Social media is a gift that keeps on giving and this time, it has given us the “school-girl-core” knee-high socks to complement the “ballet core” aesthetic—and even supermodel Bella Hadid approves. These nostalgic and also, not to be puritanical, but, kind of creepy socks—given their consortium with the fetishised school girl trope—have been splashed across Hadid’s and other mega influencers’ Instagram pages, and have been given a high-fashion spin. From baby T-shirts, polo shirts, mini bags and tiny sunglasses to cargo balloon pants, low-rise jeans and ballet flats, knee-high socks are now joining the ranks of all these fashion trends and it’s giving ‘back-to-school’—except, none of us are in school.
In a sea of viral trends floating around the zeitgeist, some are bound to make a comeback and knee-high socks are one of them. The piece of fashion iconography, which is borrowed from the hippies of the ’60s and the coming-of-age films of the ’90s, has been making its presence felt all throughout the various fashion weeks, with the Fall/Winter 2022 runways of fashion giants like Miu Miu and Dior to models like Bella Hadid and Iris Law sporting the beauties all over town. Following suit are the TikTok and Instagram fashionistas, who’ve been fuelling the trend by posting lacey, sheer, distressed, knit, embellished and hundreds of other iterations of the flirty trend and the internet is just lapping it up.
The knee-high tights or socks have been seen on our booked-and-busy supermodel “it-girl” of this fashion season, Bella Hadid—first in Milan, paired with a skirt suit, then a semi-sheer white pair of knee-skimming socks paired with sneakers and a brown skirt suit in Paris—and we’ve been loving it. Hadid’s friend and fashion/YouTube extraordinaire Devon Lee Carlson’s Instagram also exuded the coquettish vibe with a picture of her wearing distressed black sheer tights with black Nike sneakers.
With the TikTok trends begging you to shrink your hemlines no matter how cold it gets outside, knee-high socks and cropped tights are here to the rescue, offering much-needed coverage without sacrificing style. Sultry and saucy, with countless ways to mix and match and create a show-stopping outfit, knee-highs are here to rule the autumn season.
The versatile knee-highs, appropriate for both a Halloween party and a prestigious fashion runway, can be paired with low-waist, high-slung mini skirts, hot pants, short shorts, suit sets, mini dresses and basically any outfit that would be deemed unfit for the cold weather. However, in the words of one of the greatest and wisest lyrical geniuses and fashionistas of our time, Cardi B—”A h*e never gets cold.”
Keeping up with the ballet core trend, knee-grazing tights in sporty and embellished renditions and multiple colours, worn with Nancy Dojaka lingerie-style, hyper feminine skirts and perforated leather corsets, adorned with crystals and gems are sure to be raging evening and cocktail looks for the upcoming fashion season, perfectly in time for cuffing season, I suppose. For a more conservative (and normal!) look, pair these socks with gym shorts or even skorts (skirt plus shorts), sweater dresses, blazers and crisp co-ord suit sets.
Here are some examples of how you could style these socks and look fashionable, instead of looking like someone badly cosplaying a hockey-playing, overgrown school girl. Perhaps that’s half the charm of this fashion trend anyway, right?