1. Pay attention to the fabric. The socks should be lightweight and look more refined than what you would wear with, say, a pair of Chuck Taylors.

2. Think androgyny rather than girlie. Pair with mannish brogues and a tailored jacket to give your outfit an overall polished and grown-up feel.

3. Skirt length is everything. A mid-thigh, A-line number is just short enough to make a knee-sock ensemble look young (but not primary school young) and fresh. If you're wearing one of the season’s popular midi-length skirts with knee socks, you'll probably look too matronly.