Like a lot of looks from the ’80s, the “socks over pants” pairing has really come back with a vengeance the past few seasons! While you might remember this style as a quintessential dad outfit, the classic pairing has recently evolved into a major fashion trend among celebrities, style stars and, of course, the sock fairies!
Here are some tips for pulling off this athletic-inspired look in a way that feels fresh, not dated.
Who’s Wearing This Look
The socks over pants look started coming back around 2016, and since then, it hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. From street style influencers to mega celebrities like Lea Michele, it’s fun to see the different ways people are personalizing this look to fit their own unique style.
It’s also fun to see that us regular folks can pull off this casual look just as well as the people making the big bucks! Anyone can wear socks over pants, and it really doesn’t take too much planning to pull together outfits that are both trend-forward and comfortable.
How to Wear This Look
There are many different ways to wear socks over pants, but since this is a more casual look, athleisure-inspired outfits are a natural fit.
- Joggers and Sneakers: Tuck a bold pair of socks into a pair of your most comfortable joggers, and step into a chunky pair of sneakers. If you’ve ever questioned should socks match pants or shoes, in this instance, a little contrast is key. You don’t want to look like you’re wearing footie pajamas!
- Over Leggings: Leggings are a true gift to society! Bright printed knee high socks provide the perfect finishing touch to a solid pair of leggings and a cozy T-shirt.
- Under Lace-up Boots: For a more rugged look, layer socks over a slim pair of dark pants, and step into a neutral-colored pair of lace-up boots.
- With a Tracksuit: You can totally go full-on athleisure with a well-fitting tracksuit in a simple black or gray. Keep the rest of your layers simple. A plain white tee is all you need.
- Tucked into Sweatpants: We really couldn’t think of a more perfect outfit for lounging around the house. If you plan on video chatting with a friend or getting on a work Zoom call, you might consider opting for a pair of sweatpants that are neutral and made of a more elevated fabric so the look doesn’t lean toward sloppy.
- With Light Wash Jeans: For a quintessential ’80s-inspired look, try your hand at styling a pair of women’s or men’s novelty socks with trendy light wash jeans. Keep the rest of your look simple and tailored, otherwise, you might risk looking too much like a blast from the past.
- Under a Pair of High-Tops: High-top sneakers are another wardrobe staple, and they look really fresh with a scrunched up pair of socks. A simple pair of black pants will balance out the outfit.
Making the Look Work
There are two major keys to pulling off the socks over pants look in a way that feels both on-trend and effortless: keeping the rest of the look subtle and staying true to your personal style.
Though more casual, this is still a bold look, and it’s helpful to balance out your socks by keeping the rest of your outfit subtle. This will help ensure you have a clear focal point. It’s also pretty important to pick pieces that make you feel like yourself when you wear them: If you wouldn’t typically wear track pants, maybe you’d be more confident tucking a pair of leggings into your socks, instead. Then again, as always, if you feel like breaking these fashion “rules,” do it! Guidelines are there if you want to fall back on them, but the only real rule in our book is to wear whatever feels great!
This trend is super accessible and looks great on everyone. Now, show off your socks, hold your head high and strut your stuff!