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Would You Wear… Ankle Socks and Heels?


Ankle socks and heels trend
Photo credits, from left: Lulu from Everybody is Ugly, user-submitted photos from

For this week’s edition of Would You Wear?, let’s discuss a trend that’s been popping up everywhere lately… wearing your sky-high heels with black ankle socks.

The socks and heels trend is definitely a look that’s been in and out for a while, showing up everywhere from runways to the streets. It was most recently popularized when Burberry Prorsum sent the look down the runway at their Spring 2009 and Spring 2008 RTW shows.

Personally, I’m a fan of this look and think it can work well when worn carefully (see the girls pictured above). When worn with a chic bandage skirt and loose top, ankle socks and heels can look edgy and fashion-forward. It can also, however, go VERY wrong (see Ugly Betty’s interpretation of the look).

I think the key is to making this trend work is to always stick to black socks. Avoid colors/white at all costs!

Also, the height of the socks matters – Lulu’s socks (left photo above) hit just above the ankle, making her legs look long and lean. In the photo on the right, the socks are pulled up a little too high and shorten the leg line for a less flattering look.

What do you think? Would you wear ankle socks and heels? If so, how would you pull them off? Leave a comment and tell us what you think of this trend!

Posted on on September 7, 2009 / Filed Under: Would You Wear? / Tags: , , , , ,

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48 Responses to “Would You Wear… Ankle Socks and Heels?”

  1. 1
    September 7th, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    This look lengthens their legs! I think I would try to rock some studded, ankle sandal flats or something like that to get the same kind of cool color/chic combo but heels + socks would be a bit much for me…

    It looks great in the pictures, though! perfect for a cold library haha

  2. 2
    September 7th, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    I don’t see myself rocking this look- it’s a bit too trendy and sloppy for me!

    I think it could work if you wore closed toed heels/ankle boots like the middle picture and then ankle socks- the middle one is o.k

    And for Ugly Betty’s look? Oh my………..

  3. 3
    September 7th, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Yes, i love this look and I have pulled it off before. This looks good with ankle boot heels especialls with a pair of black scrunched down ankle socks. You can wear this combo with anything from a minidress w/ a leather jacket to a high waisted skirt and a trench coat. i love it.

  4. 4
    September 7th, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    I’d totally wear it! However, I think colored socks COULD work, but you have to be very careful.

  5. 5
    September 7th, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Nope, it’s not something that I think I can pull off. The first two girls pictured make it look hot though. The only time I don’t mind my socks showing is if I’m wearing boots and the top of my knee-length socks are an inch-or-so longer than the length of my boots. Otherwise, my socks will never be seen!

  6. 6
    September 7th, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    YES YES YES! well, im not sure if i would wear this yet – im in the market for the right length socks. but when i was in Tokyo over the past spring, every single girl there was rocking this look. it takes fashion to a new level. if you coordinate it with your outfit right, it looks stunning. im going to stick with low black socks with heals, but girls over in Tokyo wear stripped socks up to their knees with heals and it looks awesome (if you can pull it off right) i am a definite supporter of this look.

  7. 7
    September 7th, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    only with ankle boots…

    the strappy, open heels make the socks look funny.

  8. 8
    September 7th, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    I would if I had the legs for it.

  9. 9
    September 7th, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    I think that it looks cute with black or gray shoes but i’ve seen girls wearing them with bright colored heels and it looks a little bit weird. Not sure if I could pull this look off but the two girls make it look good :)

  10. 10
    September 7th, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    I think with closed toed shoes it’d work but I’m not a fan of the open toe even with tights ew.

  11. 11
    September 7th, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Wouldn’t do this personally, though I think the look definitely comes off well on some people. I agree about the socks needing to be kept short and also that it should be a closed-toed shoe.

  12. 12
    September 7th, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    YECH!! The bunny ears were laughable, this is just horrid! It’s even more incongruous and atrocious than black socks and sandals. The only one I can tolerate is the one on the left, but that is because it is much more of a retro legwarmers look. The ankle socks are school-uniform bobby socks looking even dorkier than they looked to begin with…congrats to the fashion world, because I didn’t think that was possible!

  13. 13
    September 7th, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    I actually kinda like this one. But I would only wear it with ankle boots and a skirt. And, of course, with the right socks!

  14. 14
    September 7th, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    i love this look… but i like colorful socks wedge boots instead of black socks.

    i think it looks adorable and really makes your footwear stand out in a crowd! Its cute!

  15. 15
    September 7th, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Personally, I don’t much like the look with black cotton socks, the striped socks are a different look entirely though, they look more like short stockings, I like it with the striped socks. So maybe a thin sock with a subtle pattern could work for this look, like a dressier sock. I would still stick to shades of grey and black though.

  16. 16
    September 7th, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    I love how it looks!! :D But I can’t pull it off… :( My legs are too thick, and this would make them look bigger.

  17. 17
    September 7th, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    I like on the girl in the second pic… it wouldn’t work on me though.

  18. 18
    September 7th, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    Also — would anyone else kill to dress like the people who submit the pics on Lookbook ? Lol .. I can look at these pics forever…

  19. 19
    September 7th, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    linda – totally agree, their style never ceases to amaze me

    i really love this look…just not for myself, doesn’t go with my style. The girls you posted look incredible though, great styling.

  20. 20
    September 7th, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    I can see why people are skeptical about this look, but at the same time I do like it …
    I can see it going either way though. Some people are going to look awful, and others are going to look amazing.
    I think I could rock this look!

    This will probably be like the “leggings” craze … some people will love it, and others will loathe it …

  21. 21
    September 7th, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    I think it works best with closed toed heels. The girl in the middle picture rocks the look, but I’m not a fan of the look in the other two pics.
    This blog is awesome! Keep all the great posts coming!!

  22. 22
    September 7th, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    Ahhh, not for me. I think some people can probably pull it off well, but I have really short legs and I would be terrified to even try this!!!

  23. 23
    September 7th, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    I think it looks really cute!
    But I just can’t see myself pulling it off.

  24. 24
    September 7th, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    I think this look is cute, but it definitly has to be worn very carefully.

  25. 25
    September 8th, 2009 at 12:17 am

    i LOVE it. So cute. But I don’t know if I could pull it off. :( but so cute.

  26. 26
    September 8th, 2009 at 12:35 am

    I like the way it looks in the 2 pictures on the left, but I won’t be trying it myself.

  27. 27
    September 8th, 2009 at 1:04 am

    I think it looks really cute, but you need skinny legs (like with most fashion, haha). Maybe when it starts to cool down, I’ll try it out.

  28. 28
    September 8th, 2009 at 1:08 am

    I love this look, when it’s pulled off right.
    Not only would I stick to black ankle socks, I thnk I would also stick to black, closed heels just so things didn’t stand a chance of looking sloppy.
    I have a pair of black patent heels that this would look great with. Now, to buy socks!

  29. 29
    September 8th, 2009 at 2:09 am

    Eek not a fan. Reminds me of all those socks they make little kids wear with their mary janes. Leave the socks for the sneakers! This is kind of how I feel with girls wearing Uggs with short skirts and tee shirts in 90 degree weather – what’s the point?

  30. 30
    September 8th, 2009 at 6:22 am

    i love this look! i can definitely picture myself wearing knee-length stripped socks with heels – but definitely NOT open-toe heels. The classic ol’ heels, either white or black or neon-colored paired with colorful socks (with white/black heels) and black socks (with neon-colored heels). i think this look is best paired with mid-thigh length skirt/dress/shorts. Modest top/bottoms/dress too since i’d like to draw attention to my legs while wearing this look! love it!

  31. 31
    September 8th, 2009 at 8:24 am

    I LOVE this trend! I would try it out, but i don’t have heels and if i wear them i would be way taller than anyone else from my class…. i wouldn’t wear black socks tho… i would probs wear them jenny style =]

  32. 32
    September 8th, 2009 at 9:39 am

    I actually think this looks better if you DON’T wear black socks. I think colored socks look better, even if you just do navy. Black or white cotton socks would make this look seem too “Tourist wearing black socks with sandals”.

  33. 33
    September 8th, 2009 at 9:42 am

    i love the second look but no i probably wouldnt wear this lookit reminds me of the sandal sock thing which was a disaster!

  34. 34
    September 8th, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    I’ll be honest: I love socks. I love heels. So I’ve already been doing this for years! With knee socks, even. With colorful striped knee-socks, and with clear platform shoes, so that it looked like my socks were actually the shoes. I even did it with toe socks once. I don’t know if that makes me a fashion rebel, or just a weirdo.

    That being said, I like this look–it’s cute, and toning it down makes you look…well, less crazy than I normally look when I do it. (I actually think that the Ugly Betty version looks cute, though…)

  35. 35
    September 8th, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    I love the second one, the third not so sure :S

    But I would definitly wear something like the second picture :D

  36. 36
    September 8th, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    The more trends I see lately, the more I think I’ll swear them off forever and keep to the basics. Since when is tacky trendy? I feel like this is a classy version of the whole tourist with socks and sandals look.
    Not a fan, not a fan at all.
    I’m ready for the fashion world to come out with something new and interesting, not old and tired.

    Sorry, I don’t mean to offend anyone. That’s just really how I feel.

  37. 37
    September 8th, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    I love wearing anklets with dressy shoes, but I wear thin white ones with fold-down cuffs. However, I like the middle look above and the one on the left, too. The socks look too high on the one on the right. Some of you that love the look but wouldn’t try it need to just go for it. Its fun and I get lots of compliments.

  38. 38
    September 8th, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    that’s the first time I hear about that trend, but i don’t think to avail of it – just doesn’t look stylish to me :)

  39. 39
    September 8th, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    omgosh this has got to be a joke, cmon guys you actually think that looks good?!

  40. 40
    September 8th, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    This trend sounded incredibly childish to me when I read the title of the article. Now that I see the pictures, I love it. I dont think I would wear them myself, but I think these ladies pull it off beautifully.

  41. 41
    September 8th, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    OMG so sexy.. i like the style in the middle.. more feminine for me..

  42. 42
    October 20th, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Just remembered this post and had to dig through my old pictures of Japan. This was and still is a very, very big fashion over in Japan. I found it interesting that it spread to the States two years later, give or take. Now you say only to wear black socks but I have seen people where different colored socks with heels and it looks great. I just think people are afraid of color.

  43. 43
    May 12th, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    I disagree.. not only black shoes look cool.. I love it with more colors but always the same color as the shoe… Oxford Gray, Dark Gray, Black, Beige and even Bone Color

  44. 44
    May 12th, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    I meant not only black socks-…

  45. 45
    September 14th, 2011 at 3:36 am

    I absaloutly love this look and have been rocking this look for a while yet some people completly muck this look up for the rest of us.I think the black socks just ruin the cute concept of this look and I much prefer a pair of white ankle socks with a pair of pink heels to give it the cute effect.

  46. 46
    November 20th, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Great post. Ive been wearing socks with kitten heel mules for a long time. White socks look good

  47. 47
    January 3rd, 2012 at 3:38 am

    I dig it!

    Especially Lulu’s way of wearing them is hot! The third picture is not my style. Too low or too high, depends how you look at it…

  48. 48
    October 16th, 2013 at 4:38 am

    i wear the ankle socks with the pom poms on the back of them in heels

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