Style & Beauty
A Guys Guide to Socks
7/14/2015 11:34:12 AM


Hey guys, how do you think about your socks? If the answer is "never” then you could be unintentionally committing some major sock faux pas. Maybe your’re wondering why anyone would care what you’re wearing on your feet; after all, the most folks normally see of your socks is about two inches between your pant cuff and the tip of your shoe.

Well, turns out that two inches is more noticeable than you think if you’re wearing the wrong socks. Don’t believe us? Then try wearing white athletic socks with a tux the next time you’re invited to a wedding. Trust us, people will stare.

Like it or not, socks are a little piece of an outfit that can mean the difference between looking completely pulled together or pretty hopeless. Luckily, sock rules are easy to master. Here are some guidelines:

Wear Appropriate Socks for the Occasion

According to men’s lifestyle guide The Art of Manliness, black tie events call for a dark, thin, knee-high sock with "a sheen appearance.” You can probably pick them up the same place you get your suit or tux. With a blazer and slacks, "heavy wool argyle socks work perfectly.” And if you’re just in jeans and loafers, dark cotton socks should be just fine. The only time you should be busting out those white tube socks is at the gym.

Match Socks to Pants

It seems intuitive that socks would match shoes; they’re a set, right? Not so, says The Art of Manliness. It’s better to match socks to pants, for example, brown socks with khaki pants, because "it serves to create a streamlined look with no unnecessary color contrast until the eyes meet the shoes.”

Pay Attention to Length

No one wants a flash of bare, hairy calf when you sit down. It’s best to keep those gams covered until you break out the shorts, says personalized shopping site Black Lapel. That gives you two choices: over-the-calf, which means you’ll never be seen stooping to adjust your socks again, or mid-calf, which Black Lapel describes as "a great choice for men who want to rock wool socks year round because they keep you cooler than their over the calf brethren.” When should you be wearing ankle socks? Only with shorts.

Don’t Wear Socks When They’re Not Necessary

Wearing sandals is a personal choice that every man must make for himself, but should you buy that pair of Tevas, you have to commit. That means showing foot and leg. No socks! And if you’re wearing shorts, keep it bare clean down to the ankle. That four inches of sock sticking out of a shoe actually breaks up the visual line of the leg and makes you look shorter.

Following a few simple rules can make socks a no brainer. Investing in about ten pairs of well-made cotton and wool socks for various occasions will ensure that you never find yourself in the awkward position of only looking snazzy from the ankle up.

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