Thigh-high socks can be a fun, flirty, and enjoyable seasonal style. They’ve been coming back into fashion, but the question is, what shoes do you wear with them? Since thigh-high socks accentuate your legs, making them work is all about your shoes! If you’re clueless about what shoes to wear with thigh-high socks, we’ll answer that question for you in this article. Read on to learn more!
About Thigh-High Socks
Thigh-high socks are an exciting piece of clothing. They allow you to look flirty and sexy without needing to reveal excessive skin. On the contrary, thigh-high socks cover much more skin than they show, but they still add a dash of appeal to an otherwise-boring outfit that pants or leggings can’t reproduce.
Thigh-high socks are also appropriate for many different types of weather. While fall is the best time to wear thick, knitted, cozy socks, thinner, sheer knee-high socks can be appropriate for spring and summer months, too. While knee-high socks usually aren’t the best choice for snowy winters, their appropriateness for the season can vary based on where you live.
Thigh-High Socks with Boots
If you’re wondering what shoes to wear with thigh-high socks, the most reliable answer to this question is boots! Because thigh-high socks are so perfect for cold weather, they tend to work with boots naturally. They work well with just about any type, such as:
- Galoshes or rain boots
- Ankle boots or booties
- Knee-high boots
- Winter boots
- High-heeled boots
- Combat boots
While it might seem counterproductive to pair thigh-high socks with boots since the boots will obscure most of the socks, this isn’t the case. In fact, while you’re wearing boots is the best time to wear your flirty, fun, brightly-colored socks! This way, a pop of fun and color will show above your boots when you wear them, adding some interest to a season that can sometimes be drab and dreary.
In the wintertime and on other chilly days, you can up the warmness factor of a good pair of knee-high socks by wearing them over a pair of leggings. This way, you have an extra layer of warmth protecting your legs from the cold, and you get to show off your socks at the same time!
Thigh-High Socks with Sandals
When winter is firmly behind you, the next most enjoyable time to wear thigh-high socks is summertime! While you won’t want to wear thick, knit, or lined thigh-highs during the summer, as these will be too warm, there are plenty of thinner socks out there that are more than appropriate for this season.
As far as colors for summer thigh-highs go, stick to rainbows, patterns, floral motifs, and bright colors. Stay away from browns, blacks, and grays that can be better suited to colder seasons unless you’re going for a formal look.
If you’re wondering what shoes to wear with thigh-high socks, especially in terms of color, it all depends on the socks you choose. If you have chunky white sandals, such as Crocs, for example, try pairing them with striped rainbow thigh-highs. If you have brown wedge sandals, they might look best with innocent white or pink thigh-highs for the summertime. These are just a few examples!
The options for sandals that can complement your thigh-high socks are endless. The only limitation to keep in mind is to try to stay away from sandals that go in-between your toes, as these can make your socks uncomfortable. However, if you own a pair of thigh-high toe socks, you can ignore this rule, too!
Just keep in mind that, when wearing thigh-high socks with sandals, you’ll need to position them so that the toe seam sits beneath your toes, or else it will show.
Thigh-High Socks with Formal Shoes
Believe it or not, the right thigh-high socks can help you pull off a pair of formal shoes. Schools have been pairing knee-high socks with loafers and other dress shoes for generations, and knee-high socks can work in much the same way. Mary Janes and Oxford shoes are equally attractive with thigh-high stockings, especially if you’re looking to capitalize on an innocent look!
Be very careful when wearing thigh-high socks in an educational or business setting. While knee-high socks are generally acceptable, some organizations might consider thigh-highs to be too sexy for these places. However, you can very quickly recreate the same look with a pair of full-length tights or knee-high socks if this is the case!
Many formal shoes work to accentuate the leg-lengthening properties of thigh-high socks. Examples of these shoes include:
- Stiletto heels
- Peep-toe heels
- Kitten heels
However, thigh-high socks can be understandably difficult to pair with formal outfits, such as dresses. While cocktail dresses are generally short enough to wear with thigh-high socks or hoes, thigh-highs are unlikely to show as well under long dresses or slacks.
As such, make sure to wear a shorter skirt or jumpsuit if you’re looking to show off your thigh-high socks! Alternatively, you can dress up an otherwise casual outfit by adding a pair of formal shoes and some thigh-high socks to it, especially for a night on the town.
Thigh-High Socks with Sneakers
Thigh-high socks with sneakers have been a favorite combination since the advent of skater style. Lace-up and slip-on sneakers alike go great with a sassy pair of thigh-high stockings, as do high-tops!
When pairing thigh-high socks with sneakers, you will need to remember to pattern either the shoes or the socks. Unless your socks and shoes showcase the same pattern, such as white and black checkers, it’s generally best to wear one solid and one patterned article.
This means, if you’re wearing rainbow striped thigh-highs, pair them with black or white sneakers. However, if you’re wearing sneakers with a colorful design on them, pair them with simpler, solid-colored thigh-high socks. One excellent match for sneakers that’s not too busy and not too dull is a pair of thigh-highs with several colored stripes at the top.
Adding just a few stripes at the top of the sock adds visual interest without making them too busy for patterned shoes, and it carries the sassy factor that skater style is known for, also. In fact, with this skater style, it’s generally acceptable even to wear mismatched socks if you want to!
Thigh-High Socks with Ballet Flats
Ballet flats are a wonderfully versatile class of shoe that matches with hundreds of different styles. However, because ballet flats can shorten the profile of the leg instead of elongating it, styling them can be problematic. Thigh-high stockings solve this problem, however, by working to lengthen the leg’s profile instead!
Ballet flats can be worn with all sorts of clothing styles, from warm fall stockings too thin summer socks. They add a touch of sophistication to a professional-looking outfit, as well. Since ballet flats come in many different styles and colors, too, they can function alongside just about any outfit.
The casual cousin to ballet flats, or espadrilles, is something like a cross between a ballet flat and a slip-on sneaker. These shoes have been around for hundreds of years, but they’ve just started to be introduced in modern fashion. Espadrilles are a wonderful summer, spring, and fall shoe, but they tend to fall short in terms of professionalism and winter-worthiness.
Matching Thigh-Highs with Shoe Colors and Styles
As a rule, the art of knowing what shoes to wear with thigh-high socks entirely depends on the color and pattern of the socks you’re wearing. The shoes you pick should look stylish when combined with the rest of your outfit without being washed-out or overpowered by your thigh-highs. Striking this delicate balance can feel tough at first, but over time, it will come naturally.
For most formal and professional outfits, the best way to decide what matches is to build your outfit without thigh-highs, then add them in after. However, for more fun, colorful, casual outfits, you can design them around your thigh-highs or a specific article of clothing.
Sweater dresses, for example, are an extremely popular fashion trend to wear during the chillier fall months. Warm, knit thigh highs are an excellent pairing for these sweater dresses! Pick out the color and design of your sweater dress first, then choose a pair of thigh-highs that will look good with the dress.
Next, choose accessories that will complete the above look. In this case, we consider shoes to be accessories, so you would pick them during this step, too. Let’s assume that the sweater dress you chose is an understated black dress, for simplicity’s sake. Black matches with just about anything, so your choice of thigh-high socks would be limited only by your destination.
Are you going to a fancy dinner? Stay away from patterned thigh-highs, but some darker colors are still acceptable. As long as your thigh-high choice isn’t too dark, a pair of black boots or heels should match perfectly with your ensemble. Alternatively, if you want to lighten things up a bit, such as for a holiday celebration, you could brighten your outfit with metallic booties, chunky silver jewelry, and flannel-look thigh-highs.
As a general rule, black shoes are your best bet to match with any thigh-highs, including black ones. However, white shoes are incredibly versatile, as well. White shoes tend to work better with saturated, bright colors, while black shoes work best with desaturated and dark colors.
You can flip these color sets to achieve the same results with shoes. Dark thigh-high socks work well with patterned shoes, and white thigh-highs go with almost anything.
From a style perspective, thigh-highs aren’t overly restrictive. As long as your thigh-highs are appropriate for your event or destination, you should be able to build an outfit that utilizes them. Since all thigh-highs are shaped virtually the same, you have to use other metrics to determine their style, such as:
- Weave or knit
Best Styles for Thigh Highs and Shoes
While thigh-highs can be worn with virtually anything, there are a few styles that showcase the attributes of thigh-highs the best. One of these styles is skirts and dresses. Short skirts and dresses that end above your thigh-highs help give off a playful vibe. The movement of the skirt draws attention to your thigh-high stockings, too.
Another bonus of wearing thigh-high stockings with dresses and skirts is the way thigh-highs elongate the legs. Thigh-highs give the illusion of long, shapely legs, even if you didn’t have them before! As such, people who felt previously uncomfortable showing off their legs in a short dress might feel more confident with the help of some thigh-highs.
Shorts are another excellent pairing for thigh-high socks –, especially denim! You will need to choose shorts that are relatively short, as it’s imperative that they don’t meet with the tops of your thigh-highs, but as long as that prerequisite is met, it’s nearly guaranteed that the two will look good together.
Denim shorts are particularly attractive with good thigh-high stockings, especially if you carry the denim theme throughout your whole outfit. High-waisted shorts are winners, too. High-waisted shorts also work to elongate the appearance of your leg, so the end result is an extra-long, shapely leg silhouette.
If you can find them, rompers and short jumpsuits can be worn with thigh-highs, too! In the wintertime, though, consider wearing your thigh-highs over warm leggings. While you might not initially think to wear your thigh-highs over something else, this is a great way to show off your favorite pair while still keeping your legs toasty and warm.
Thigh-high stockings work best when paired with short articles of clothing that do not meet the socks themselves. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, such as with leggings.
Thigh-High Alternative: Knee-High Socks
When thigh-high socks are too sexy or just not an option, consider checking whether knee-high socks will work! Knee-high socks, whether to the knee or over the knee, are slightly more innocent than thigh-highs. As such, they can sometimes be workable in places where thigh-highs are inappropriate. The workplace can be an example of this.
Knee-high socks can be worn in much the same way that thigh-high socks can. The only real difference is their length! For the most part, knee-high socks tend to be more serious than thigh-highs, and they come in more serious designs as a result. However, this isn’t a bad thing; if you keep a supply of both, you can have a stash of professional looking knee-highs ready for whenever you can’t wear your thigh-highs!
Thigh-High Alternative: Full Tights
Full tights are the modest alternative to both thigh-highs and knee-highs. Like leggings, they go all the way to the hips, so unless they’re designed with cutouts, there should be no skin showing when you wear them. When you’re in an environment where showing skin is not appropriate, full tights may be the alternative you need. Think of events such as:
- Church functions or masses
- Holiday dinners with older family members
- School-related events or meetings
- Job interviews
- Conservative venues
While full tights aren’t quite as versatile or fun as thigh-high or knee-high socks, they get the job done. Moreover, they’re the most acceptable out of all three options; there’s unlikely to be an event where you can’t wear full tights unless you’ve been specifically asked to wear pants. Full tights come in fewer designs than thigh-highs, but they’re still available in plenty of different colors and patterns.
Leggings are the casual cousin of full tights. A good pair of leggings should fit the same way a pair of tights do, but they tend to be made of different materials. Leggings also come in many more patterns than full tights, and they’re not as well-suited to formal events. Tights also have the option of being slightly sheer, while leggings usually do not.
In the end, thigh-highs are an incredibly versatile accessory to add to your style arsenal. If you’re a fan of them, you can create a style and outfit for virtually any occasion with the help of some thigh-highs! As long as you know what shoes to pair them with, your thigh-high adventures will have no limit!
It’s hard to describe what shoes go with thigh-highs best, though. This is because there are so many different styles, patterns, and materials from which to choose. One style of stockings might look innocent and cozy, while another might look flirty and sexy without changing all that much.
The best answer we can give is to follow logical style rules, and to go with your gut! Don’t double up on patterns, for example, and don’t wear colors that clash with each other or wash each other out. If your outfit looks pleasing to your eye, the chances are that others will like it, too.
Finally, thigh-highs have two limitations: appropriateness and height. They don’t go well with long dresses or pants (except for leggings), and they may be a bit too flirty for some venues. Those limitations aside, though, thigh-high stockings make an excellent styling accessory, and they expand your wardrobe like nothing else – you just have to know how to use them!