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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Deconstructing the socks-and-sandals trend

Over the past couple of seasons, wearing socks with sandals has become the ultimate style statement

A model wears socks with sandals on the autumn winter 2017 Gucci runway
A model wears socks with sandals on the autumn winter 2017 Gucci runway

Those who spent their childhood holidays in Europe may recall howling with laughter at German males who wore their sandals with socks, while Americans will associate this with the ultimate dad fashion fail. But the shoe is now officially on the other foot, because over the past couple of seasons, wearing socks with sandals has become the ultimate style statement.

As menswear has shed the sock altogether – opting instead for a stylish flash of skin between shoe and trouser hem ­- womenswear has embraced it. An early sighting was a crumpled woolly sock and heel on Burberry’s spring/summer 2010 runway. By spring/summer 2014, Chanel was showcasing a pump/sock hybrid. Rolled down socks with ankle strap heels appeared at Hermes for autumn/winter 2014, consolidating the normcore trend that made Birkenstocks a go-to.

By 2015, socks were being paired with chunky heels, backless mules, kitten heels and every kind of open-toed flat, and in 2016, the trend was seen on every runway worth its salt - from Anna Sui to Marc Jacobs and Mary Katrantzou. Prada offered up long argyle socks with front-laced boots, while Gucci paired sports socks with platforms.

The same year, Yeezy brought out its own sock-worn-over-shoe version that spawned a million online home tutorials. Rihanna is a big fan, as is Ariana Grande, Chanel muse Rita Ora, and even forty-something Gywneth Paltrow. Never one to be left out, Kendal Jenner stepped onto the Cannes Film Festival red carpet this May wearing a Giambattista Valli gown, Jimmy Choo heels and sheer ankle socks.

The beauty of this trend is that anything goes – from knee-high to ankle-length, your socks can be any length, colour and material, and can be paired with any type of shoe. Just steer clear of nude, granny-style pop socks and you’ll be fine.

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Read more:

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Comfort or confidence: the heels versus flats debate

Baghunter unveils updated research on the Hermès Birkin: it's a better investment than gold

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