Should Your Socks Match Your Pants or Shirt?

When it's time to pair socks with outfits, it's all about the occasion.

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Guys have it easy. They check with style authorities such as men's magazines for advice on pairing socks with separates and find simple answers. If only women had it this easy. One year, socks are in. The next they’re out, followed by The Year of Knee Socks with Platforms. Seriously? Girl, you need to take a stand – wearing a pair of socks, of course.

Match Those Colors Up

In a conservative setting, coordinate your pants or shirt with a conservative sock style and color so you convey your seriousness of purpose. That stated, fashion doesn’t necessarily have to take a backseat, but when money and power are on the line, avoid looking less than serious, irreverent or downright clueless by coordinating and downplaying extreme color differences. It’s your call, however, if you pair black pants with lime green socks at granny’s funeral to let her know you’re not happy she left you out of her will.

Go Bold

Avoid boring matches when defining your fashion sensibilities is the reason you're showing up for a meeting, presentation or social occasion. Show folks who may be making judgments about your ability to create a fashion forward ensemble that nobody holds a candle to your creativity. For example, trending indicates periods in fashion cycles that promote knee socks with high heels to draw attention to women’s legs, so avoid ho-hum color match-ups with shirts and/or pants to prove you have what it takes to qualify for styling a magazine spread.

Make an Extreme Match

You like being the chick who walks away, leaving men and women gossiping about your look for all the right reasons. Rope lines. Concerts. Fashion events. Show up at high-profile events wearing fashionably extreme footwear/sock/pant and shirt combinations that are so cutting edge, Nina Garcia and Heidi Klum would be left speechless after your “sock and awe” combination walks the catwalk on “Project Runway.” Flirty pants in trendy lengths paired with frilly anklets and red-soled shoes can be showstoppers – particularly if your pant and shirt colors are just as dramatic.

Sock Savvy

Slouchy socks and leg warmers visit socks purgatory occasionally, but never stay long, so if the hemline of your pants begs for anything other than a dull-colored sock, accentuate that slouch with a hue or pattern that’s traffic stopping. Bobby socks are 1950s hot with shirts and pants from that era, and if you combine neon knee high socks with boots, bell-bottoms and a tie-dye shirt in matching colors, you'll nail authentic boho. Ankle socks and heels? It doesn't get sexier than black patent heels, skinny jeans and hot pink anklets. Even socks with sandals return from the dead periodically and you get to decide whether or not to pick up the colors of your pants or shirt when your toes pop out for a peek.

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