Brevity might be the soul of wit, but it's also one of the key fundamentals of a generation who grew up with a cell phone in our hands. Keeping things short and spicy is key to everything (there's a reason we keep to 140 characters, y'all). And for those among us who like our clothing to be as efficient as our words, there's an interesting new micro-trend that's contained to just six inches — the length of a standard pencil — but can be colossal in impact. You've just got to look down to see it.
That small space between the top of our feet and the bottom of our calves has become prime real estate for clever styling via a few big fashion trends that reward a five-year-old's approach to wearing accessories (in that, things don't need to go where they should go). Made sexier with fishnets, more delightful with creative pant hems, and more satisfying with all the anklets, ankle tattoos, and ankle straps, these six inches are the highly Instagrammable, highly complimentable zone worth spending a little more time dolling up before you leave the house.
To not spend too much more of your time (brevity, wit, etc.), below are six versions of well-styled six-inches.
Brooch The Subject — To dress up a pair of leggings, consider fastening a clutch of pins, badges, and brooches to the bottoms of the legs. Hoop earrings would work, too (if you're okay with piercing some permanent holes into your pants, that is), but make sure they're ones that hook like this, not this.
Net Worth — Hosiery is typically a trend-resistant category, which is a shame, since a new pair of socks costs way less than a new pair of pants. But, we've entered the golden age of socks, and fishnets are its MVP. Layer a pair of netted socks on top of a pair of fishnet tights, and wear with your fanciest evening shoes. Make sure your pants or skirt are cropped enough to show off the tiers of webbing, otherwise none of it counts.
Those Socks — If fishnets are the MVP, sparkle socks are Miss Congeniality. They range from a subtle lurex sheen to full mermaid-at-a-disco sequins. Wear these with a wide-hem pant that won't compete with the sock for space, and a shoe that can properly display the shimmer (sandals, mules, pool slides) — then prepare to catch light wherever you step.
Acute Ankles — You might not have seriously considered anklets since you still had "Oops I Did It Again" spinning around in your Discman. But, like all early-2000s trends, they're back with a vengeance. Give the retro style a not-so-dated spin by wearing a matching set with your evening shoes; it's a quick way to make a pair of heels look exponentially more fancy (and all it takes is a quick snip of your leftover New Year's Eve beads).
Display Case — Treat your transparent socks like a shadow box, and tuck in some pretty little things worth showing off. Here, we've layered some delicate gold chains with a spray of plastic flowers, but the options are endless: wrap gingham ribbons underneath a sheer black hose, or a feather underneath nude socks.
In Good Measure — Remember this: shoes that hit your ankle, pants that end below your calf. Depending on the size and length of your leg, you should end up with the silhouette of "right now," which still feels fresh enough that they'll catch double-takes on the street. To advance a level, wear them with fancy textured tights and an extra accessory on one ankle, like a too-large-for-your-wrist buff, a bandana, or a ribbon.