The Anti-Trend Accessory That Has Taken Over the Runways

stylish outfits with socks, a collage of sock on the runway, socks trend spring summer 2024
(Image credit: Launchmetrics Spotlight)

What would you categorize as the most underrated accessory in your wardrobe? Perhaps sandals or tank tops. No matter what comes to mind, we can almost guarantee that your first thought was not socks. Even when we're reflecting on grossly unappreciated staples, no one is clamoring to upsell the importance of this underpinning. Sure, we all know that hosiery is foundational, but is it fun? Not so much. Socks are not the most exciting item compared to other accessories, so they're typically an afterthought for most people. However, the days of socks not getting dues may be ending, as we've seen them show up throughout the spring/summer 2024 collections.

While it's worth noting that socks are antithetical to trendiness since they're often categorized as a functional staple, that doesn't diminish how fashion-forward they felt this season. If anything, all of the stylish outfits on the spring runways showed us that socks are the unsung accessory. By getting creative with their styling, designers were able to make this undervalued item feel unique. But you don't have to take our word for it. We've taken it upon ourselves to round up spring runway looks that prove our point. Plus, we're sharing easy outfit formulas to follow and styling tips for transforming this simple staple into a statement accessory. These styling tips will blow your socks off—or, at least, make you start wearing them again.

model wearing black suit with white button-shirt and red sheer socks and black sandals

(Image credit: Launchmetrics Spotlight/Proenza Schouler)

What you'll need: black blazer + white button-down shirt + black trousers + red sheer socks + black sandals + shoulder bag

Style notes: If you are looking for a simple way to make your go-to suit for work feel a bit more stylish, try re-creating this runway look from Proenza Schouler. The addition of sheer colorful socks underneath sandals is sure to make your suiting separates stand out.

model wearing stylish outfit with socks, including a black blazer over button-down dress with white socks and loafers

(Image credit: Launchmetrics Spotlight/Jacquemus)

What you'll need: clip-on earrings + button-down shirt + blazer dress + handbag + sock + oxfords

Style notes: As warmer temperatures make it harder to know what to wear, you'll want to turn to socks as a simple way to add formality to your work ensembles. Draw inspiration from Jacquemus's S/S 24 collection by layering a black blazer dress over a white button-down with matching white socks and black oxford shoes. It's a formula that will be suitable for the weather and most work settings.

model wearing stylish outfit with socks, including a gray bomber jacket with a matching pleated skirt and red socks and red ballet flats

(Image credit: Launchmetrics Spotlight/Tibi)

What you'll need: gray bomber jacket + matching pleated skirt + red socks + red ballet flats

Style notes: In various spring collections, socks were used to break up monochrome outfits, including Tibi. An otherwise muted gray ensemble with a bomber jacket and matching pleated skirt was made a bit brighter with the addition of red socks and matching ballet flats.

model wearing stylish outfit with socks, tan dramatic collar top with waistcoat and shorts and gray socks and sandals

(Image credit: Launchmetrics Spotlight/Jil Sander)

What you'll need: chunky jewelry + tan vest + matching pointed-collar blouse + tailored shorts + red shoulder bag + gray knee-high socks + strappy sandals

Style notes: It wasn't just Tibi that used socks to break up monochrome outfits. Instead of using a saturated hue, Jil Sander opted for neutrals. By pairing a tan vest, a pointed-collar blouse, and shorts with contrasting gray knee-length socks and matching sandals, the brand avoided making those minimal items feel monotonous without doing the most.

model wearing stylish outfit with socks, including a blazer tucked-into a skirt with a printed sock and printed heels

(Image credit: Launchmetrics Spotlight/Dries Van Noten)

What you'll need: tan blazer + pencil skirt + handbag + printed socks + printed pumps

Style notes: Are you of the mindset that most socks are boring? Well, Dries Van Noten's S/S 24 collection will change your mind. Printed socks were used to add visual intrigue when paired with polished separates (e.g., a tan blazer tucked into a black pencil skirt) and other patterned items.

model wearing stylish outfit with socks, including a utility shirt with a matching pencil skirt and white belt and sheer stockings with mules

(Image credit: Courtesy of Zimmerman)

What you'll need: tan utility shirt + matching pencil skirt + white belt + lilac stockings + white mules

Style notes: Why shy away from this accessory's more pragmatic element when you could play into it? Similar to the runway look from Zimmermann's S/S 24 show, try styling colorful stockings with a utility shirt, a pencil skirt, and mules. The ensemble will strike the perfect balance between functional and fashionable.

model wearing black dress with sheer socks and loafers

(Image credit: Launchmetrics Spotlight/AMI)

What you'll need: gold jewelry + black minidress + black handbag + black sheer socks + black loafers

Style notes: Possibly one of the best illustrations of how this simple accessory can make staples feel 10 times more stylish was in Ami's S/S 24 collection. The little black dress becomes even more sophisticated with the addition of sheer black socks.

model wearing stylish outfit with socks, including a shirt dress with sheer socks and pumps

(Image credit: Launchmetrics Spotlight/Stine Goya)

What you'll need: sculptural earrings + shirtdress + white sheer socks + tan pumps

Style notes: You can make your trusted shirtdress feel brand-new by styling it with sheer socks and pointed pumps. Just be sure to use the Stine Goya runway look above as an example—you'll want to opt for a pair of socks in a contrasting but complementary shade to make it feel fresh.

model wearing stylish outfit with socks, including black cardigan over button-down shirt with leather skirt and black knee-high stockings and mules

(Image credit: Launchmetrics Spotlight/Markgong)

What you'll need: black cardigan + white button-down shirt + leather skirt + knee-high stockings + mules

Style notes: Beyond the shirtdress, other work staples can become a bit spicier with the simple addition of socks—refer to MarkGong's S/S 24 show. A simple black cardigan, white button-down shirt, and leather skirt suddenly embody "office siren" energy when styled with knee-high sheer stockings.

model wearing green coat over oversized shirt with gray socks and metallic shoes

(Image credit: Launchmetrics Spotlight/Anteprima)

What you'll need: army jacket + olive-green shirtdress + shiny gray socks + silver loafers

Style notes: Socks aren't just another functional basic. They can be fun! The proof was in Anteprima's S/S 24 collection. The simple army jacket and shirtdress were snazzier with shiny gray socks and silver loafers.

model wearing leather overalls with white socks and combat boots

(Image credit: Launchmetrics Spotlight/Celine)

What you'll need: sunglasses + shoulder bag + leather overalls + white socks + combat boots

Style notes: Although it might seem ideal to avoid socks that are higher than your ankle boots, there's an alternative approach worth attempting. In a similar fashion to Celine's S/S 24 collection, show off your socks by styling them with combat boots and leather overalls or a dress. It's a look that's both casual and cool.

model's stylish outfit with socks, including a large jean jacket with matching shorts and knee-high sheer socks and chunky ankle boots

(Image credit: Launchmetrics Spotlight/Sacai)

What you'll need: chunky chain + denim shirt + matching shorts + sheer knee-high socks + chunky ankle boots

Style notes: A surefire way to make this underpinning shine? Pair it with other staples. Emulate Sacai's S/S 24 spring show by styling a denim jacket with matching shorts, sheer knee-high socks, and chunky ankle boots.

model wearing stylish outfit with socks, including a brown and white plaid blazer with a brown ballon skirt and gray socks and sandals

(Image credit: Launchmetric Spotlight/MSGM)

What you'll need: plaid blazer + balloon miniskirt + gray knee-high socks + mules

Style notes: An underrated way to utilize your socks more this spring is to add visual intrigue similar to MSGM's collection. Printed pieces, such as a plaid blazer, can pop more when paired with a voluminous skirt in a matching color and a contrasting pair of knee-high socks.

model wearing stylish outfit with socks, including a tan coat with matching shorts and black socks and sneakers

(Image credit: Launchmetrics Spotlight/Ferragamo)

What you'll need: cropped trench + tailored shorts + slouchy socks + sneakers + tote bag

Style notes: Embrace the sporty feel of your socks by taking styling cues from Ferragamo's S/S 24 runway show. The slouchy socks you grabbed from the men's section can spice up black sneakers, tailored shorts, and a cropped trench. 

model wearing stylish outfit with socks, including a beige parka over a polo with mirco shorts and knee-high gray socks and platform heels

(Image credit: Launchmetrics Spotlight/Victoria Beckham)

What you'll need: white anorak coat + matching polo + micro shorts + gray knee-high socks + gray sandals + tote bag

Style notes: If you don't want your socks to feel too sportswear inspired, balance out the aesthetic by drawing inspiration from Victoria Beckham's S/S 24 runway show. Make the gray knee-high socks, anorak coat, and polo shirt more polished with a pair of micro shorts (or hot pants) and heeled sandals.

model wearing stylish outfit with socks, including a blazer tucked-in to shorts with socks and oxfords

(Image credit: Launchmetrics Spotlight/Prada)

What you'll need: oversize blazer + belt + tailored shorts + socks + oxfords

Style notes: You might not be able to purchase off-the-runway Prada, but you can look the part by pulling out a pair of black socks from your dresser drawer. Pair them with an oversize blazer tucked into shorts for a look that will give off Prada vibes from your head to your toes.

model wearing stylish outfit with socks, including a sequin coat over a black satin bra and matching hot pants with white long socks and ballet flats

(Image credit: Launchmetrics Spotlight/No. 21)

What you'll need: sequin coat + satin bra + matching hot pants + knee-high socks + pointed ballet flats

Style notes: Although the runways featured numerous examples of socks styled in a more utilitarian fashion, there were also decorative iterations. Case in point: No. 21's S/S 24 collection. Does one need to style long socks with a sequin coat, satin bra, and matching hot pants? No. Does it look great? Yes, it does.

model wearing all-white runway look with white socks and white sandals

(Image credit: Launchmetrics Spotlight/LaQuan Smith)

What you'll need: sheer white turtleneck + matching miniskirt + socks + sandals

Style notes: Do you doubt that styling socks with sandals can be stylish and sultry? Think again. LaQuan Smith's S/S 24 collection showed the two accessories can feel, dare we say, sensual when styled with a matching sheer turtleneck and miniskirt.

model wearing sheer top with briefs and sheer knee-high stockings and mules

(Image credit: Launchmetrics Spotlight/Alessandra Rich )

What you'll need: sheer blouse + briefs + black knee-high stockings + mules

Style notes: If we haven't convinced you by now that socks can add that cool factor to all your clothing, consider the runway look from Alessandra Rich above. A sheer blouse paired with briefs is already bold, but the addition of this seemingly boring basic makes the outfit all the more brazen.

model wearing black sheer knee-high socks with tan sheer slip skirt, ribbed knit top, and pink satin coat

(Image credit: Launchmetrics Spotlight/Givenchy)

What you'll need: shoulder bag + sheer top + leather skirt + knee-high socks + ankle-strap pumps

Style notes: Although there were many examples this season of brands making socks sophisticated, we have a soft spot for Givenchy. Throughout the brand's S/S 24 show, the formerly stale sheer socks were given a fresh spin when styled with romantic separates, such as sheer slips, ribbed tops, and satin coats. This resulted in a series of looks that sold us on the accessory's comeback.

Jasmine Fox-Suliaman

Jasmine Fox-Suliaman is a fashion editor living in New York City. What began as a hobby (blogging on Tumblr) transformed into a career dedicated to storytelling through various forms of digital media. She started her career at the print publication 303 Magazine, where she wrote stories, helped produce photo shoots, and planned Denver Fashion Week. After moving to Los Angeles, she worked as MyDomaine's social media editor until she was promoted to work across all of Clique's publications (MyDomaine, Byrdie, and Who What Wear) as the community manager. Over the past few years, Jasmine has worked on Who What Wear's editorial team, using her extensive background to champion rising BIPOC designers, weigh in on viral trends, and profile stars such as Janet Mock and Victoria Monét. She is especially interested in exploring how art, fashion, and pop culture intersect online and IRL.