Wearing visible socks with heels, loafers, or sandals has been a polarising style move since the beginning. In its simplest form, it's a nod to the schoolgirl aesthetic, but at its most contrived in 2023, it's become a full-on trend, seen everywhere from the red carpet to the street. While there are ways to "play it safe" with the combination, simply by appearing preppy and polished in a thinly folded ankle sock and logo-less loafer, the runways are inspiring a next-level statement. Tibi's spring 2024 collection offered a monochromatic spin with brightly-coloured socks to accent an otherwise neutral outfit. At 3.1 Phillip Lim, there were sheer stockings pulled to the shin that amplified translucent ballerina flats.
Now, SZA has officially brought the look to the fancy heels category, sporting a frilly white sock with an embroidered trim and bow with her black heels. While accepting an innovator award from WSJ. Magazine, the 33-year-old musician flaunted a Maison Margiela runway ensemble, which featured an undone hem and purposefully ragged stitching. In contrast, her socks and heels felt prim and proper. They drew attention to the Peter Pan collar on her minidress, making for an event-ready take on dark academia.
Meanwhile, Taylor Swift, Hailey Bieber, and Kendall Jenner have all stepped out in tall socks and loafers in recent months, teaming the trend with unexpectedly sporty and relaxed wardrobe essentials, such as lived-in, baggy denim shorts, oversize button-downs, and baseball caps.
As we watch for more takes on the visible socks look, scroll to see our favourite examples so far — starting with SZA's high-fashion approach on the red carpet.