Reader Request: Low-vamp Shoes with Skinnies

flats and skinnies in winter

Reader Amelia left this question in a comment:

How on earth do I wear flats/Mary Janes and socks with skinny pants/jeans? Every style image I see of that combo involves no socks or boots. Sometimes I don’t want to wear boots (think fall or spring) but it’s too cold to not wear socks. How do I do it?

In my opinion, this question extends to all low-vamp footwear and all ankle-length pant styles. The real issue is covering the bridge of the foot and keeping it warm. So. Quick answer: I don’t know. This combination stymies me, too, and I can’t say that I’ve found a solution I feel is both aesthetically pleasing and practical. So I’ll throw out a few suggestions and work-arounds, and rely on you to offer your input in the comments!

Nude fishnets or nylons

This is the solution that most folks offer, and it has some merit. The idea is to give your feet a bit of coverage but perpetuate the illusion of no socks/hose. But even close-woven microfishnets don’t actually create much of a barrier between foot and elements. Nude-to-your-skin knee-high trouser socks are probably the easiest and warmest solution.

Foot liners or Key Socks

Neither of these solutions actually gives you full foot coverage, but you do get some padding and warmth for your footbed. Liners come in all colors, materials, and fabrics but they tend to peek out from most flats and heels. Key Socks are basically foot liners with part of a trouser sock attached at the top, leaving the bridge of your foot exposed. So, ya know, only slightly helpful.

Funky socks

I have a hard enough time working tights (and therefore colored legs) into my outfit equations, so I’ve never even dabbled in funky socks. But if your outfit is more casual, you can certainly let a cool striped pattern peek out from your Mary Janes or flats. So long as your feet fit and you won’t stretch the shoes too much.

Ankle boots

Yep, we’ve already arrived at alternatives. I’m happy to wear tights with my flats, Mary Janes, and heels all winter long because they offer uninterrupted coverage from knee to toe. But I just don’t do the skinny/ankle pant and low-vamp shoe combo once it gets cold out. Instead, I opt for higher-vamp shoes like ankle boots, which cover the foot up to a much higher point and can be tucked under pant hems or worn with cuffed skinnies and thick socks hidden underneath.

See what I’m saying? Nothing earth-shattering or truly elegant here. So, my dears, help us all out! Do YOU have the magic solution to wearing low-vamp shoes and ankle-length pants in cold weather? Any other suggestions besides these? Let us know in the comments.

Images courtesy Nordstrom (left) and Banana Republic (right)

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

Originally posted 2014-12-01 06:52:48.

Next Post
Previous Post

9 Responses to “Reader Request: Low-vamp Shoes with Skinnies”

  1. San

    So, now it is getting complicated – what do I do with those cut-out ankle boots in the winter? I guess I would just wear some black nylons.

  2. Monica H

    This issue is one of the most vexing for me among current trends. Why oh why are stores selling ankle pants to such a degree in WINTER? Even when styled with ankle boots, they are shown without socks. Other than your excellent suggestions above, the only other method I’ve used successfully is to pair opaque black hose with black shoes. This can give a “faux-bootie” look which may not be what you’re looking for, and it doesn’t seem to work with very many combos, but sometimes it works nicely.

    Lately though, what I’ve been doing is buying straight leg pants which are a bit longer. They have a similar silhouette to skinnies, but seem much more able to be worn with socks!

    • Sally McGraw

      I agree, Monica. It’s strange, and equally vexing to the glut of sleeveless dresses still being shown now, in December! Thanks for another great suggestion.

    • Dust. Wind. Bun.

      It may be just me but I like ankle pants in winter if they’re skinnies because it means less material under tall boots. Maybe that’s part of it? (And of course I like it when they sell ankle pants year-round because I’m even shorter than petite sizes and it means I can buy pants I don’t have to hem.) I don’t have any insight on the low-vamp-shoes-cold-feet problem, though, because I have cold feet year-round no matter what I wear, so there’s less incentive to cover my insteps as they’re probably icy already.

  3. Jean Thilmany

    Yep, same issue. If the skinny goes to the ankle, I tend to give it a little roll and wear (funky) ankle socks that, yes, leave some of the skin showing and a pair of Chucks or related, for a casual look. This can work w/ black anklets and flat oxfords as well, but that’s about as far as I can take it without resorting to ankle boots, which I kinda hate as I can’t seem to style them w/ dresses or the like, so they have one use.

  4. JB123disqus

    Sometimes I wear boots when I’m outside and then just change into the ballet flats or other shoes indoors. Or if there isn’t snow or slush on the ground, I just brave the outdoors with my flats on for the 2 minutes I’m actually outside. (I realize many people have to be outside much longer depending on mode of transportation). I’m in Chicago – so not as cold as Minnesota, but it does get a little chilly in the winter.

  5. Naomi

    It may or may not work for you, but etsy sells “gaitors”/ spats” or boot cuffs. These are like tiny little neck warmers for your ankles. One could pop these on for the walk/commute and then once in the warmer office, take them off.

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/93327911/1959-spats-or-shoe-cover-for-heeled?ref=sr_gallery_18&ga_search_query=knitted+spats&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery

    Etsy sells both patterns to make your own and the already made item. They are usually made for high heels and nylons with skirts but might work for this issue 🙂

  6. Galena

    I wear socks in the same/similar color as my flats, which gives the illusion of high-vamp shoes while I still get to wear the flats I like. Or I wear patterned socks that “go” with the rest of what I’m wearing. I have a bit of a funky style though, where it’s not surprising for me to wear patterned socks intentionally.