Sock it to me: Socks and boots are the perfect pair

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Jeggings, skorts and shirt dresses. What do these things have in common? They are all clothing items that combine two design elements into one garment. It’s certainly not a new concept. However, there is one particular fashion fusion currently taking over the hearts (and wallets) of style mavens everywhere: the sock boot.

As with many trends, this is not the sock boot’s first time around the block. I recall picking up a pair of sock boots approximately 10 years ago at an L.K. Bennett outlet store in London. It was love at first sight. I even ignored the fact that it was nearly impossible to remove a knee-high sock boot without some assistance (oh, the things we do for fashion). After a year or so, I pushed them to the back of my closet. Now guess who’s digging through shoeboxes in hopes of finding them buried in my shoe closet graveyard?

Now, in case you’re not quite sure what a sock boot is, here are the criteria: a pull-on boot or bootie whose shaft is fitted up the leg (or ankle) and has an elasticized, sock-like cuff. And if you’re lucky enough to find one with a side zip, buy it! This is particularly important for taller boots since it eliminates the struggle you will encounter when attempting to pull them off at the end of the day. (Boy, I wish I knew that 10 years ago.)

This most recent resurgence of the sock boot started last year, when several designers sent their own iteration of it down the runway. Then, it appeared again on the fall 2016 runways (Phillip Lim’s crushed velvet sock bootie was one of my favorites), further solidifying its place in the market.

When something sticks around for multiple seasons, fast fashion retailers usually take hold and start pumping out affordable options for the masses. Take two steps in any direction inside the shoe department of Topshop nowadays, and I guarantee you’ll find a sock boot staring you in the face.

If online shopping is more your speed, ASOS.com has more than enough affordable options to meet your needs. They even carry the killer faux suede ones by KENDALL + KYLIE.

For this trend, you may need to try a few different variations to figure out what works best for you. And don’t be afraid to play with proportions. Those of us in larger shoe sizes may agree that a longer footbed does not always balance well with the thinness of the sock boot’s shaft. If that is the case, try a sock bootie with a slightly looser ankle. Also keep in mind that a round or almond toe helps to balance the tight shape more so than a pointy toe.

Unlike our favorite celebrity couples, this trend does not have a catchy mashup name. I guess “sockoots” just doesn’t have a good ring to it, huh? But who needs catchy when you have longevity (also unlike our favorite celebrity couples). Oh, and did I mention that the elastic cuff will prevent the bitter cold from reaching your feet this winter? A useful fashion trend; now that’s something you don’t see every day.

(When Nikia Jefferson isn’t serving up the latest fashion trends and shopping tips, you can find her searching for the next big thing in indie fashion or scouring discount designer shops in Chicago for the best deals. Email her at nikia@chitownfashionista.com, or follow her on Instagram at @chitown_fashion.)

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