Rules on the Proper Wearing of Socks

by Brett and Kate McKay on January 23, 2008 · 69 comments

in Accessories, Dress & Grooming

2131669536_0da8f7693a_m.jpgAt a company training meeting a few months ago, I was introduced to a new co-worker. This guy was extremely motivated and on the ball. I was pretty impressed with him, until I looked down and saw that he was wearing white socks with a pair of dark dress slacks. Maybe it’s superficial, but at that moment this guy’s credibility as a sharp shooter and go-getter entirely evaporated. I suddenly saw Steve Erkle standing in front of me. Other people at the meeting noticed as well, and got a laugh out of it. No one took the guy seriously.

You don’t want to be this guy. If you want to impress people, you have to pay attention to the details. It doesn’t matter if you’ve put together an awesome outfit; if you don’t have the right socks, you spoil your whole look.

To help you not sabotage your image or credibility like the guy at the meeting, follow these simple rules when selecting which kind of sock to wear with your ensembles.

Wear dress socks with dress shoes

Don’t try to wear athletic socks with dress shoes even if the socks are black. Athletic socks are thicker than dress socks and don’t match the refined style of dress shoes. If you try wearing gym socks with a pair of dress shoes, they’ll bunch out over the shoe and look goofy. Stick to dress socks. The thin material feels nice on your foot and looks sharp.

With jeans there’s a little more wiggle room. Preferably, you should have dark socks even with denim, but you can get away with wearing gym socks with jeans.

Sock color should match your pants, not your shoes.

This is a rule that many people are confused about. I’ve heard numerous arguments about whether you should match socks with shoes or socks with pants. You should always match socks with pants because when you sit down and your socks are exposed, you want a solid line of color from your pants to your shoes. Socks that don’t match your pant color create a jarring break in your outfit. So black socks go with black pants and brown socks go with brown pants. Absolutely and under no condition should you ever wear white socks with dark pants unless you want to look like Steve Erkle or 1980′s Michael Jackson.

No socks with sandals or shorts

The goofiest thing is to see people who wear socks with sandals. Society’s ability to take you seriously will be reduced to zero if you do this. Sandals were designed to be worn with bare feet, so please, do not wear socks with sandals.

Socks with shorts should be avoided as well. Wearing socks with shorts visually makes your legs look shorter. If you need to wear socks while wearing shorts, invest in some ankle socks that aren’t visible when you wear you sneakers.

Novelty socks are for elementary school teachers

No man should own a pair of orange novelty socks that say “Boo!” on them and are adorned with little bats. The only excuse you have for wearing these is if you’re an elementary school teacher named Mrs. Heart. Keep you sock collection simple and classic and you’ll never go wrong.

{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Doctuh January 30, 2008 at 8:23 pm

Smartwool (http://www.smartwool.com) makes a male dress sock that feels like a comfortable pair of white socks with all the visual of a dress sock.

2 Mike January 31, 2008 at 11:16 am

I’ve heard different advice from different style gurus on the what color socks question. Some have indicated that you should match the shoe because matching the pant makes you look like you match the sock to the pant with a much differently colored shoe it can make you look like you’re wearing stirrups.
I think the sock color matching pant color is a good general idea-
However, I think black socks are fine with black shoes and a charcoal suit or navy suit. If you are wearing brown or maroon/cardovan shoes with either you need to match the suit color. With khaki or taupe pants and brown shoes I think you can easily match either the shoe or the pant. With clack shoes I pretty much always match the pant- I think the black socks would be far too jarring.
And though it’s become somewhat acceptable I just don’t think you should ever wear black shoes with a brown suit or brown shoes with a black suit.

I typically wear no-show socks with my shoes when running- though for basketball I prefer a little bit taller sock. I think White athletic socks are fine with athletic shorts when doing basically any athletic activity, though style guidelines are somewhat less strict for exercise attire.

3 Jacknut February 10, 2008 at 6:59 pm

The reason why socks match the pant is because you are trying to create a seamless line from your waist to the top of the shoe. A different sock color actually breaks off the visual line and makes it look like you’re wearing a boot, except that you’re not.

With a matching sock, you create one visual transition: from gray cloth pant and cloth sock to black leather shoe. By matching the shoe, you create two transitions in a short space: from gray cloth pant to black cloth sock to black leather shoe. It can be jarring, especially if the pant, sock and shoe are of different shades.

I think it’s really hard to match some of the grays, but I avoid a black sock whenever possible, it just never looks right.

4 jessica irving February 12, 2008 at 2:39 pm

hey! David Letterman wears white socks with loafers … its hip as all hell !!!

5 Basil Moss February 12, 2008 at 2:56 pm

Good rules in general, but… My Dad, perhaps the best dressed chap I know, occasionally wears socks that do not match his trousers. Picture it- Grey dogs tooth weave suit (two piece), red tie, red handkerchief expertly tucked (not folded) into breast pocket, and… red socks. Black brogues under this, polished to a military shine.
To me, this does not look “novelty”, or to draw attention to the fact that his trousers are tailored to him, not 8″ too long, it looks confident. He manner of dress is different (he laughed at a colluegue who asked him why he doesn’t wear something a bit different, like.. well… jeans and a T-shirt) and perhaps just a little eccentric.
I don’t think it is particularly manly to follow the most common style of attire- although perhaps it takes an older man to break rules like this so ruthlessly!

6 Brett McKay February 13, 2008 at 2:29 pm

@Basil Moss:

You’re dad sounds like he’s a well dressed guy! I think you nailed it on the head at the end of your comment. I think it takes an older man or well established man to pull something like this off. It takes a certain kind of bravado. It’s like an artist or a writer. You can only break the rules of art and writing after you mastered the basics. It sounds like your father has mastered the basics of fashion, so he’s able to break them to create fresh looks.

7 Rob B. February 17, 2008 at 8:48 pm

Dress socks also match well with casual sneakers. When wearing denim matching socks to shoes is appropriate.

8 Luke Park February 21, 2008 at 7:17 pm

Let us not forget the birth right and exclusive luxury of southern gentlemen…no socks at all. Obviously inappropriate in the boardroom, but in many places where business is done, sockless is acceptable. Boardrooms and cubicles are but a small part of the business world. The clubhouse, the power breakfast, the local watering hole; all places where business meets casual in a way that is not nearly as confusing as “business casual” actually is.

9 Ted February 23, 2008 at 1:24 am

umm… i have a pair of orange socks with a ghost that says boo.

10 Andras March 5, 2008 at 7:42 pm

You missed one of the most important details involving socks, especially with suits. Buy socks that are long enough that you never show skin between the bottom of your pants and the top of your socks. I can’t think of anything (other than white gym socks) that can destroy your look quicker than sitting down and exposing your legs over your sagging socks. Especially when sitting in front of a crowd, as you would be during a panel discussion or an on stage presentation.

11 Russ March 7, 2008 at 2:42 pm

“invest in some ankle socks”? Anyone who wears ankle socks may as well get the ones with the little pink pom-poms on them.

12 Brett McKay March 7, 2008 at 2:46 pm

Russ, what would you suggest to wear with sneakers? High socks look dorky, and going sans socks makes your shoes smell.

13 Jaime March 8, 2008 at 8:38 am

I agree with the above that socks can be boldly colored as a piece of bravado. The most important thing is to limit the bravado to a single item or risk looking like a buffoon. Also, don’t forget about argyle, they go good with business casual dress.

14 Jaime March 8, 2008 at 8:39 am

Brett, get the low cut no-show socks or ones that come up to ankle. Nike make comfy sports socks.

15 Brett McKay March 8, 2008 at 8:48 am

@Jaime-

I do wear the the socks that come up to the ankle, that is what I meant by ankle socks.

I like your comment about a single piece of bravado. Very true. Also, argyle is a nice touch.

16 W. West March 10, 2008 at 1:43 am

Actually, except for wearing denim/jeans, the socks should be either a shade darker or a shade lighter than the trousers.

17 TL May 16, 2008 at 11:42 am

If you think this hard about socks, or would cease to respect someone because they wore the wrong ones, you have no claim to manliness. Get back to the kitchen or your knitting, because your manliness cred is utterly gone.

18 DanO May 20, 2008 at 3:48 am

I agree with TL. If you judge a man by his socks during his presentation, that makes you less of a man. Bad form.

19 Christian May 21, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Socks- and the oddity of your site…

I find your site oddly retro conformist, by that I mean inflexible and the real question, or statement actually, is I feel there is nothing about being a real man with him being sartorial. There has been many a man that I’ve shaken hands with- grease or worse under their fingernails and I gladly did so. A gentleman does not judge by appearances.

But your site is about manliness, not about being a man.

Now about socks…Just as in ties and pocket squares that is the flair to show ones self off in a subtle way. Color theory- compliment/contrast/transition. Several of the previous posters have already pointed this out. Are you two individualists or conformist?

20 Christian is wrong May 22, 2008 at 12:22 am

Well the thing about your qoute, “A gentleman does not judge by appearances.”, is that you are completely right. However, do you honestly think the whole world is made up of gentelmen and ladies that hold true to that. You must have been sheltered as a kid. There is absolutely nothing wrong with dressing to impress in a manly way, and this artical is just that much more of a lil tidbit to add to one’s knowledge. Go be a troll somewhere else…

21 Zundfolge June 25, 2008 at 8:24 am

I’ll have to categorically disagree with the “no socks with shorts” stance.

It depends on what your activity is going to be. If you are hiking in the backwoods then going sans socks (or with ankle socks) is foolish. The socks protect your ankles from the brush and/or insects.

It would stand to reason then to me that if you are wearing cargo shorts, khaki shorts or some other style of shorts that are recognized as “hiking apparel” and you’re wearing shoes that might also be identified as “hiking style” than socks would be appropriate (especially heavier, wool or wool looking). But of course not knee high athletic socks.

22 Sin July 10, 2008 at 7:31 pm

So I’m curious, I personally match my socks to my pants, but I prefer to wear my dress socks as casual wear with jeans and sneakers, is there anything wrong with doing so? Also, lets say I have on jeans and a pair of white sneakers on, is it ok to wear black, or dark blue socks to match my pants even though the shoes are white?

23 Ed July 16, 2008 at 7:33 am

I say wear dress socks for formal wear. However, I am an avid sans socks guy and enjoy wearing dress penny loafers ,and tassled loafers without socks except if I was in a TUX. You can pull the look off if your ankles are tanned. As for shorts- forget socks altogether.

24 Jeff July 30, 2008 at 7:48 am

I don’t know if this is correct or not, but my mother said that according to the conventional rules of business dress, the socks should match the belt. Since I nearly always go with the black belt, this leads me to have lots of black dress socks (and black shoes, with black, gray and navy pants/suits).

25 Walter Devore July 30, 2008 at 8:03 pm

I’d like to not wear socks with sandals, but if I do, I get athlete’s foot. Summers are short at 9,000 feet and even with socks and sandals, my feet get more air and feel more comfortable than wearing shoes.

26 dospace October 30, 2008 at 11:18 pm

sorry, but you NEVER EVER match socks with shoes or pants. Think about it. To actually match, two items must be made of the SAME fabric. Since no one makes socks from suitings, you can’t match sock to pants. You do however, choose socks that complement your pants. They should be darker than the pants and ideally create a nice transition between pant and shoe. extra points if there is an common element between sock and tie, pocket square, or shirt.

27 Jim Katz October 30, 2008 at 11:34 pm

Sock matching is a moderately contentious area within men’s fashion. The most common camp, and probably the most logical, recommends socks that closely follow or complement the trousers, and are at least as dark. Matching the shoes is not a terrible crime, though, and as dark shoes and dark pants are often found together, it should be fine.

The third crowd, however, is the most interesting, and one I confess to holding an occasional membership in, is the rebellious sock group. This ranges from a subdued argyle with khakis to the bright red socks with a black suit. Ideal execution has the socks as the single unusual element, thus giving that beautiful hint of individuality. “He wore a dark coat and trousers, a plain shirt, a conservative tie…and *bright red socks.*”

28 Scott November 2, 2008 at 11:00 pm

Socks should complement (not necessarily match) your tie, generally. If not that, then some other item you are wearing; shirt or jacket, say. When in doubt – pair with your trousers.

In everything, there is room for individual expression, of course.

As for judging appearances: Everyone – gentleman or no – is at least influenced by how someone presents his- or herself. You should be very careful about judging a person’s WORTH by appearances, but you can draw conclusions about how a person WANTS to be thought of by how they show themselves in their dress and manner.

29 Nate December 5, 2008 at 3:21 pm

I’m all about subscribing to the usual rules of fashion and proper dress when trying to look sharp, but in reference to Jim Katz’s comment above, I definitely fall into the “rebellious sock camp.” This is certainly not to say that it is ever appropriate to wear goofy Christmas socks with reindeer on them – I firmly believe that a bold, colorful sock can be pulled off in a classy and bold way. Much of men’s fashion is fairly rigid and unexpressive in nature, but I believe a carefully chosen pair of expressive socks can make a world of difference in being original, unique, and confident. If done right, it can set you apart from the masses in a great way.

My general rules in this area are somewhat fluid to match the situation, especially since socks with more than one color (e.g. argyle) are a little more tricky, but in general I will try to match the sock to both the trouser and the tie. In the absence of a tie (like at work, if business casual prevails), I generally try and match both the trouser and the shirt. For instance, kahki colored slacks with a blue dress shirt – I would add either a similarly colored blue sock or more likely a sock with elements of both colors (arglye is always classy, or a striped sock). Or take a gray wool suit with a sharp orange striped Oxford tie – matches perfectly with a gray sock with a few orange horizontal stripes. I wore the latter to a conference I presented at yesterday and received numerous compliments from people surprised by the attention to detail.

30 swilly December 7, 2008 at 4:44 am

@jessica irving
letterman is a dork, and you’ll be one as well with white socks…

31 Will December 9, 2008 at 9:38 pm

No offense to anyone here, but I like looking like 1980s Michael Jackson with my black shoes and white socks. In fact, when somebody joked about it once, I showed them up by doing some very smooth moves.

When it comes to style, you’ve got rules of thumb, as seen in this article. But it comes down to who you are as a person. I often wear vintage outfits such as heavy polyester leisure suits, reflective sequined jackets and shirts with silver shoes, even the occasional zoot suit. People like it, and obviously get a kick out of the silly factor, but they also find me to be a very impressive and respectable person afterwards.

Of course, I wouldn’t advise doing this at a business meeting, but if you follow these rules stated above everywhere you go, you’ll go from Steve Urkel to Adrian Monk.

Note to the author: if you’re going to reference pop culture, make sure you spell the names correctly.

32 Native Texan January 6, 2009 at 10:16 pm

None of this matters to me, as I generally wear boots with my suits. But then I am in Texas and it fits my profession. I generally wear ankle socks and try to limit my sock drawer to one or two different types of socks so I don’t have to worry about pairing them up, but they don’t show up at all while wearing boots with my suits. Of course, not everyone can pull this off. A suite is probably a bit overdressed for my profession, and you look good as long as you shave and don’t have Skoal ring on the back of your pants…

33 Chris January 11, 2009 at 10:30 am

My company, Oberon Socks (www.oberonsocks.com) pretty much agrees with this post. We like our socks a little flashier though – we take classic patterns like argyle and add a bit of a twist to them. Our socks are professional, but give the wearer the confidence of knowing he is dressed a little differently than the other guys in suits.

34 David Valenta February 27, 2009 at 6:25 am

As a general rule, wearing socks the same hue and tone as your pants is the simplest way to look good. Wearing hose with a pattern when the suit is a solid is a nice way of adding a bit of interest. As with any rule thee are times when you can make an exception. As we move away from serious suiting colors and fabrics, we can find opportunities to break the rules. Earlier, a gentleman referred to his father as wearing a black and white hounds tooth suit with red tie and pocket square and red hose. Because the hounds tooth is a step away from the blues and grays of serious suiting’s we find an opportunity to dandify our outfit. I would caution that this not be made one of your personal rules to always make this exception. Exceptions to the rule should be rare and made with a specific intent as to the complete look.

35 Desi Quintans June 1, 2009 at 8:54 pm

Hey, if you’re all such big men, how can you rationalise disrespecting and denigrating someone based on the socks they’re wearing?

They’re just socks, guys. It’s like disrespecting someone based on the color of briefs they wear: what the hell business is it of yours in the first place?

Why not respect him for being a sharpshooter and go-getter, just like he seems to be?

36 Clarence June 2, 2009 at 3:26 am

Two things come to mind:

- there are no hard fast rules on dressing up “nowadays”; just general guidelines
- clothing is classified into two general categories; formal and non-formal

For formal wear, matching your dress socks with your pants is ideal. BUT, when one is in a situation where there is no socks to match with your pants, common sense comes into the picture. Ergo, matching your socks with your shoes is a logical alternative. Wearing a third color, socks in this case, is a NO – NO especially in “formal” men’s wear.

As with casual wear, almost anything goes nowadays. Comfort is a primary concern but likewise, not without regard to what is considered acceptable and proper.

Wearing socks with a very sporty-looking sandals could be very apropos. My only advice would be that it be ankle high for knee length walking shorts and mid-calf length (or a bit shorter) for mid-thigh or shorter shorts. Proportion is key for the right look.

Leather sandals are better off worn without socks since is gives an “implied” formality in its casualness as opposed to gum-soled and synthetic sporty sandals.

Wearing clothes should always exude the air of living in the “NOW” and not what WAS considered appropriate in the distant past. Times change and so does clothing etiquette.

37 johnmc June 2, 2009 at 11:12 am

What is the proper etiquette when wearing denim? I tend toward a black athletic sock when doing so, mostly because I’m usually in a casual setting when doing so and they’re comfortable (and not white). However, I’ve been wearing jeans for work recently because the current phase of my project involves time on a very dusty building site where dress pants are inappropriate – they get dirty far too quickly and I end up looking foolish.

38 A Cawston June 3, 2009 at 12:57 am

I disagree that sox should match your trousers. Sox should instead match your tie (and your handkerchief, if you have one). Belt should match your shoes and your watchstrap (if it is leather). Watch should match rings and cufflinks and tie clip — no other jewelry is acceptable for men to wear if they intend to be taken seriously. Shirt is to be lighter in color than the suit and the tie.

Never gym sox with a suit.

39 Anton June 13, 2009 at 5:29 am

I rebel against having to spend too much time making decisions about clothing every morning, so I try to keep it as simple as possible. Black socks for work and other more formal occasions. White socks with jeans. No socks with shorts. The exception is wearing very short “runner’s” socks with sneakers for jogging and long walks. While sticking to black socks for dress clothing may not be totally correct, it sure makes it easy to match socks early in the morning. Oh yeah.

Anton

40 Scott Ferrell July 15, 2009 at 8:42 am

I have told my friends that if they ever see me wearing black dress socks with shorts, it is time to put me down.

41 alex July 22, 2009 at 11:00 pm

I have always found that a low cut ankle athletic sock underneath a dress sock really helps if you have a new shoe and are your feet all day. I learned it in the service, its adds comfort and since it is low no one will notice. It also prevents blisters.

42 Mitch August 20, 2009 at 3:18 pm

I like the look of socks with sandals. It looks clean. It feels gross to wear shoes without socks, and it looks gross, too.

43 k2000k August 27, 2009 at 10:36 pm

I tend to just have black and brown socks for business occasions. I don’t have the spare money to buy socks to match all my business slacks, nor would I if I did, there are better things I can spend my money on. I understand why you don’t take someone seriously in business if they wore white socks, it stands out and looks odd. But what about individuals that simply match their shoes. I understand that your *supposed* to match the socks to paints, but it feels unmanly to spend so much time worrying about the perfect look. As long as I look professional I’m good to go.

44 BrianB December 22, 2009 at 9:08 am

For proper sartorial guidance on socks or any article of clothing, I suggest everyone read works by Alan Flusser. He is perhaps the most qualified and experienced individual to offer sound advice on the subject, and he states that the socks should ‘match’ the trousers. As noted by a previous commentor, the socks obviously will not exactly match the trousers, either in color or material (but they could I suppose). But the point is that from a visual appearance perspective, there should be an unbroken line of color tone(?) from the top of the trousers through to the shoe.

Now, I appreciate that some people wish to exhibit their flair for fashion by wearing orange or any other bold color socks with their pinstripes. But, it is fashion after all. Not the classic style of dress that has garnered respect by gentlemen over the past centuries (Regency period excepted).

Just my two or three cents worth….

45 James February 16, 2010 at 11:56 pm

Article is good for the most part, except for the bit about sock thickness. I have to dress in coat and tie daily, but DESPISE thin dress socks, especially in winter. I think thicker black socks are perfectly fine, and have even doubled socks on cold days because paper thin socks are NOT elegant, they are useless, wimpy and stupid!

46 STEPcoach March 4, 2010 at 9:55 am

Wow – 45 (now 46) comments on SOCKS! This is one of the reasons I love this site. Where else can you get 40 or so guys together to argue good naturedly about what color socks to wear!?
My 2 cents worth: the very fact that there is so much contention over how to match socks and slacks or shoes demonstrates that we need some convention on a GENTLEMAN’s dress. Pick a rule, follow it, teach it to your sons and grandsons, and try not to point at others who don’t follow it.
I’m just thankful that we have AOM to bring some guys back from the edge of Hades – and by that I mean hang-off-your-butt sloppy jeans that are ripped to pieces!
Gentlemen: start your manners!

47 Sunny April 16, 2010 at 10:35 am

SO thankful that I read this article and now have something tangible to point my guy friends to! I can’t stand when they wear athletic socks with slacks. Especially when they are white! Ahhhh

48 ruben April 16, 2010 at 6:52 pm

JUST MATCH SOCKS AND TROUSERS AS YOU MATCH TIES WITH SHIRTS

49 S. April 20, 2010 at 6:06 pm

hmm.. this site has gone in an odd direction. No offense to anyone here, but we all sound like a bunch of ladies sitting around discussing fashion. I appreciate the articles about being a husband, a father, about resiliency and what not. But seriously, guys. Seriously.

50 Dan April 25, 2010 at 10:28 pm

You can’t create a “solid line” of pants and socks because the bottom of the trouser leg, particularly if there is a cuff, is big and wide and creates a huge break in the “geometry” that overwhelms any continuation solely on the basis of color. This is true whether standing or sitting. The bottom of the pant leg creates a clear break whether it is resting at the top of the shoe (when standing) or is pulled up a few inches above it (when sitting). Therefore, the mission of a sock (besides hiding a hairy ankle) is to ease the transition between the bottom of the pant leg — the clear “cut off” of the trouser’s shape — and the shoe, when you are sitting. The sock follows the shape of the ankle, so it can’t “geometrically” transition from the cuff. However, it _can_ geometrically transition from the ankle-fitting top of the shoe. Logically, functionally, and visually, the sock is an extension of the shoe, not an extension of the pants. Therefore, the color of the sock should match the color of the shoe. Put another way, real men wear only two colors of dress socks: black (with black shoes), and brown (with brown or cordovan shoes).

51 Lee June 22, 2010 at 8:46 pm

I agree with Desi (#35) and S.(#49) here that this is a pretty rediculous point this article is trying to make. I mean come on to take away respect for a man in his hard effort and work because of socks!…their just socks people! What next shoe laces? lol i mean love a good amount of articles that come from this site but this is a little much when you have 50 comments trying to rationalize socks. And i do believe a gentleman does not judge a person’s worth based on appearance but on his character and actions.

52 Jeff June 27, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Of course we ought to judge by appearances! In the real world you have to size a man up pretty quickly; it turns out, one’s appearance, though in no ways perfectly, like most things in life, is a pretty good indicator of character. And this is widely known, making it even more inexcusable. An indolent man is likely to be indolent in his dress; an industrious one is likely to be studious in his dress. I would change my judgment of a man, if I found it to be incorrect, but that does not mean I should not make an initial judgment based on appearances. This fluffy non-judgmental crap needs to go. Not judging a man is the opposite of helpful; in fact, it encourages him to continue in vice or, what is sometimes more self-destructive, folly.

53 A Teacher June 27, 2010 at 5:20 pm

It’s articles like this that redouble my effort to not be that elementary school teacher who wears aforementioned orange socks or atrocious pencil/school bus/goldfish ties. Gauntlet thrown!

54 Brian Jones-Chance July 10, 2010 at 12:20 pm

A truly sartorial gesture would be to coordinate your socks in hue or pattern with your tie.

55 Robin July 30, 2010 at 11:16 am

I believe Jeeves said a gentleman’s sock should match his belt.

56 Ray McGarr September 30, 2012 at 4:52 pm

I work in a profession (clergyman) where people often remark about how well or how badly I am dressed. I appreciate the socks discussion because it is my most bewildering decision when dressing. I usually try to match socks to slacks but inevitably I am “off.”

Glad to have found this website. Ray

57 JohnPaulToo January 21, 2013 at 5:57 pm

I would disagree. Designers are finally doing some interesting things with men’s socks. Pops of color, sweet patterns, etc. All stuff that, dapperly executed, can make a man stand out without fear of looking gaudy. Check out what guys like Paul Smith are doing. Or order a pair of Gammarelli socks, the same ones that have adorned the Papal pieds for the past couple hundred years or so.

58 JohnPaulToo January 21, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Really? Matching your socks to your pants? Nah. Designers are finally doing some interesting things with men’s socks. Pops of color, sweet patterns, etc. All stuff that, dapperly executed, can make a man stand out without fear of looking gaudy. Check out what guys like Paul Smith are doing. Or order a pair of red Gammarelli socks, the same ones that have adorned the Papal pieds for the past couple hundred years or so.

59 Jonathan March 26, 2013 at 6:53 pm

I often break the rules with socks.. rather than matching/complimenting pants or shoes I will often match my shirt instead.. for example with black shoes, grey skinny jeans and a pink shirt, I will often choose pink socks.. it depends on the whole look but I think it works and have had good feedback.. I only think it looks good with sleek shoes and very slim pants though.. nothing loose or bulky.. and nothing dressy of formal.. this is casual only for sure

60 Dan April 1, 2013 at 5:02 am

Perhaps a strong bold colored sock that compliments a subtle color in you tie or patterned shirt can work. However, avoid trends. Think about those pictures of classy looking gentleman from the mid 1900s and how their style is clean and timeless. I don’t think you get there with crazy patterned socks. I see it as something you roll your eyes at in 50 years when you’re showing photo albums to your grandkids (or scrolling through your facebook timeline by then).

That said, this is one of those trends I’ve been very tempted to incorporate after seeing Harrison Ford in Morning Glory. Even so, I prefer the bold sock to the patterned.

http://www.zoraab.com/blogs/news/5960231-harrison-ford-power-socks

61 Jim June 22, 2013 at 4:17 pm

Gentlemen don’t judge based on appearances? What nonsense. You can and should learn about a person based on his appearance since it will be the first information you receive about him. You guys can pat yourselves on the back about your open mindedness and spend your time getting to know the men behind the prison tattoos, obscene t-shirts, low hanging jeans, slovenly appearance, etc. I’ll save my time and move on.

62 Nick July 2, 2013 at 4:26 pm

FFS it’s Urkel, not Erkle. That just looks stupid. Otherwise, good article.

63 Patrick September 17, 2013 at 5:54 pm

Recently I have been reading articles on how we should try socks with some color. The more I follow and read articles from great sites as this one and the many others referenced by Antonio from Real Men Real Style, the more I become dismayed with the style system.

64 Ryan October 20, 2013 at 2:03 pm

I honestly cannot recall ever once having noticed a guy’s socks unless:
1. He was wearing shorts
2. He wasn’t wearing shoes

Nor have I ever received the slightest indication that my socks (of which, aside from a couple pairs of super-thick hiking socks, I own one kind: black gym socks) have been noticed, positively or negatively, by anyone unless one of the above conditions applied.

Seems like an awful lot of thought being put into the appearance of something that otherwise stays 100% covered 99.9% of the time.

65 Addison November 27, 2013 at 2:01 pm

I’m 25 and I wear colorful socks daily. They always have a splash of color that compliments the tie, shirt or sweater I’m wearing and always go right along with my outfit.

This is one of those trends that is swaying from the good ole boy look and is becoming acceptable in almost any workplace.

I trust “Art of Manliness” on just about everything, but this is one thing I know, without a doubt, I am just fine continuing and won’t receive any weird looks or rude remarks.

66 clint turtura January 26, 2014 at 7:26 am

i wear pom pom socks with shorts cloge and high heels

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