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Before you get all judgy, listen up: No one is suggesting you wear shower slides and white gym socks like a locker-room dude. What we’re noticing on runways (Anna Sui, Valentino and more) and city streets are a whole new breed of lightweight socks and walkable sandals that both extend your open-toed summer footwear into the cooler months and give your outfits a little fashion edge. Not to mention these looks come in handy when there’s no time to fix those chipped toenails. Here’s how to pull off the look.

RELATED: 10 Trending, Flattering, Wear-With-Everything Bias-Cut Skirts Under $100

Wear Strappy Leather Over Mesh

Slide your favorite pair of next-to-nothing shoes over sheer socks in a contrasting color. Los Angeles–based Darner is a dependable source of inspiration for lots of socks-and-heels enthusiasts who have been known to plan whole outfits around their latest acquisitions of the spandex-and-nylon hosiery.

Get the look: Intentionally Blank shoes ($177)Darner socks ($38)

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sandals and black socks
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Dress Up Normcore Black Socks

Want to be a walking illustration of former Vogue editor Diana Vreeland’s quip that “elegance is refusal”? Be like this guest at Paris haute couture fashion shows and pair the silkiest of fancy frocks with a pair of basic black socks and nondescript low sandals. Et voilà, you’re a fashion upstart.

Get the look: Pedro Garcia sandals ($525)Falke socks ($19)

Embrace A Monochrome Sandal-and-Sock Pairing

Tone-on-tone sandals and ultra thin socks pushed down around the ankles is a way to make a conservative skirt or dress look funkier. (While also hiding any pedicure needs you haven’t taken care of.)

Get the look: Beatrice Valenzuela shoes ($328)Hansel from Basel socks ($30)

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Urban Outfitters

Mix Leopard Heels with Pastel Socks

Opposites attract, which is why sheer cool-blue ankle socks and warm animal-print ankle strap shoes look so good together. Just be sure to keep the rest of your outfit simple, because there's a lot going on down here.

Get the look: Urban Outfitters shoes ($49) and socks ($12)

Put on Your Platforms With Striped Socks

Wearing white shoes after Labor Day gets a dignified, fall-ready update with stripes in a muted tone.

Get the look: Naturalizer shoes ($89)Tabio socks ($16)

socks and sandals orange
Claudio Lavenia / Getty Images

Match Your Socks and Bag

Socks that match your satchel? That’s the way to turn a neutral blouse-and-skirt combo into a whole look. 

Get the look: Vince sandals ($195)Maria La Rosa socks ($35)

sandals striped socks
Dana Dickey

Try Sparkly Socks With a Ho-Hum Day Look

Want to ease into the layered-sandals trend? Put on your most basic outfit—say, a white T-shirt and khakis—and watch it get upgraded with some sparkly socks peeking out from classic black low-heeled shoes.

Get the look: Essen shoes ($249)Madewell socks ($11)

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