Socks are just socks right? They’re functional so there are no style rules when it comes to socks right? Wrong. There are ways you can get it wrong and wrong happens far too often for our liking. We need to quell these common mistakes at once – to right the wrongs one sock at a time. Get yourself well acquainted with these rules now or risk sabotaging any great outfit.
First rule of engagement: White socks are for the gym only
White sports socks should never, ever be worn unless you’re at the gym or playing sports. Period. Laugh if you want, but it’s a common mistake we see all the time. Don’t do it. It’s an unforgiveable offence.
Second rule of engagement: If you’re wearing dress shoes, wear dress socks
Dress shoes should always be worn with dress socks. It is not OK to wear sports socks of any colour, even black, with business shoes. Sports socks are usually ribbed and made of a heavier cotton material and the bulkiness of the heavier fabric tends to make it bunch over the dress shoe. Not to mention that ribbed gym socks will look ghastly against your stylish leather shoes.
Third rule of engagement: Match socks with your pants
<ADD ON: thanks to Sam Muscat for bringing this missing point to our attention>
Always match your sock colour with your pants, and not your shoes. You want fluidity in your outfit so when you're sitting with your socks exposed, it's important to have a solid line of colour from your pants to your shoes. Wearing socks that don't match your pant colour will result in a garish break in your outfit. With the exception of casual wear or if you're using the juxtaposing sock colour as part of your statement ensemble, then black socks should go with black pants and navy socks with navy pants.
Fourth rule of engagement: Exposing flesh is unsightly
If you’re flashing skin over the top of your socks, then they are too short. This includes showing flesh when you’re sitting.
Fifth rule of engagement: No rolling or folding
Why would any man feel the need to scrunch or roll their socks down around their ankles?? It’s sloppy and reminiscent of a 9-year old boy in school uniform. As for folding your socks down, you add unnecessary bulk around the ankles, especially in slim pants. Wear your socks pulled straight up.
Sixth rule of engagement: Socks & shorts
If you’re wearing shoes with shorts, then keep your socks as short as possible. Better still, get yourself a pair of no-show or invisible socks. They’re not just for the ladies. A visible sock line is not ideal.
Seventh rule of engagement: Novelty socks
Own a pair of Mr. Grumpy or Homer Simpson socks? Get rid of them. Now.
Last rule of engagement: Socks in the sack
Do yourself and your significant other a favour – remove them. They look silly and not exactly conducive to a romantic atmosphere.
Now that you know the sock rules, go forth and start sorting. Throw any novelty socks away, even if they were a gift from Aunt May. Make sure you own a couple of pairs of invisible (no-show) socks for when you’re going for the ‘sockless’ look. Depending on your lifestyle and whether you work in a office, the majority of your sock draw should be made up of neutral-coloured dress socks – think blacks, greys, navys. They’re absolutely essential so replenish them often to avoid wearing holey socks. Finally, coloured or patterned (not of the novelty type) socks are worth some consideration as they add a bit of creative flair to your outfits. If you’re not confident in this area, don’t go there at all, or wait for our next article on tips for doing this well. If you are confident and adept in stamping your personal style on your apparel with appropriate socks, then feel free to do so.
Good sock etiquette is non-negotiable and now you know the rules of engagement, we expect you to never commit the same mistakes again. If you know someone who’s broken one of the above rules, please, pay it forward – forward this blog post on!
P.S We sell dress socks (black only at the moment) in our retail stores! As a fashion leader in men’s business and dress footwear, it would make sense to have these available to our dear customers. Next time you’re in our stores picking up a new pair of formal shoes, be smart and stock up on dress socks, too!
Images via Flickr Deseronto Archives and anythingbutstyle.com