Let’s tie up the loose sock threads, shall we? Busy Mom asked what “the proper color sock for viewing between dark brown shoes and khaki pants” might be. Answer: khaki, or something light. NOT dark brown; in this particular case, matching socks to shoes will make your legs look stumpy. If you’re feeling daring, you can coose a third color (navy or hot pink or lime green) and make a statement with your socks; I love the idea of “freelancing” socks. But do this carefully and thoughtfully, because it WILL draw attention to your ankles.
Laura brought up a related point: “when do you know to wear a brown shoe and when to wear a black shoe? And what about those various shades of brown from dark to taupe? And what about navy shoes? I have been existing in black shoes and socks land for awhile, since I am unknowing.”
Oooh, good question.
Black and brown are both neutrals, and thus go with virtually everything. VIRTUALLY. Which means “almost, but not quite.” Black and dark brown shoes are best with dark trousers or skirts; pairing dark shoes with light colored or lightweight skirts and pants draws attention to your feet, and not necessarily in a good way. Think about the line you are creating; black trousers with black shoes (and black socks, if needed) creates a sleek, fluid look.
HOWEVER, you CAN wear dark shoes with light pants; choose a light-weight shoe, though, to balance the color of the pants.
shoes and trousers by J. Crew
These black peep-toes are the perfect foil for the ivory herringbone trousers; the shoes are noteworthy but are not the focus of attention. And I know you’re saying to yourself, “Dude, I’m TOTALLY not wearing WHITE WOOL TROUSERS to playgroup.” No, but I’ll bet you own some light-colored chinos, yes? Same rule. Light color or light fabric needs a lighter shoe. For winter, opt for something with some weight–jeans or corduroys or wool pants–and pair them with some cool black or brown shoes. For summer, go with light colored pants and lighter shoes–a sandal or open-toed pump.
Or, pair them with some nice navy shoes! Navy is a fantastic neutral alternative; treat it pretty much like you would black or brown. Navy shoes are great with everything EXCEPT black pants and skirts; they are beautiful with brown, for example, and with lighter colors, navy can be a nice alternative to brown or black, although again think about balance (open-toed or sling back or strappy navy shoes are best with lighter fabrics or colors). The same is true for lighter brown shoes. I love these in “Vicuna.” I think they would be beautiful with dark brown pants or black pants or dark jeans, AND with camel or caramel colored pants AND with navy pants AND . . .
You get the idea.
Think about it this way: do you want people looking at your shoes or socks? Or do you want the focus to be somewhere else, like your pretty face or your Superhero necklace? Make a choice, rather than just throwing socks and shoes on and running out the door. But for the love of god, do NOT wear black clogs with white socks and shorts. Please. Because I will see you and it will take everything I have in me not break down weeping right there in the Target grocery line.