fashion

"How the hell do I wear sock boots?" We ask celebrity stylist Lana Wilkinson.

If you’re anything like me, you approach new fashion trends in three distinct stages. First is intrigue, as the new colour/hem-length/item catches your eye. Next is anxiousness as you look at the trend from a distance, but are paralysed with fear of getting it wrong.

And finally is that moment of resolution, when, filled with trepidation, you finally decide to give it a go. I’m up to that final stage with sock boots. Their presence in my Instagram feed and every shop window I pass for this past season has got to me and I’m finally ready to buy a pair.

The problem is I still don’t know how the hell I’m supposed to wear these half-sock-half-shoes and feel confident I’m doing it right.

Listen: Stylist Sarah Elizabeth Turner on how to turn your wardrobe around.

So to save me from fashion failure, I spoke to leading Australian stylist Lana Wilkinson, who has worked with the likes of Rebecca Judd, Megan Gale, Whitney Port and Nadia Bartel. Lana tells me that I need not fear sock boots. In fact, they might just become my favourite footwear.

“The great thing about the sock boot is its versatility. The other thing is that it’s universally flattering because it hugs your legs,” she says.

“It’s a way of adding that fashionable edge, without feeling like you’re stepping over the ledge.”

The mum-of-two says sock boots are flexible and look great with skirts, dresses and pants, and can be worn to work, on a night out or just down the street. However, there is a right way to rock this trend and Lana has shared a few tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of your sock boots.

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With pants

Lana says sock boots can look great with cropped, skinny or flared jeans or pants – so basically every kind. When I ask Lana whether it was best to tuck or not to tuck, she says to tuck only if there is no bulk at the bottom of the pants – so only if you’ve chosen a skinny pant perfectly hemmed for your height.

Otherwise, not tucking looks best. “I’m 5’4 on a good day and I find the sock boot adds length,” she says. To get the leg-lengthening effect, the key is how much skin is showing and where.

A good rule of thumb is making sure the hem of your cropped pants finishes at least three fingers width above the top of your boots – or falls well below. If it looks like you might have a smaller gap or be just meeting, it’s best to go for longer boots or shorter pants. “Have fun with it. That’s my recommendation.”

With a skirt or dress

“The great thing about the sock boot is it goes with so many looks,” Lana says. “I’ve styled it heaps of times with dresses. Whether it be a midi-length dress or a mini dress as well.”

Lana says the sock boot is perfect for the winter-to-spring transition, as it looks great with a dress with sleeves and can be the perfect footwear when it’s cold outside and you might look silly (and risk freezing your toes off) if you wear sandals or open-toed heels.

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If you’re thinking of wearing your sock boots with tights, make sure they’re not opaque – “that would look very heavy.” Instead, try fishnets or more transparent tights.

Pick a style

“There are two versions running ’round at the moment. There’s the one with the block heel, and a point with the stiletto. Which one you go for is more of a personal choice of which one really speaks to you,” Lana says.

There’s also a third style for those who are feeling bold – a thigh high version, which looks great with short skirts and dress.

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Now you’ve got the shape, there’s also the question of colour. Lana says a print or colour version can be a good option for those who generally stick to blacks and muted tones in their clothing.

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“If you’re someone who wears a lot of black and you don’t really like to experiment with heaps of colour, going with one that’s got a print can really dial up your outfit and can make you feel like you’re on trend or fashion forward without going too far.”

Where to buy

Lana says she’s loving Tony Bianco’s range of sock boots, from their ankle-height offerings to their thigh high black satin stretch pair  ($249.95).

“If you prefer to wear more of a square toe, Wittner has got you covered,” she adds. “Zara have had a number of options that are amazing. They’ve really mixed it up and added prints and things like that. H&M is another one that’s very affordable.”

Shoe love is true love. #davisboots x #tonybianco

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And if money is no object or you really want to splurge – Lana’s favourite high-end pairs come from Balenciaga.

Armed with all these tips I feel ready to buy my first pair of sock boots. Now the only problem will be deciding which pair.

Have you been rocking sock boots this season? What do you like about them?

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