Traditional tube socks over the ankle, ankle-length compression socks, or tights for running are pairable with leggings. If you’re looking for a pair of functional foot coverings that have a lot of stretches and keep your legs protected from the cold, then tights will be your best bet.

Being able to draw a clear line between your pants and your socks when you’re wearing trousers, but that’s not quite the case with leggings. They tend to be made of a thinner, more flexible fabric than your average pants, making it difficult to tell if the sock you’re looking at is part of your leggings or simply an actual sock. Don’t be surprised when you hear the question; do socks go over or under leggings?

It depends on the individual. The answer to this question is a matter of preference. Many individuals prefer having their socks go over their leggings while others like the other way around. In the end, no one rule guides the wearing of socks with leggings. And in this piece, I’ll cover both scenarios extensively.

Can You Wear Socks with Leggings?

You can wear socks with leggings as long as they are of the right length. Socks and leggings, however, aren’t an automatic combination. How to wear socks with leggings depends on personal style. If you’re wearing a short skirt or dress, you can wear socks for warmth in cold weather; otherwise, it’s not recommended to wear them together.

The most common way to wear socks and leggings is 5 cm above ankle length. This will allow some leg definition without being too skimpy on top or bottom. It’s also best if there isn’t too much fabric at either end because it looks bulky around your feet. If this happens, try adding another layer underneath, such as tights or nylon stockings, so that everything is nice and snug against each other.

One thing that we can say about wearing socks over or under your leggings is that the two should never be worn simultaneously unless you are going for a layered look. This will make your legs appear shorter than they are.

ALSO READ: Is It Okay To Wear Leggings in Public?

How Should I Wear My Socks With Leggings?

Whether you’re going to be wearing leggings under shorts, dresses or skirts or pairing them with a long shirt, you have options for how your socks should look. You can go for the above-ankle sock look, where the stockings are exposed over the top of your leggings. Or you can opt for the below-ankle sock look, where your socks are hidden underneath your leggings.

There’s no right or wrong way to do it, only what works best for you. For example, if you’re wearing black leggings with cute printed socks that match the color of your shirt and shoes, then chances are they’ll show up nicely in an above-the-ankle fashion. On the other hand, if they’re just regular black socks that don’t match anything else in your outfit, maybe it’s better to keep them hidden under those gorgeous gray leggings you love.

Why Socks Can Go Under Leggings

Socks go under leggings because they are more comfortable. Socks that extend over your leggings can cause bunching, creating a lumpy mess at the base of your leg. This looks awkward, but it also doesn’t feel good. This problem is exacerbated when you wear boots with socks and leggings, as the extra pressure from the boot will force these lumps to form in any available space between you and the boot’s interior.

If your socks are worn under your legging layer, there will be no bunching or lumpiness to make your feet uncomfortable inside their footwear. Also, having your socks go under leggings helps create a warmer feeling. If you’ve ever worn leggings in shoes or flat boots, you probably know that leaving your feet bare and exposed to cold air and wind chills isn’t a great experience.

In contrast, wearing socks underneath a pair of cozy-fitting leggings means that even if they shift around while walking, they will still have a thick layer of material on top of them to keep them warm and protected against harsh elements such as snowfall or icy air currents.

Why Socks Can Go Over Leggings

In many cases, people prefer to wear socks over leggings because it’s what they’re used to. For example, a person who has worn socks over tights since childhood is less likely to think of wearing them underneath their tights as an adult. You can wear socks over leggings to help you create aesthetic appeal.

Alternatively, a person who has always worn socks under their leggings might continue to do so for comfort or familiarity. It’s important to note that there’s no official rule dictating how you should wear your socks with leggings; ultimately, it depends on what feels best for you. 

ALSO READ: Can Guys Wear Leggings Under Jeans?

What Determines Whether Your Socks Should Go Over Or Under Your Leggings?

Most certainly, a couple of factors will influence the style you choose when pairing your socks with leggings. In most cases, understanding the uniqueness of each situation can help you make the best call. Here are a few things to consider before going under or over your leggings with socks:

1. The Weather

There are several factors to consider when deciding whether socks go over or under leggings. Chief among them is the weather. If you live in hot regions, you may be able to confidently state that you don’t need socks with your leggings year-round due to mild temperatures. But if you live in colder regions, then the first thing to consider about any outfit is whether or not you will be cold.

Sensible dressing for a cold or snowy day involves many layers, long underwear, and snow pants. Because these provide plenty of coverage for your legs, wear them over your socks and leggings. In addition, wearing thick wool ski socks or heavy boot socks will help keep you warm while adding an extra layer of padding between your feet and the ground.

2. Fashion

You may think that socks are just a little thing, but they can make or break an outfit. You need to match your socks to the rest of your outfit, even if you’re only wearing them with leggings. The socks should be a neutral color that matches the rest of your clothing and is not distracting. If you have on a skirt over your leggings, for example, then you should wear knee-high socks in a color that goes well with the dress.

3. Comfort

A well-constructed sock is a thing of beauty. It protects your feet from blisters, keeps them warm in the winter, and can even help your footwear stay on a little better. For this reason, we recommend that you add socks to your leggings. This will allow for maximum comfort and support for the foot and ankle.

4. Personal Preference

In short, personal preference is the most significant determinant of how you wear your socks in combination with leggings. While there’s no hard-and-fast rule against wearing your socks underneath your tights, it’s not the most common way of doing things. If you want to keep up with what most people consider the norm, wearing your socks over leggings is the way.

This method is standard because it helps prevent chafing, which happens when your skin rubs directly against another surface for an extended period. It can lead to painful sores or itchy blisters breaking out on your legs in some cases. Fortunately, you can avoid these unfortunate side effects by putting a layer of socks between you and your clothes.

5. Your Activity

There is no right or wrong answer for whether your socks should go over or under your leggings. However, your activity may affect which option is more comfortable for you.

If you are doing something active, like playing sports or hiking, you may want to wear socks over your leggings. It won’t be as noticeable if they fall, and your socks can cover them up.

Tips for Wearing Socks with Leggings

Before you head out with your socks and leggings combination, check out these tips to help you get the best aesthetic appeal.

1. Find the Right Length of Socks for Your Leggings

Socks come in different styles, designs, and lengths. You have to consider such factors even before adding your socks to your outfits. The different sizes can be confusing, and it’s best to be well-informed before pairing any length with your leggings. Sock lengths include over-the-calf, crew-length socks, no-show socks, and ankle-length socks.

2. Choose Your Socks Material Wisely

Socks are an essential part of any leggings outfit, so it’s worth taking the time to learn and master them. Pairing the suitable material of socks to your leggings can be the difference is a sweet or bitter experience. Thankfully, socks are made from a wide range of materials, and you can easily pick one that compliments your leggings’ fabric.

Sock materials include wool, cotton, acrylic, merino wool, and cashmere. In the end, choose a material that is breathable and great for sensitive skin.

3. Choose Socks with Grip

If you choose the right kind of sock, it can make a big difference in keeping your feet warm and helping your leggings from slipping down as you walk around. Many socks have little silicone or rubber dots at the bottom that help keeps them from slipping on hardwood floors or other slippery surfaces.

This is an outstanding feature for people wearing boots all day long. Those grippers are also perfect for helping keep your leggings up, so try looking for some with extra grip if staying up is an issue.


Because fashion is a subjective art form, you can feel free to wear your socks over or under your leggings. In many cases, the thin fabric of leggings may decide how you want to wear them with socks. If you choose to tuck your socks into your leggings and are thick, they may cause some irritation on the skin of your ankle when walking. As mentioned before, it’s all about preference.

Disclosure: This article, other beauty and fashion tips on SheBegan are contributed by experienced fashion professionals, beauty & cosmetics experts. Read our full research and editorial process here. Also, our posts may contain affiliate links, read our full affiliate disclosure

Hi, I'm Praise and I will be taking you on a fashion journey. I am a full time writer, but I like to play dress-up by the side(winks). There are only a few things as beautiful as looking good and since we have established looking good is good business, I hope we can achieve that together.

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