You choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color – Gary Oldman
Socks are an important aspect of a man’s clothing, they are most times a forgotten piece of clothing, yet its importance cannot be overemphasized.
A nice pair of socks will create a positive impact on your look while a bad pair will not only create a negative impact but can spoil your whole look even when you are wearing an awesome outfit.
But on one occasion that happened a few months back whereby I styled a groom and his groomsmen, I only supplied the socks for the groom and his best man, while I assumed the rest of the groomsmen were going to wear a nice pair of socks to match the dapper well-cut fitted suits I had already made for them for the wedding occasion.
Guess what? I arrived at the wedding that Saturday morning to find about three of the groomsmen wearing a pair of socks that could make a judge or minister raise up his own hands when he asks
“Does anyone have any reason why these two should not be joined in holy matrimony?”
The socks they wore were worn out, dirty and inappropriate. One of them wore plain grey socks with a hole and visible stain on it. While the other wore white socks – I was devastated, to say the least, and from that day onward, I made it mandatory to include at least a pair of socks as a MUST-BUY accessory in my Wedding Styling List.
So I decided to write this article to guide you when choosing the type and color of socks to wear with specific outfits as well as other relevant sock rules.
SOCKS RULES TO FOLLOW
#1. YOUR SOCKS SHOULD EITHER MATCH YOUR TROUSERS OR COORDINATE WITH THE REST OF YOUR OUTFIT.
The basic style rule for wearing men’s socks is “The color of your sock should match the color of your trousers”, I’m quite sure this rule was established over 100 years ago. Times have changed though as we now have bright colorful socks present in this modern age. Therefore we could modify the above style rule a bit. Here it is “The color of your socks should match the color of your trousers or coordinate with the rest of the outfit appropriately most especially other accessories incorporated into your looks such as the Tie, Lapel Flower Pin, and Pocket Square.”
#2. AVOID WEARING BRIGHT COLORFUL SOCKS IN SERIOUS BUSINESS FUNCTIONS OR IN SOMBER OCCASIONS
Bright colorful socks can be worn to make a bold fashion statement. They are stylish and can be used to spice up or liven a simple outfit. However, for bright colorful “flashy” socks [which obviously wouldn’t match the color of your trousers], simply avoid wearing them in extremely serious situations like important business functions, interviews, pitching to potential investors [unless it’s for a fashion business] and in funerals. If you must break this rule, make it a bold solid color like a plain red and avoid the bright patterned and polka dot types.
#3. NEVER WEAR SOCKS WITH SANDALS
Sandals are meant for cool comfort and ventilation and so are designed to be worn with bare feet, why then would you want to add socks to defeat the whole purpose. Never wear socks with sandals.
#4. NEVER WEAR ATHLETIC SOCKS [EITHER WHITE OR BLACK] WITH DRESS SHOES
Wear dress shoes with dress socks and gym shoes with athletic socks. Athletic socks are meant to be worn only for sports occasions or to the gym and should never be worn with a dress shoe. Some guys think they can get away with this by wearing black athletic socks, but it’s still wrong and will get noticed. They are bulkier and thicker than typical dress socks and don’t match dress shoes in any way. But when dressed in casual like jeans, you have the options of wearing gym socks, colorful socks or you could go sockless.
In addition, avoid all forms of white socks by all means when dressing officially. There are more appropriate men’s dress socks that come in different varieties such as plain, colorful, bright, polka dot etc.
#5. ALWAYS WEAR A CLEAN SOCKS WITH NO HOLES OR STAINS
This is a very simple rule that you must observe. If your socks are torn or have even the tiniest hole in it, please don’t “manage it”, don’t hide it, don’t repair or stitch it, just get a new one. If it has stains please wash before wearing. Always watch your socks regularly and never wear a pair of socks more than once before washing.
#6. NEVER WEAR A MISMATCHED SOCKS
I know this is obvious for a lot of you, but sadly few of you still don’t abide by this rule 100%. I’m not talking about wearing grey socks on one foot and black socks on another, NO! I mean…no sane person would do that. I am talking about wearing a navy blue on one foot and a black on another foot and thinking… “well, I can’t find the second pair and I’m sure no one would notice”. That’s it…that’s what I’m talking about. Are you guilty of this? Then I’m sorry to disappoint you, People do Notice and when they do, it creates a negative impression about you in their head, which can be very embarrassing. So avoid this at all cost.
#7. NEVER EXPOSE YOUR BARE LEGS WHEN WEARING SOCKS
Your socks should always come up to your calves anytime you are wearing trousers. You must not show any part of your bare legs, whether you are standing, sitting, walking or when you have your legs crossed. Never wear above-knee length socks as well, it’s as bad as exposing your bare legs.
When you’ve put time and attention into every other element of your look, slipping on a pair of dirty or worn-out socks is a big Fashion SIN that’s sure to get noticed. You might think no one will notice, but believe me, a lot of people would. Most people look at your outfit in this order – First, your Shoes (+Socks), then your Tie (if you are wearing one), before they look at other details in your outfit. So why not draw their attention to a worthy pair of socks?
What type of socks do you love to wear? Simple or Colorful Socks? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!
Further reading: Most Unforgivable Fashion SINS – The 15 Commandments of Style
For other style tips to help you maintain an attractive image as a classy gentleman, feel free to download our FREE style guide – KOBI KOACHMAN ULTIMATE GUIDE TO MEN STYLE | A HANDBOOK FOR THE MODERN GENTLEMAN.
If you will like to contact me or you are interested in working together, please send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you ASAP! You can find us on Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Facebook. Feel free to join/follow us on any of the channels you frequently use as we continuously inspire you on how to dress well and live well.
Until next time gentlemen – Sayonara!
Yours in Style,
Kobi O. Mbagwu (Mr. Kobi)
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Photo Credit: thesartorialist.com, soxy.com, the-suit-men.tumblr.com
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