It’s a style that divides opinion, but once your ankles are on show, you’ll never want to go back.
Summer is as good as here. The sun is shining and you’re thinking about breaking your shorts out of hibernation, swapping jeans for lightweight pants, and ditching those heavy socks.
It’s also the time to finally let your ankles breathe, but it can be tricky getting the look just right. It’s easy but takes well-fitting pants, just the right kind of shoes, the right amount of ankle on show and not a sock in sight (at least not that you can see).
If you want to stay stylish and cool this summer, just follow our simple guide.
Wear the right pants
Forget the baggy jeans, stash the sweat pants. Ankles on show require a certain type of pant to pull off. Keep your pants slim or skinny so your pant legs don’t wobble as you walk, and if the material’s lightweight, then you can make your roll-ups slimmer and straighter too, which helps keep the look effortless.
Try the Men’s Thompson Lake Slim Fit Chino Pant in beach sand, dynasty green or black iris. They’re ideal for this look. Pair them with our Men’s Revenia Oxford Shoes (pictured above) for a sleek look.
Roll ‘em up
The trick to rolling up your pants is to let just the right amount of ankle show. Too high and you’re perilously close to being accused of wearing highwaters (remember that middle school insult? We’re still scarred). If you wear them too low, you’ll miss the look completely.
There’s a simple solution that works for almost any pants. For the first roll, fold just above the hem and make sure the crease is straight and even. This is your template - three more crisp, precise turns and you’re at the perfect length - around two and a half inches above the shoe line. Not too short, not too long and just enough ankle on show.
Wear invisible socks
Yep, you read that right. No man (or woman) in his right mind will spend his days strolling around in closed shoes with no socks. We won’t go into details but remember that feet sweat every day - now imagine that in a pair of leather brogues or loafers. Yikes. And that’s not to mention the cumulative “aroma” that you’ll never be able to fully eliminate. The solution is the invisible or no-show sock – big enough to cover your soles and stay in place, but low-cut enough to sit below the line of your shoe. The perfect solution.
Even if you’re using invisible and no show socks, a little light precaution can help keep your shoes and feet sweeter for longer. A good shoe refresher should be a staple of your wardrobe already, but going the extra mile with an unvarnished cedar shoe tree tucked snugly into your shoes when you’re not wearing them will help keep them fresh and bacteria-free.
Pair the look with shorts
The easiest way to keep cool this summer is to wear the bare ankle look with shorts. Following a similar line to wearing the right pants, this is a look that works best with a smart casual style. Instead of boardshorts and sneakers, opt for low-key simple footwear like Oxfords, boat shoes or our Hookset Slip-on Collection, and pair them with more-polished, tailored shorts. If you want to add a little spice to the look, keep it punchy with some bright colors or simple patterns.
Or… just go carefree
Everything we’ve talked about here has been to achieve an effortless, but sophisticated look that works everywhere from office meetings to the boardwalk.
But what if you’re looking to go super casual, rough and ready, beach chic? Then ignore all the rules! Grab a pair of old canvas shoes, a pair of no-show socks, rough roll your favorite old pants to whatever length you like and kick sand in your shoes as you walk. You’ll feel great and look casual and carefree (just don’t try and rock this look in the office).
It’s time to set your ankles free.