Sock Matching Demistyfied


socks for men

The socks are the most overlooked part of our wardrobe. We just think “I’ll throw some socks on so it keeps me warm” or we are ashamed that once we take them off in somebody’s home the smell will evacuate the room.

But why not think of using the socks to our advantage, in respect to our choice of apparel? As trivial as it may seem, a badly chosen sock combination may ruin your image.

So , let’s get started with :

How to match your socks

As a rule of thumb, you match your socks with your shoes, to create a continuum from head to toe.  The elements which need to be in sync are the pants, the shoes and the socks.

If you are bugged on which color your socks must be, bear in mind that black, brown, gray and white go with most colors.

For example,  beige pants with brown shoes go with a pair of regular brown, light brown or dark beige socks, or even a pair of patterned socks that blend any combination of these colors. The thing is avoiding any stark contrast between the pants and shoes.

Speaking of patterned socks

diamond patterned socks

photo: bizrate.com

I spoke about right socks that go with a suit in the 7 mistakes article.

men dress socks

photo:1.bp.blogspot.com

Sometimes, you can go crazy, when wearing a suit

red and black stripped dress socks

photo:www.esquire.com

Just remember that business suits ask for a complementary color. You just can’t wear light colored socks with dark suits. Sock color luminosity should always be darker than the pants you are wearing.

Here’s a great example of wearing a sock color that is in-between that of the shoes and the pants. It creates a continuity that looks very good to the eye. Remember: shoes are darker than the pants.

brown socks

photo:blstb.msn.com

Here’s another great example of wearing socks in a bold color, then matching them with the suit.

burgundy dress socks

photo:media.onsugar.com

You can see how the guy above matches the socks with his red striped shirt, by wearing a somehow unusual color : burgundy. He takes no chances and leaves the shoes brown.

OK, now for more advice, for when you are wearing a suit. You should match the sock’s pattern with the shirt, tie or even the pinstripes in your suit.

Let’s say for example that you are wearing a black suit with a red tie and black shoes. You can wear black socks with a subtle red argyle pattern or polka dots.

You are safe as long as the background color of the socks is in tone with your shoes. In official settings, when a suit is mandatory, nylon, cotton or wool socks are the key. The length must be at half-calf so that it won’t be necessary for you to pull them up from time to time.

When you want to be more casual, you can choose the no-show socks. They are fitted right under the ankle, and are barely visible within the shoe.

Match them with sneakers or boat shoes and a stylish pair of shorts.

no-show socks

photo: shopping.yahoo.com

The main idea is that the rules from the formal attire apply here also; match the colors of your socks’ pattern to another part of your outfit. Let’s analyze for example the classic combo classic blue jeans, black shoes, white T-shirt.

The best pick would be with solid black socks or a black pair that features a subtle blue pattern. Either way, the socks go with the shoes not being in a stark contrast with them.

A final word for casual wear. Make sure you’re not wearing white half calf socks with dark shoes and shorts. This apparel is reserved for hispanic thugs, chollos and members of rap group Cypress Hill.

Do NOT do this. You can see Sen Dog in the pic below dressed like this:

white half calf socks

photo:www.holamun2.com

So, my final word would be : don’t screw it up. Socks aren’t such a hard part to master, but carelessness could ruin your outfit. Take care, take note and sort out those socks in your wardrobe.

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6 Comments

  1. June 9, 2011

    I absolutely agreed by the sock article specially by the line (we are ashamed that once we take them off in somebody’s home the smell will evacuate the room) lols but its true…

  2. June 9, 2011

    The combination of red & black socks on black suit are undefined & wonderfull

  3. June 9, 2011

    These type of short Black Mens summer sock are relax and easy to wear…

  4. June 11, 2011

    O Mafia :

    The combination of red & black socks on black suit are undefined & wonderfull

    It looks very good indeed. Have you worn it before?

  5. Christina
    January 24, 2014

    I have a light blue shirt that I’m wearing with dark blue jeans and wine-colored shoes. Are navy socks ok with that outfit? Black socks didn’t look good. Its hard to find wine-colored socks. Thanks

  6. Anto
    October 3, 2015

    I almost always match socks with the shirt, so they pretty much always end up lighter than pants, but I don’t think it’s wrong, unless the pants are very dark :).

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