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Compression socks: the hot new look for winter

Fashion loves adopting the practical – ugly, even – and making it cool. The latest example is the use of compression socks – you know, the ones you wear on a flight to curtail swelling. They were on the runway for spring, or at least fashion versions of them were. Knee-high, sometimes medical-looking socks appeared in collections ranging from Jil Sander to Dolce Gabbana, no doubt cheering up circulation advocates no end.

Rather than a concession to health, though, this is really just the newest incarnation of the socks-and-sandals look pioneered by Prada (Miuccia is a socks and sandals expert), which is a fashion editor fave for its kooky charm. While Birkenstocks and socks had traction this summer, it’s a combo that works in winter too. Here are three ways to wear them.

Hiking socks and platform sandals

Prada spring/summer 2015 collection.
Photograph: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

This is the classic, Prada-approved styling, and it’s all in the details. Make the socks chunky, and probably grey marl, and be sure to scrunch at the top – wearing tight to the leg is a bit too practical. This is about the look, remember?

Midi skirts and bare legs

The Jill Sander spring/summer 2015 show.
Photograph: Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/WireImage

Yes, it’s November, but the fashion desk has been experimenting and we can reveal that a little leg-reveal is possible without catching your death. A midi skirtworn with socks and shoes (this works with pointed heels or chunky flats) is a winter dressing game-changer.

Flats and gentlemen’s socks

Then there’s the sliver, also a way to flash the flesh just a little bit longer. Flat-front trousers, silky gentlemen’s outfitter socks (Topshop does a great line in these) and brogues or Stan Smiths is a Phoebe Philo-approved look. Easy.

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