With summer in full swing and temps at their highest, one easy and stylish way to keep cool is to go sockless. Bare ankles under long pants lend an easy going vibe, and wearing shorts without socks is practically a given. Here are some tips to doing it well.

The Right Shoes Are Essential

When opting for a sockless look, choosing the right kind of footwear is essential. While every style might not work, there are plenty of great shoes that are perfect with a bare ankle. Heavy lace ups are trending hard these days, but are bound to look dated any day now. Stick with classics, such as simple canvas sneakers, soft loafers, boat shoes, or well-made sandals. Whichever style you choose, be sure your shoes are made of all natural materials, such as cotton or leather. Quality shoes will minimize sweaty “swamp foot” and will air out more completely between wearings.

Don’t Wear Socks (Or Cheat Well)

Obviously, the best and truest way to achieve this look is to, you know, not wear any socks. But this only works if your feet can take it. While the right shoes do help minimize excessive sweating and foot odor, this simply does’t work for everybody. For those of you who simply can’t go totally sockless, try “no show” socks. These will cover your heel, toes, and the soles of your feet, but are cut so low that they don’t show above the shoe. With a little research, these can be had inexpensively from several sources.

Keep Things Short

The sockless look can be quite cool with long pants, but you have to make sure to wear the right pants. Really long pants defeat the purpose of leaving your socks at home in the first place. Generally speaking, a shorter hem makes more sense with a bare ankled look. Go for crisp-cut chinos or slim jeans, preferably hemmed a bit shorter than your dress pants. You want what a tailor would call a “no break” hem. A rolled cuff also works well, too.

Give Your Shoes a Rest

It’s never a bad idea to rotate your shoes, letting each pair have a rest between wearings. This is true all the time, but is especially important with shoes you will wear without socks. After all, if you’re going sockless it’s probably hot outside, and at least some sweating is to be expected. Letting your shoes rest will ensure that odors won’t build up. Adding a little foot powder helps keep thing fresh, too. Remember, you’re going for an easy, cool look, but you don’t want to be remembered for, shall we say, the wrong reasons.

Keep It Appropriate

The sockless look keeps you cool, looks good and is very hip right now. But don’t forget that it may not be appropriate all the time. Skipping socks with shorts is obvious, and going bare ankled with long pants, even a jacket and tie, can be quite stylish. But despite the trendiness of wearing a suit without socks, there are times when you simply must cover your ankles. Weddings, funerals, big meetings, and other solemn or important situations still require socks. You wouldn’t wear shorts to a board meeting, so you also shouldn’t go sockless to that board meeting. Besides, it’s less of a treat if you do it all the time.