A Man’s Guide to Socks

by Antonio on December 15, 2010 · 63 comments

in Accessories, Dress & Grooming, Gillette

This series is supported by Gillette. Learn more about Gillette and its products at Gillette.com. What’s this?

Why Socks?

Socks are an interesting piece of clothing; we pay so little attention to them and yet they’re central to our overall comfort in several ways: socks protect our feet from abrasion, wick away our perspiration, and keep our dew beaters snug in our shoes. They’re also a small detail that can either pull your outfit together or serve as an unwelcome distraction.

Today we’ll give this often overlooked piece of clothing a thorough look over, if for no other reason than to ensure that when you spend your hard earned dollars you are buying the best socks for your needs.

Common Rules Concerning Socks

1.  Your socks should match one another and not have holes or visible stains

Now some of you are thinking this is incredibly obvious; however, I mention this rule for those of you who fail to see the problem here.  Assuming you keep your shoes on and never expose your torn and mismatched socks, there very well may not be an issue.   But for most of us, failing to heed this rule is going to lead to an embarrassing situation when we unexpectedly have to remove our shoes; instead of  striking up a conversation with a potential business partner, we’ll be worried about concealing our protruding big toe.

Side Note – it was an embarrassing situation with torn socks at a Japanese Tea house that led entrepreneur Samy Liechti to form the company Black Socks.  His genius idea?  Provide men sockscriptions, where 3 pairs of black socks are delivered by mail every few months.  Wish I would have thought of this!

2.  Your socks should match your trousers

A man cannot go wrong following this advice, as it serves to create a streamlined look with no unnecessary color contrast until the eyes meet the shoes.   Many men also like this rule as its rigidness leaves no room for interpretation and confusion.

However once a man has a sense of his own personal style, he should feel free to break this rule.  Doing so enables him to introduce into his wardrobe a wide range of patterned and perhaps even lively colored socks that conservative dressers would avoid.   I’m a bigger fan of a man coordinating his choice of sock with his neckwear and shoes; although more difficult than the aforementioned rule of matching your trousers, the tradition of coordinating your shoes, socks, and neckwear has a 100 year history and can help liven up an otherwise dull outfit.

argyle socks

It would be hard to find trousers patterned like this!

3.  Wear knee length vs. ankle length socks

This rule is based off the belief that a gentleman should not expose his bare leg unintentionally.  A bit archaic, I know, but it still holds sway nonetheless as the flash of white hairy skin when wearing a dark suit can be distracting.  And that’s not what we want.

various sock types

(Left) Low-cut sport, (Middle) Ankle-dress, (Right) Knee-length

In practice, this rule is hard to abide by as most sock manufacturers do not make socks that rise anywhere close to the knee.  The extra material increases the cost of the sock by 25% or more, and most manufacturers are competing on price.  If you want knee length socks you’ll need to look to menswear stores vs. most department stores and be willing to pay a bit more.

4.  Your socks should match the dress level of the rest of your ensemble

If you’re wearing black-tie, then choose a quality, lightweight, knee-high sock with a sheen appearance.  If you’re wearing a sport jacket and grey flannel trousers, heavy wool argyle socks work perfectly.  Jeans, a nice t-shirt, and leather casual footwear call for a dark sock that simply pulls the shoes and denim together.  A trip to the gym?  Here’s where you wear those white tube socks.

Sock Construction

Hosiery knitting machines first appeared around the year 1600, but didn’t start to have a large impact on the industry until 1800 when inexpensive cotton made mass manufacturing profitable.   Today modern circular knitting machines and the automation of most of the manufacturing process enables large manufacturers to churn out socks in huge numbers.   This has been great in the sense of making socks affordable for everyone; the negative effect is that most socks today are made to be disposable and fit only a small percentage of men well.  If you’ve ever bought a pair of tube socks at Wal-Mart that range in size from 6 to 12 you know what I’m talking about – you may get 12 for 6 dollars, but good luck on fit and durability.

Higher quality socks, on the other hand, are manufactured using both better materials and the process for manufacturing them is often 50% longer.  More time is spent on creating stronger seams, a higher percentage of hand guided sewing is required, and higher quality controls are enforced.  Also, quality sock manufacturers make a wider range of sizes.  Although this adds complexity to the line from a manufacturing perspective, from the consumer side it translates into a better fit.  On the downside, quality socks can cost 5 to 20 times more than their less expensive brethren. If you’re searching for quality socks, look for ones made in the US or UK as they will typically be constructed with greater attention to detail.

Interested in seeing this process?  Check out this video on how socks are knitted, sewn, dyed, and formed in a modern factory.

FYI, socks can also be handmade by knitting, crocheting, or sewing fabric together.  You’ll need a lot of time, but a pair made in this fashion can outlast almost anything produced by a machine.

While garters are considered rather old fashioned, they can be quite useful if your socks keep falling down as they keep you from tugging them back up all day long.

Sock Fiber Selection

Wool – The earliest yarns used in sock production were spun from wool.  Today wool socks are hard to find in most box stores and their price makes them a luxury for those accustomed to paying a dollar a pair.  Often blended with synthetic fibers to increase desirable properties such as strength and abrasion resistance, wool socks are great for hikers as they absorb moisture from the skin and release it outside the sock.  In addition, wool has unmatched insulating properties and keeps feet warm in cold weather and cool in hot temperatures.

Cotton – The most common sock material, cotton fiber is inexpensive and durable.  When blended with lycra or other man-made fibers it can hold its shape and conform to the foot providing an excellent fit.  Cotton socks can be washed roughly with any type of detergent, and although its absorption and insulation properties aren’t on par with wool, its ease in maintenance and overall acceptable performance make it the choice for most.

Cashmere & Silk – A luxury blend suited for dress socks, a blend such as this looks at home when paired with quality dress shoes and a fine worsted wool suit.  Lighter than wool, they provide similar benefits with less bulk.

Other fibers that are commonly blended with the above include nylon, acrylic, olefins, spandex, linen, bamboo, cashmere, and mohair.  The purpose of these blends is to achieve desired properties in feel, performance, durability, and elasticity.

 

Types of Socks

Athletic Performance Socks – Athletic socks are worn to enhance a man’s physical performance.  From the simple sport cotton tube sock to low-cut running socks with strong sweat wicking properties to specialty designed skiing socks meant to wick moisture and trap in heat, these socks at the least increase comfort and can in an extreme case help a snow sport enthusiast avoid frostbite.

performance sock

Ski Performance Sock - Photo from Blacksocks.com

Dress Socks – Meant to be worn with a man’s suit or casual clothing, they come in a wide range of materials and for the most part stick to darker colors such as black, charcoal grey, medium grey, bottle green, brown, and burgundy.  Lighter shades such as tan work well with lighter clothing.  As for patterns, the most traditional one is the classic argyle.  More modern “attention grabbing” colors and shades have been becoming more popular and are available from online men’s specialty stores.

Protective Socks – As bulk is not a concern here, protective socks utilize heavier weaves and higher concentrations of insulating fibers.  Although this may compromise on fit, performance when it comes to extremity protection is maximized.  Socks of this type range from wet suit footwear meant to keep the feet warm despite being wet to Polartec Powerstretch fleece socks meant to worn in extreme cold conditions for a solid week straight when hunting.

Are Socks Optional?

For many men socks are optional.  Agree or disagree?  Check out this classic AOM article “Going Sockless in the Summer” and leave your two cents in the comments section.

A Man’s Guide to Socks – Conclusion

Socks aren’t the first item in our wardrobe we give thought to; however, they are an important part of a man’s clothing.  Like a weak link in a chain, poor quality socks matched with a high quality suit and shoes risks weakening the strength of your entire presentation.  And they can keep your feet nice and comfortable whether you’re walking into a boardroom or hiking up a mountain. Understand your needs, work within your budget, and be prepared for whatever life throws at your feet.

{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

1 JG December 15, 2010 at 10:44 am

Good article. I believe it was the movie Constantine where I saw a quite bold outfit. It was: navy pinstripe 3 piece with a red lining, crisp white shirt (french cuffs), suspenders, a bold navy and red striped tie, a white pocket square, black oxfords, and red socks. Needless to say, those socks were “baller”. They tied the entire outfit together because they matched the suit jacket lining and tie. It looked good on the actor, but I wouldn’t dare wear such a thing. Too bold for my face and body type.

2 James H December 15, 2010 at 11:03 am

This is the first I’ve heard of sockscriptions… it might be the best idea I’ve ever heard

3 John December 15, 2010 at 11:25 am

Good article but it only applies to half (or less) of the male population of the United States. Some of us don’t wear dress shoes or suits every day. Socks are strictly functional for us, worn with work boots only, typically we have to choose white or gray and thin vs. thick or cotton vs. wool for either hot or cold weather.

Sorry, but this one left me feeling like it was a bit “Much Ado about Nothing”

4 Eric December 15, 2010 at 11:26 am

“If you want knee length socks you’ll need to look to menswear stores vs. most department stores and be willing to pay a bit more.”

Another place to look for these would be Western clothing stores. They usually have a variety of fabrics (though limited to mostly paternless solids and dark colors) of knee length socks, because wearing ankle or calf socks with cowboy boots results in chaffing.

5 Brian December 15, 2010 at 11:37 am

Anybody have any tips for a good brand of mid calf to knee length socks that will not slide down your legs? I absolutely hate it when my socks fall down, but I don’t want to go the garter route. Any ideas?

6 Joshcube December 15, 2010 at 11:39 am

Thanks for mentioning size. I have size 12 feet and only just recently discovered that one-size-fits-all socks are really for 6 to 12. I thought it was normal that socks only lasted two to three wearing before developing a hole. Now that I’ve discovered size 10 to 14 socks (which are very difficult to find even on manufacturer websites) my socks last much longer.

7 Dylan December 15, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Smartwool makes a great sock. I started wearing them just for hiking but they gradually worked their way into my every day wardrobe. They’ll cost you a couple extra beans but they’ll last years without showing signs of wear. They make all kinds of socks from hiking, to snow sports, casual, dress, athletic, and work(both office and construction). I take my socks seriously.

8 Andrew December 15, 2010 at 12:12 pm

I work in a Web 2.0 office where jeans are the norm. I remember reading somewhere that because of the near-impossibility of matching socks to jeans, gray socks are the preferred color for wearing with denim… any input there?

9 Joe December 15, 2010 at 12:15 pm

And for goodness sake, clip your toe nails so you don’t poke holes through them!

10 Alan December 15, 2010 at 12:21 pm

I would tend to agree with John, as many men do not need to worry about it as much as it seems in this article. However, I agree that socks should match and no holes just from a comfort point of view.

there is another place that sock are important too, kilts. make sure you have decent sock when you wear your kilt! (@Brett- there’s a manly topic for ya, Kilts!)

11 Robert Cox December 15, 2010 at 12:31 pm

I think one thing that is overlooked in socks is the use of long/knee high or near knee socks in sports. I’m not talking about those normal gym socks that go above your ankle, but long socks that, when worn with clothing such as basketball shorts, can give the appearance of full cover. I myself prefer this, not just because I play basketball in somewhat drafty gyms that are not the warmest, but also because of their functionality. In my gym instance, said gyms are typically dusty, and no matter the amount of brushing, waxing, etc, a thin film of dust can accumulate. I can’t count the number of times I’ve “wiped” my shoes on my socks, and got better traction because of it. It was not uncommon to have my socks have very noticeable “grey” streaks on them post game.

Also, not to mention their protective capabilities for sports like fencing, especially in Epee.

12 Eric M December 15, 2010 at 1:01 pm

I was extremely happy when I saw this article. I’m 25 and recently full time in the work force after grad school. At my job, the dress code is shirt and tie every day. I am also seeing patients every day, so I like to try and make sure I mix it up. Shirts and ties are expensive, and I only have so many at this point. So for me socks are the way go to, I have at least 20 pair, and only 1 or 2 are plain black/grey. The rest have a wide range of colors and patterns on them. I am always making sure they match the shirt or tie. I’m continuously surprised at how often people actually notice and compliment me on them. For me it’s a great way to put my own sense of style out there while still dressing approrpriate.

13 J.D. December 15, 2010 at 1:01 pm

My friend, who owns a shoe and boot repair store, gave me a couple of pair of “JoxSox” about 4 years ago. I wear them for any and every outdoor activity that I do. They make a good sock. The bottom is extra padded, and the top of the foot has more of a mesh-like quality in order for taking moisture away. I’ve never had the problem with them sliding down either. They are still going strong.

14 Eliott December 15, 2010 at 1:14 pm

I was recently said that the socks color and pattern matching the other clothes was absolutely out-of-date and that plain black socks had to be worn no matter what.
This is what I was expecting to read in this article but I confused now. So I guess that… it depends?

15 Okierover December 15, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Now if some company out there will come up with a Garanimals style matching chart so I will know which socks match which trousers. I seem to have the worst time matching the tones.

16 Louis December 15, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Good article. I used to spend quite a bit of time picking over socks and matching them to my outfits. While I still do that when the occasion warrants, I’ve fallen back on buying a dozen pair of gray sport socks. I no longer have to take time matching socks when folding clothes. I also don’t worry about throwing out the one sock with a hole; i just keep a spare until it is needed. Lazy but then some things just don’t need much time and attention.

17 James Sawatsky December 15, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Argyles… I love them. To what should I match? Right now I match the base colour to my pants and the secondary colour(s) to nothing. Should I take advantage of the extra colour and link it to my tie or pocket square or leave it to the awesomeness that is the argyle and let it be?

Socks are great. You can NEVER have too many. Although, my mother-in-law keeps buying white socks for me…

18 johnmc December 15, 2010 at 4:57 pm

I asked the denim question before, but don’t recall the answer given. I tend towards navy (for darker/over dyed denim) or grey (for everything else). You also can’t go too far wrong with an argyle.

19 Carter December 15, 2010 at 4:58 pm

While it may seem that this is basic knowledge that men already know, I have seen many men who need a lot of help in this area. Too many times it seems that if a guy doesn’t know which socks to wear, he goes for the worst option, the white ones!

20 Shyster December 15, 2010 at 5:41 pm

I’ve discovered that light-compression support socks (for varicose veins) make great knee-high dress socks. They usually have the same texture and look as conventional dress socks, come in the basic dress colors (black, brown, navy), and are specifically designed to uniformly grip the leg and not fall down. I have thick calves, and regular dress socks always ended up puddled around my ankles by the end of the day. Support socks stay in place. I even asked my doctor about wearing them, and he assured me that I wouldn’t suffer any harm from wearing them even though I don’t need them.

21 Scott Wolfertz December 15, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Black and white ankle length socks are all any man needs unless they issue you O.D. ones. Reach in and grab 2. What color socks did John Wayne wear in the “Quiet Man”?

That’s my point, nobody cares! Be a man, talk straight, be kind, and wear whatever color socks you want.

22 Vincent December 15, 2010 at 7:01 pm

Perhaps the only thing this (otherwise very good and unexpected) article failed to mention is how the socks you wear can affect the skin of your feet. It is worth noting that wearing 100% cotton socks will greatly allay or prevent any skin-related problems from appearing on your feet, especially if you tend to sweat a lot (=stinky feet).
I think I was told some militaries around the world issue their soldiers with some kind of metal thing they put in their shoes to kill off bacteria. If anybody has heard of that I’d be glad they would mention it, I think some people might want to get their hands on this.

23 John R. December 15, 2010 at 7:33 pm

I feel like it should be noted that no-show socks make sense if you’re going for a certain look. I really like pants with little-to-no break and I think the sock-less look is appropriate then. But hey, that’s just me.

24 Tubby Mike December 15, 2010 at 8:53 pm

@Antonio,

Marks & Spencer (large UK purveyor of grntleman’s undergarments) have started selling socks containing silver, allegedly to combat bacterial growth and therefore stinky feet. Do you know if there is any truth in this, or are they conning us out of another quid per pair? I had heard that silver nitrate is anti-bacterial but if it is will silver actually work impregnated into cotton?

@Robert,

You’re right about knee-length socks for fencing. I got caught once in practice with sport socks and my partner skinned my shin with a sabre. Don’t want that to happen again, I can tell you!

25 Dylan December 15, 2010 at 10:07 pm

I wear black jeans, so I always wear black socks too. It works out pretty well, I think.

26 Haden December 15, 2010 at 10:13 pm

I would say that white tube socks have more application than just the gym. They look fine with Jeans and casual shoes.

27 Gary in AK December 16, 2010 at 1:10 am

And then there are those of us that believe your pants should be the proper length, so as to not show your socks, even in low cut dress shoes. Socks should not show.

Also, I do see a point to matching dark colors and light colors, so if they do show, there is not a sharp contrast to draw the eyes… But at the same time, I wonder who is looking at my feet with more than a passing glance at a distance. And, close enough to see a pattern or trend; Who is looking down there rather than looking me in the eye as they should?

G.

28 Chris December 16, 2010 at 7:53 am

Here’s my method…..black socks every day and white socks only with sneakers. And if you’re wearing a shirt with any type of collar at all, no sneakers.

29 Neal December 16, 2010 at 8:07 am

Good post.
Also liked the other post about going sockless.
I wish i could go sockless however i live in Townsville North Queensland in Australia.
This is about one of the most humid places on the planet, save for some of the equatorial jungles.

We live in paradise here with over 300 days of sunshine per year but in summer it’s also hot as hell and muggy to boot!

Any tips for someone living in a place where winter lasts all but 2 weeks and summer is so hot and humid you feel like you’re living in a sauna?

I guess my options are limited to sandals or the like. i can wear “boat shoe” styles for no more than an hour or 2 in this weather before i start getting sweaty feet, no matter how much powder or how well i’ve washed my feet. it
s the nature of the beast. for example, at the moment it’s 11pm and it’s 28deg Celsius outside and 79percent humidity.

Cheers
Neal.

30 andrew December 16, 2010 at 8:07 am

Love the article. I think the bottom line is to remember that sport socks (white tube socks) are only for sport. The rest of the time it is necessary to wear darker coloured socks. I think that even a cheap suit looks presentable with the right socks, and even the best looks terrible with white socks peeking out, seen it many times.

31 Shoeless Joe December 16, 2010 at 9:35 am

Black socks
They never get dirty
The longer you wear them the blacker they get…

Seriously, though, Wal-Mart & Target both sell Dr. Scholls’ knee length dress socks for a good price. They’re often marketed to those who have poor circulation, but they function well for everyone looking for a long dress sock that will stay up all day.

32 Udo December 16, 2010 at 9:41 am
33 John December 16, 2010 at 10:03 am

Smartwool for sure. They last very long and are comfortable.

34 J. Matt December 16, 2010 at 3:03 pm

I’ve almost completely abandoned plain socks in favor of brightly-colored and patterned ones. They match my tie when I can, but I also love going for contrast, like bright pink socks with jeans, a white shirt and a navy blazer. I got a lot of them from a company called Happy Socks (happysocks.com), not too expensive, fit great (I wear a size 13) and don’t fall down. It’s a subtle and inexpensive way to make a bold fashion statement.

35 Doc December 16, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Sockscriptions is a hilarious idea. I usually Walmart my socks, wait until they’re raggedy, thin, and worn, and then replace them. My socks are lasting longer than my shoes, but they probably shouldn’t be.

36 Bill December 17, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Other than hunting socks, I have two types of socks for daily use: black for work and white for play. If golfing in shorts, I’ll wear white ankle length socks.

When I buy my black socks, I get 24 pairs of all the exact same style and donate my used ones to Goodwill. My socks always match (good for a color-impaired guy).

I do have red socks that I’ll wear to work just to shake things up a bit (mostly to amuse one of my direct-reports). For the reason for this, see the Dudley Moore movie Bedazzled (1967).

37 Mr Sock December 17, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Wool socks aren’t extremely expensive. I got a pair for $2.00 at Reny’s

38 Daniel December 17, 2010 at 10:42 pm

I recently got a bunch of black Nike Dri-FIT Crew Socks and am quite happy with them so far. It seems you can use them for anything from working out to dressing formally, they’re quite comfortable, they hug the foot and leg (no sliding around), and at $20 for six pairs they’re quite affordable.

http://store.nike.com/us/en_us/?cp=usns_0328071544#l=shop,pdp,ctr-inline/cid-1/pid-284147/pgid-284148

39 SLB December 18, 2010 at 3:44 pm

A bit archaic, I know, but it still holds sway nonetheless as the flash of white hairy skin when wearing a dark suit can be distracting.

Should this article have been called “A White Man’s Guide to Socks”?

40 OhioHead December 20, 2010 at 7:34 am

I recommend Gold Toe brand “over the calf” socks – they go to your knees, they stay put very well – the make a nice cotton blend, and a wool blend. They discontinued the khaki “OTC” that I loved! Look for their outlet store – pretty durable and reasonably priced.

When I wear blue jeans (any shade of blue) – I wear blue socks (say on a date, etc)
When I wear khaki’s – I wear as close as possible shade of khaki sock
When I wear gray – I wear gray socks (as close as possible)

Weekends when I am running errands it is mostly likely some sort of smart wool style sock + running shoes or the above with boots.

I have noticed that some “knee” length socks can run a bit long (yeah), in my opinion there is nothing worse then exposing leg skin when you cross your legs!

I also sometimes “double” sock it, by this I mean I wear a thin athletic sock, + my shirt stays/garters (I wear the kind that go over your foot) + my dress sock, the thin sock helps absorb excess moisture.

Just my $0.02 worth,

41 David December 20, 2010 at 12:45 pm

I have always liked Thorlo socks. I have worn their over-the-calf dress socks for many years and I find them to be long lasting and very comfortable. http://www.thorlo.com is a good web site, you can search by a number of catagories. Take a look, you won’t be disappointed.

42 Mike December 20, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Argyle socks are a great addition to your outfit, if you do it right. Matching your tie is a bonus, though as long as they do not clash, you are okay. You should stay away from brighter colors though, as your socks should not be the focus of your outfit, but rather a subtle accent.

43 Lori Rosen December 21, 2010 at 12:04 pm

I’m biased-so love all articles related to socks. If anyone wants to try a pair, I’ll give a voucher to the first 10 people who me for a complimentar pari: lori@blacksocks.com

44 Ken December 22, 2010 at 8:11 pm
45 Dillon December 23, 2010 at 12:40 am

Here’s another vote for bold socks. Being in the Air Force, and with uniformity being key, I do what I can to throw some personality into (err, under) a uniform. Luckily I wear a flight suit 90% of the time, so a pair of bright red argyle socks under my boots and flight suit fits right in.

46 Darin December 27, 2010 at 3:48 pm

I work as a pipefitter, here’s my working man guide to socks. Black Wigwam Ultramax. Non-cotton so they wick moisture away, meaning drier feet and fewer blisters. I can take them off at break and they’ll be dry as a bone in ten minutes or less. Black because work boots stain white socks. They last a long time so the extra cost is worth it. When breaking in new boots or for an extra layer for warmth I wear a sock liners with them.

47 Darren December 30, 2010 at 8:49 am

These are my favorite dress socks:

http://www.icebreaker.com/site/icebreaker_man_sockscity_city_ultralite_crew.html

They’re merino like smartwool, but they hold up a little better (at least for me).

One of my sock heros is Seeley Booth from the TV series “Bones,” :-)

http://www.facebook.com/photos.php?id=149374447760

48 Darren January 4, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Amen, Darren. Icebreaker socks rule. In particular, they last longer than SW (soxual staina!).

Cheers,

Darren

49 Darren January 4, 2011 at 12:38 pm

…soxual stamina, that is!

50 Nick P. January 4, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Nice article! I am a fan for all-cotton socks myself, and during these winter days, I definitely prefer the over-the-calf versions. Keep an eye out for high quality cottons, not the nylon-cotton blends!

51 Simon.P January 5, 2011 at 3:44 am

Since starting at the menswear store I work at, I have been converted to 100% Bamboo socks we sell! They breath amazingly, essential in Queensland, and they feel nice and silky on the foot. They breath so well that I have worn them for a whole week and they have no smell at all! You really only need 4 pairs if you have a good washing routine, and they would also be great for traveling. Also environmentally friendly for you greenie types. They only drawback I’ve found is that they take longer to dry than your average sock. They are also hard to find from what I’ve heard, but if you can find them, roll with them. They Rock my Socks!

52 Ryan Waldron January 11, 2011 at 5:03 pm

I second Thorolos. They are the only socks I wear anymore.

53 Lisa January 11, 2011 at 11:55 pm

I also vote for Icebreaker socks……merino wool so they don’t stink!
Nothing worse than a man with stinky feet!

54 Ade October 26, 2012 at 8:29 am

Women notice your socks and will judge you by them.
Furthermore, in the City (London) people look at your watch, shoes and socks…and judge you by them. So ignore the quality, style and colour of your socks to your own possible detriment.

55 phil December 2, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Living in tropical Australia, a traditional, rather conservative look that I like is knee high socks with tailored shorts. This look is smart and comfortable, and fine for work and and recreation

56 Andy January 28, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Terrible advice about color. If you are a grandad wearing hushpuppies your socks should match pants. Otherwise socks should always coordinate with shoes.

57 Mike February 13, 2013 at 8:12 am

Does anyone have thoughts on dress socks and whether or not wearing them contributes to leg hair loss? I understand this can be caused by a variety of things including poor circulation, diet etc, however, the more research I do it seems socks rubbing constantly definitely contributes to leg hair loss. What I would like to know is if a certain material sock could help with this or perhaps using sock garters??

58 Lorenzo Uomo May 31, 2013 at 10:14 am

Great advice that we’d like to share on our site.

59 Carlos September 2, 2013 at 1:53 am

Good article! Could you list a couple of websites from where I can get wool socks?

60 Julio September 2, 2013 at 4:56 pm

At the age of 33, I’ve come to realize that I know nothing about socks. My job as a guard requires me to walk for 2 hours at a time over an 8 hour shift, only stopping for my 3 breaks. Can anyone recommend good socks?

61 Steph October 30, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Great Read! My boyfriend is very particular and obsessed with comfortable socks, so quality is important.There’s a pretty good selection of cashmere socks at http://www.ilux.com/

62 dave December 11, 2013 at 2:35 pm

I am a big fan of over the calf socks I hate that feeling of loose socks around my ankles an hour or so into the day and having to stop and pull them up all the time. The big problem I have with over the calf socks is that they come in basic dull colors maybe some conservative little line or small contrast marks. No personality. I have a hard time finding bold colors and patterns. Most companies that make these bold colorful patterns only make them in ankle or mid-calf length. I am willing to pay the 25% extra so as not to have droopy socks.

63 Thomas April 7, 2014 at 1:29 am

I wear a variety of socks at work and at home. After having bought a number of socks designed for different things, I stopped caring about the price of specialty socks and buy my socks based on my needs and not on a 12 pack costing 6 dollars at walmart. I do wait until the socks are on sale online and then buy them.
I use light weight hiking socks for the summer, midweight for fall, spring, and winter, and heavy weight for winter; doesnt matter if I’m hiking or working, they work. I still buy Hanes to lounge in around the house. As for dress socks I use a good lightweight wool sock.
Stay away from all cotton socks. They suck, as they don’t wick moisture away from your feet and encourage bacteria and fungus to grow.

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