Grandmas Love It, and It Girls Do Too: How Hosiery Had a Big Comeback in 2023
For the perpetually cold, socks are more of a necessity than a fashion statement, but with the designer endorsement of the accessory, why choose? When Miu Miu’s fall “schoolgirl meets Wimbledon” collection went down the runways last year, a bevy of ballerina flats and chunky ribbed socks soon followed. Miu Miu is one of those brands fashion people closely keep tabs on, so it was not a surprise that its sock-heavy styling made waves among celebrities, content creators, and models. But outside of the balletcore bubble, chunky socks are always a solid combo with “ugly” sneakers.
New York–based designer Sandy Liang has a knack for making niche accessories pop. She’s done it with coquettish hair bows (they’re all the rage on Instagram), but it would also be fair to pinpoint Liang as a driving force behind the proliferation of knee-high socks. The designer featured them in almost every look of her spring/summer show, pairing them with (again!) ballet flats and sporty sneakers. It’s interesting to see knee-high socks float their way back into the mainstream fashion consciousness, as they’re often left out in favor of tights or crew socks, but Liang (along with several other brands) is making a strong case for their return.
Hosiery trends come and go, but black tights are forever. They tend to go with everything, and you don’t have to shuffle between several stores to find a decent pair. Everyone owns them, but not everyone knows quite what to do with them. Looking to the fashion crowd for inspiration here’s some advice: first, grab a sleek minidress or a leather trench coat, add a pair of revenge heels, and your sultry siren look is complete.
Red is shaping up to be a color of the season in more ways than one, hosiery included. One way to do it is to take notes from Valentino, David Koma, and Gucci and opt for red pantyhose, but red socks and knee-high stockings are also worthy options. In case some sartorial inspiration is needed, Who What Wear editors have mastered how to style red hosiery.
Now, we’ve entered the gloriously chaotic side of hosiery: options ranging from obscure prints to message-adorned tights and hosiery complete with cutouts and bows. Here, they’re not just in a supporting role—they are the star. Cult brands Nodress and Tyt are two of the players expanding the creative potential of what hosiery can be, from screen-printed pantyhose to coquette-inspired stockings.
Up next: We Style Magazine Covers—Here’s What We Think About This Season’s Wildest Trends