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How to dress: socks and sandals. Yes, really

Link to video: How to wear socks with sandals

I got cold feet. It’s as simple as that. Do you remember about a month ago, when the weather was unseasonably lovely for a weekend? Well, basically, I got overexcited and made a rash move into summer sandals. And then two days later the temperature dropped 6C. But once you’re out of tights, you can’t go back, right? You’ve got to keep moving forward. So, what to do?

That, my friends, is how I started wearing socks with sandals.

Socks with sandals is a look I have until now avoided for two reasons. First, it is girlish. In my experience, the hair-twirling, ultra-girly types are rarely girls’ girls, so are best avoided; I certainly wouldn’t want to be mistaken for one. Second, it’s a Styling Trick in the manner of women who hang around outside fashion shows wanting to be photographed for street-style blogs, a use of time so crashingly pointless that it makes twirling your hair around your finger look dynamic.

But fashion would grind to a halt if we all stuck to our half-baked prejudices. The industry is based on us being flibbertigibbets, and we must all do our bit. And anyway, as I said, my feet were cold. So I crossed the floor, as it were, and dipped a (cosy) toe into the socks-with-sandals waters.

My findings: it can kind of work, but you have to steer it towards looking like you are wearing ankle boots with bare legs, and away from looking like an old-fashioned dolly with white socks and shiny black shoes. So avoid white socks, and avoid shoes that have two or more of these characteristics: Mary Jane straps, bows, round toes, new-uniform patent shine. Keep the colours bold and bright or neutral and sophisticated; choose shoes that are a bit pointy, complicated or multi-strapped, for attitude. With these caveats, socks and sandals can be useful. I have been wearing grey socks with an old pair of matt-black leather buckled Zara sandals with a calf-length full skirt, and finding it looks more modern than a neat court-shoe-with-bare-leg would. I have conquered my nerves. And I don’t have cold feet.

• Jess wears dress, £65, by Other Stories, stories.com. Sandals, £45, topshop.com. Socks, £6, urbanoutfitters.com.

Styling: Lucy Trott at Carol Hayes Management. Hair and makeup: Beth Alderson at Carol Hayes Management.

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