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Casual Mary-Janes & the Sock Dilemma

By Amalah

Important, earth-shattering announcement! As you may or may not already know, I am about to have a baby. Like any minute now. Perhaps I have already had the baby! Or perhaps I am just sitting at home like a beached whale with my tongue hanging out because I haven’t had the baby and OH MY GOD GET OUT ALREADY. Either way, this will be my last Advice Smackdown for a couple weeks. Starting on Thursday, however, I’ve arranged for some absolutely fabulous guest columnists to take over in the meantime. If you’ve sent in a question recently, I’ve done my best to find a real bona-fide expert to answer it for you, or at least someone who is just really funny and pretty and nice-smelling.
In the meantime, PLEASE keep your questions coming. My maternity leave preparations have left the question queue about as empty as it’s been in years, so please: Help me make sure I’ll still have a JOB when I come back in a couple weeks and send any beauty/style/relationship/etiquette/pregnancy/motherhood/all that and the kitchen sink type questions to amyadvice AT gmail dot com. I have to buy a lot of diapers.

Hi Amy,
Please help the fashion-inept: I’m thinking about getting a pair of comfy mary janes to wear with jeans this fall — something along the lines of these or these –but what kind of socks would I have to wear with them?

keens.jpgHmm. Interesting. As a terrible non-sock wearer, I had to think about this one for a bit. I wear those little nude-colored footie socks most of the time, if the cut of the shoe allows them to remain hidden. (I think you could wear them with the Keens, but not the Borns.) I don’t know why I’m twitchy and weird about socks — I just am. (You should see me trying to buy athletic socks to wear with sneakers. I want ankle socks so low and tiny that only a couple millimeters of cotton come up over the edge of my shoe.) I’m sure it’s some leftover thing from high school, when ohmigod, Becky, NO ONE wore socks with ANYTHING and we never zipped up our jackets or used both straps on our backpacks and we were all a bunch of shivering morons with wicked scoliosis. But at least we weren’t DORKS.
But for you, and for these shoes, as far as real, honest-to-God socks go, I’d say anything but white. Or black. Or anything that might look like you’re trying to go for “neutral” and hoping no one will notice or see, because people will see and notice your socks in those shoes. So make them count! Think of them as another accessory for your outfit, on par with colorful jewelry.
Wear fun stripes, patterns and cool colors. (No Santa or cheesy kitten socks, or anything, but stuff that’s modern, coordinating and appropriate for a woman over the age of nine.) Nothing thick or wooly, since they’ll pucker in the space between the toe and the strap. If you need to wear something conservative and it MUST be neutral, go with textured trouser socks over plain white or black cotton socks. Anything described as a “trouser sock” will be your best bet thickness-wise as well — they’re something in-between tights and knee-highs and won’t bunch up around the strap or other edges of the shoe. (They MAY be prone to pulls around the buckle, though, so get them on the cheap if you can. Target, TJ Maxx, Filene’s Basement — all excellent places for hosiery, says the girl who used to wear hose and knee-highs every single day and probably went through a thousand or so pairs, GAH.)


About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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