Knee-high socks are a versatile fashion accessory that can serve as the starting point for a casual yet classic cool- or warm-weather ensemble. Knee-highs also add an interesting twist to your workday wardrobe. Choose a dramatic sock fabric and you can even pair knee-highs with evening wear. Whether you decide to let your knee socks shout out their presence or take a flirtatious peek from the top of your boots, knee-highs are an excellent choice when you want to mix or match textures and patterns and add an unexpected kick to an otherwise subtle outfit.
The Season for Socks
Knee-high socks are the perfect leg wear during those transitional times of year when it’s neither sandal nor boot weather -- too chilly for tank tops but too warm for turtlenecks. Step into a pair of medium-heeled black oxfords and top them with black, cotton knee-highs to give your legs a long look. Pair with a black and white checked cotton skirt and a black three-quarter-sleeved T-shirt. A cross-body leather bag in oxblood or a medium brown adds just a bit of contrast. Take this look down a notch from preppy by adding a distressed denim jacket or vest, then change out the oxfords for a pair of dark-colored sneakers, and slip on some colorful bangles.
Too Cool for School
Although knee-high socks are, for many, a reminder of school uniforms, they also are a fashion accessory that adds a touch of lightheartedness to a weekend outfit. Start with a button-down or sailor-collared cream blouse. Add a pair of wool shorts in a dark muted plaid, or choose a pair in a black and white nubby texture. Then slip on a pair of lightweight black knee-highs, either solid-colored or with a cool graphic design. If you’re out shopping with friends, choose a stylish but comfortable shoe, such as black sneakers or black ballet flats. Or, make this outfit party worthy by donning a pair of black suede booties. Another option is an oversized cream sweater teamed with a chunky, patterned wool scarf and engineer boots -- even if you change out the wool shorts for a brightly colored kilt, no one will mistake this ensemble for a uniform.
Serious Sock Style
When Monday morning rolls around, don't think for a New York minute that you have to leave your knee socks behind. Slip on a long-sleeved, fitted knit dress -- above the knee or slightly shorter in length -- in black, camel or a subtle stripe, and choose ribbed-knit knee-highs in a conservative color, such as charcoal gray. Cuffed or button-top socks are an excellent choice, and black ballet flats or low-heeled oxfords are both stylish and office appropriate. A black or caramel-colored messenger bag ties this polished look together. In cooler weather, add a fitted camel-colored blazer and slip sheer black tights under your knee-highs. If you want to mix textures, pair a nubby wool sweater and matching skirt in shades of gray-blue and rust with your charcoal gray or dark rust knee-highs. Cinch the sweater with an oxblood leather belt. A chunky gold necklace and a single gold-cuff bracelet add a hint of sparkle.
Steppin' Out in Socks
Step out for the evening in knee-high socks by choosing a lightweight, semi-sheer, lacy or slightly shimmery sock in black or gray. Build on the gray color palette by adding a ruffled, steel-gray miniskirt, a loose and oversized tweed vest, a white satin blouse and a black velvet blazer. Glamorize this outfit up by adding a chunky, silver-toned rhinestone or marcasite necklace. Take it down a notch by wearing a single simple strand of pearls. Create a soft, feminine look with a midnight-blue velvet dress and a pair of black, semi-sheer knee-highs, then step into black, suede, high-heeled bow or rosette pumps. Accessorize with a black-velvet or metallic-silver clutch. For a warmer palette, pair a cream, long-sleeved, cable-knit sweater dress with cable-knit, cream knee-highs, brown leather booties and a cream leather handbag. Add a chunky gold-toned link necklace and a gold-toned cuff.