socks and open toe shoes, but I feel they look weird to me.. 😦

    • astimegoesbuy

      I think it seems weird because for so long it wasn’t acceptable in fashion.
      One of the keys to making it work is to use thin socks and to make sure they only go 2-5 cm above the ankle (1-2 inches).
      Also I find the more “professional” the rest of the look the easier it is to get used too. So example a pencil skirt, blouse and blazer show you mean business and are an adult, which keeps it from getting too little school girl looking. I also like the look with a fuller skirt but think you need a chunkier/heavier heel to keep it from becoming too pin-up.

      • Feven Brown

        Wow, that was a really great critique. It made a lot of sense as I’m trying to stretch my new shoes and wondered if wearing socks with open toe heels are possible. Thanks so much!

      • astimegoesbuy

        Glad to help!
        You certainly can wear socks with open toe shoes.
        The real key is to be a bit clever about how you pull together the rest of the look.

  • shiroknowes

    Those shoes are really beautiful !!!

  • ethelthedean

    I actually dig this look – but it can be tricky. I have myself never tried it, but now I am inspired!

    • astimegoesbuy

      It deffinitely can be tricky.
      I would recommend, keeping your socks thin and not more than 2-5 cms above the ankle to keep it adult and not school girl.
      If you follow those two guidelines then you can keep it as neutral or flashy as you like.
      Let me know how you go trying the look yourself. 🙂

  • urbancurator

    I like wearing opaque tights with my open toed shoes. It stretches out my summer shoes – so I can wear them in winter. I wore open toe at New Year’s with a funky dress and sheer nylons. When doing this, you must wear sandalfoot.

    Not sure how I feel about the socks – I think that’s for the younger, very thin models! The Luis Vuitton shoes and model look fantastic!

    • astimegoesbuy

      I love wearing opaque tights with my open toe shoes!
      It’s a great way to expand the season of your summery shoes.
      I find if I keep my socks short I can manage the look pretty well.
      My calves have always been pretty curvy so I need to keep the sock well below my calves, otherwise I look like two sausages are sticking out of my dress! 🙂
      The Louis Vuitton is one of my favourite and probably what inspired me to be more adventurous in trying this trend.

  • s1ngal

    will definitely try this [first in solitude, though], after all i’m my best critic. thanks zillion for the idea though.

  • RiverCityFashion

    I think the socks look amazing in magazines and catalogs (on runways, etc.), but I can’t imagine it successfully deployed in real life. That said, a trouser sock bordering on hosiery, preferably under pants? Absofreakingloutely.

    • astimegoesbuy

      I was worried about managing the look in real life…especially since my real life is taking place in a fairly conservative place but the more I do this blog the braver I become and the more people almost seem to expect me to be bold and daring. Not sure it is a good thing but there are girls at work that want to check out what I am wearing pretty well everytime I see them! So I think I’ll give it a fair go in a couple of forms and see what the response is. 🙂

      • RiverCityFashion

        Just so long as we get updates, I definitely understand that! (And I get much braver on my own … even as an anonymous blogger!)

      • astimegoesbuy

        I promise there will be updates!
        Even if they aren’t well recieved I shall share the process.
        I find that the fact that I blog about stuff has made me more daring and willing to push the boundaries.
        Some of the girls at work also read the blog so they are expecting me to bring my A Game. 🙂

  • simphonyblue

    🙂 it’s true… I myself can’t really adjust my eyes with the socks and the shoes… it was always a forbidden/ugly/unfashionable thingy.. now… I still cannot, even if they don’t look THAT bad!!! if I see it on the street it seems like they cut the legs somehow..the length of the legs 🙂
    but I could never wear 😦 it’s just toooo … not my type. (second photo is nice-that I am wearing-much simpler stockings of course)

    • astimegoesbuy

      That is part of the beauty of style. You find what works for you and make it yours.
      I too love the second look and have worn versions of it with closed toe shoes forever so am happy to expand to open toe shoes.
      Wearing socks with open toe shoes will be new for me…we’ll see how I go. 🙂

  • lasvegascloset

    This is one of those trends I love but never wear, this post inspire me to take out my open toes and some cute socks, thanks!

    • astimegoesbuy

      My pleasure!
      I think I need to buy some new socks to take full advantage but I may have a pair or two that will get me started.
      Looking forward to seeing how you pull the look together. 🙂

  • RejoiceForTheDay

    I love the look with the lace stockings! I am not sure I am an open toed shoe girl, however, I am trying to expand my shoe horizons. 🙂 I would say yes for sure with some tights, but I am a no with socks. I do love the open toed look, and to wear anything with confidence makes all the difference!

    • astimegoesbuy

      You are so correct!
      I think it is all about the confidence.
      If you act like you look fabulous people believe you look the same!
      I’ll have to keep my socks short when I wear this look because I have rather big calf muscles that would look ridiculous if my socks were too long.

  • shinyinlove

    hmmm, some good ideas here! nice post.

  • kenyaldesigns

    These looks are so fierce! I love wearing tights with open toe shoes but now I may have to evolve to socks too!!

    • astimegoesbuy

      That is exactly the evolution I had…started with tights and am now starting to move into socks.
      I wasn’t so sure at first but I’m really starting to love the look!
      Be sure to share with us some of your ideas for wearing socks with open toe shoes. 🙂

  • furrylittlegnome

    Furrylittlegnome’s first thought when she saw the title was one of fear! Here, in New England, wearing socks with open-toe shoes / sandals is reserved for the “outdoorsy” types…

  • 13coco

    I have been doing this trend for a couple years now. I love to wear my black-and-white color-blocked dress (it is very British Mod) with my polka-dot tights and open toed red stilettos. I recently wore this outfit to a party at my college and I recieved a lot of compliments. While I was afraid to try this last year, when the fashion editorials started showing this trend, I am so glad that I tried it. This is not for everyone, but it can be worn in a romantic,feminine style (how I wear it) or in a bold, interesting style (like how one of my friend’s wears it), and it is definitely unique.

    • astimegoesbuy

      Your outfit sounds very cool!
      Would love to see a pic next time you wear it.
      If you get one of your friends style too you could write about what and why the two work.
      I have been doing tights a little over the past year and have done socks with shorts and high heeled boots but have decided to be brave enough to go for the socks and open toe shoes.
      Tomorrow’s post will show a couple of looks I have pulled together with my shoes…and poor sock selection. 🙂

  • Crocs Are Awful

    I fear this trend and yet I want to embrace it also! I have seen a few girls pull this look off so well I actually got jealous, but then I have seen Chloe Sevigny and her woolly socks, Scholl sandal combo and I just shudder! I think this autumn I might try simple ankle socks and my brogues… I’ll start gently! Great post btw!

    • astimegoesbuy

      It certainly has the potential to go very wrong!
      Woolly socks is probably not ever going to provide and chic and stylish option.
      I recommend making sure your socks are thin and no more than 2-5 cm (1-2 inches) above the ankle.
      Otherwise, you are cooking up a recipe for disaster! 🙂
      And there is nothing wrong with easing yourself into it. I started with tights and open toe shoes and am now ready to move on.

      • Crocs Are Awful

        I am thinking of getting those communion style socks? What do you think? But minus the endless amounts of lace, just a little bit something on them? Thanks for the tips btw! 🙂

      • astimegoesbuy

        I’ve been thinking about adding a few of those to my sock wardrobe as well. Definitely a good patterned texture in the sock but skip the lace or ribbon trim…way too little girlie. 🙂 And if I could find a black pair with white skulls (a la McQueen), I would buy them in a heart beat. They would be great for toughening up a sweet look.
        I’m also thinking of some thin cotton ankle socks in pastel colours and maybe some brights to work with the trends.
        See, so many socks, such little time! 🙂

  • girlyqueen

    Reblogged this on girlyqueen and commented:
    thank you for this. ❤

  • lushlili

    Love the sock and heeled look.

    Im not the biggest fan of peep toe anything, so the fact that colourful tights and socks can fill that gap is always a good thing 😀

    • astimegoesbuy

      It’s a great way to get more use out of things you may only wear for one season…tights (winter) and open toe shoes (summer). And I love getting more wear because it makes the cost per wear go down!

  • helpfulannalisa

    in california is taboo to wear socks with sandals, almost a joke cause in san diego it doesn’t get cold enough to warrant socks. hehehe. but i love the look, something i could consider for the chilly office! smiles!!

    • astimegoesbuy

      True, and if you wear thin socks it’s really more about the look than keeping the tootsies warm! San Diego…always the perfect temperature there. I had friends growing up that would spend Thanksgiving in San Diego and come back with a tan! Would love a little heat right now…it’s been a cold winter here. 🙂

  • shiroknowes

    I love this style so much, many people look at me if I come from Mars when iI were them but I like it wearing short socks into high heels because they make me feeling trendy and fashion !

  • stregajewellry

    I love this idea! Open toed shoes have been a no no for me because I have such ugly toes, but you have given me a way to cover than that looks trendy and girly. Thanks.

  • Lilly Sue

    Some of those pictures seem to sport it well. I still never feel like I can pull of socks and open toed shoes! lol

  • @somefactory

    I love wearing socks with my silver wedges
    Great references by the way
    Thanks again for stopping by
    All the best

  • saltandserenity

    I’m only brave enough to wear black open toe wedges with black tights. (I know, I’m a real rebel!!). I loved that second picture!

    • astimegoesbuy

      Not everyone needs to live life at the edge. 🙂
      Maybe black on black is your gateway to this style.
      It took me ages to wear tights with any open toe shoes but now I love the look!

  • Fall Back | As Time Goes...Buy

    […] shoes. I guess for a while I can wear them with socks and tights. After all, I did do a couple of posts about it. May as well walk the walk and walk in those shoes so to […]

  • How to Wear Mixed Prints to Work | As Time Goes...Buy

    […] cork platform open-toe shoes! Yes, open toe shoes and tights. I did a couple posts last year on how to work this look and as you can see, I’m still loving it. To tie it all together and to add a casual sense of […]

  • How to Dress For Work to Drinks | As Time Goes...Buy

    […] amp up the modern I have paired them with my favourite black open-toe wedges. If you remember from this post, it really is okay to wear socks/tights with open-toe shoes…if you do it […]

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