Socks 2.0

Think sheer. Think glitter. Think you'll be wanting some.

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When it comes to fancy footwork this season, it's not just about shoes. Socks are just as important (and nowhere near as expensive) and designers are paying attention to the once-lowly accoutrement.

For evidence, see the Saint Laurent ruffled-top options shown for resort 2016 and the Topshop glitter socks that have been popping up on street style sites for months now. For Spring 2016, the evolution continued: Dolce & Gabbana sent sheer socks with pumps down their runway. And Vêtements and Givenchy introduced sock boots. Not sure what exactly those are? Read on for answers to all your sock questions, and then some!

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'70s Stripes

Athleisure with a retro appeal might just be the best kind. Whether it's a vintage-inspired version in good old red, white, and blue, or something more sparkly or sheer, team it with a feminine shoe to play up the contrast. A ballet flat, for one, would do nicely.

Stripe Calf-High Sock, $9,
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Shimmery Striped Socks, $12,
Sheer Sporty Stripe Ankle Sock, $8,
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Spring is the season for transparency and socks are a nice way to, ahem, dip your toes in the water. Delicately feminine in pastels or a little bolder in python, the socks in this category would look great with your favorite mule sandal. We especially love the pink ones below—they're made from tulle with no stretch, to drape in an elegant bunch at your ankles.

Back Seam Tulle Sock, $65,
Python Mesh Socks, $36,
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Sheer Sock with Ankle Seam, $9,
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Make no apologies for unbridled maximalism, especially when that comes in the form of jeweled embellishments, crushed gold velvet, and lips covered in sparkles. Turn the impact up to ten by pairing with a metallic shoe. 

Gold Foil Crushed Velvet Socks, $40,
Lippy Print Socks, $17,
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Jeweled Socks by Dolce & Gabbana, $795,


For the petite coquette: frills and crochet; bows and ballet pink; lace. This look can go two ways—paired with a feminine pump for a Lolita turn, or tempered with something more tomboy, such as a brogue or a boot.

Serenade Wrap Sock, $12,
Crochet Lace Frill Ankle Socks, $6,
Lace-Trimmed Cotton Socks by Saint Laurent, $175,


We'll take glitter, no matter what time of year it is. But now especially we love it on a whole range of colors, from pink and gray to pastel ombré. If the rest of your outfit is kept minimal, they'll shine all the more. 

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Glitter Pastel Stripe Socks, $7,
Semi-Sheer Socks by Maison Margiela, $230,
Roll Top Glitter Ankle Sock, $6,


Why have one color when you can have two? Or three? Whether it's tone-on-tone or something higher contrast, we still aren't over colorblocking—and with socks, it feels particularly new. These seem ready to be best friends with your trusty loafers. 

Marled Colorblock Ankle Socks, $11,
Red Metallic Socks by Y's, $50,
Glitter Socks by Marni, $70,


Something a little subversive, three different ways: a mohawk-like fringe along the back seam; white fishnet; knee-high tube socks, split in two to show a little ankle. We love the idea of this look paired with your favorite white sneaker.

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Fringe Crew by Rachel Comey + Hansel From Basel, $41,
Fishnet Ankle Socks by Comme des Garçons, $48,
White Separate Socks by Hyke, $70,

In the Details

Whether it's the pom-pom trend in sock form, a scalloped hem and a verdant hue, or a full-on floral, courtesy of Milanese label Vivetta, these special socks deserve a heel—point-toe pump or sandal form, whichever you prefer—to highlight their little something extra.

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Pom-Pom Trim Ankle Socks by Monki, $7,
Scallop Tip Ankle Sock, $6,
Dilleta Socks by Vivetta, $259,

Sock Shoes

The runway version of the trend: meet the sock shoe. It's the designer's vision of how the sock and shoe should be paired, combined into one easy piece. Both Vêtements and Givenchy showed a stretchy sock boot, while Dolce & Gabbana chose to introduce a sock heel, overlaid in mesh lace with an elastic cuff up top.

Sock Jersey Ankle Boots by Vêtements, $1,260,
Black Lace Sock Heels by Dolce & Gabbana, $1,395,
Cylindrical Heel Sock Boot by Givenchy, $1,595,
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