Beginner’s Guide to Men’s Socks


Such a simple detail, hidden under slacks or jeans, you might think that socks have nothing to do with a stylish look. While it is unlikely that great they will be the key to a winning outfit, the wrong socks for men can go a very long way at wrecking an otherwise smashing ensemble. An outfit is only as nice as its weakest accessory, they say, and a nice pair of socks can add another subtle touch to refine and distinguish your look. The following tips will help you pick the best men’s socks and avoid the wrong ones for any look.


While white are fine for the gym, they never work for dressy occasions with dark pants and shoes. For these situations, choose dark socks that match your pants. For the office, brown or beige work under khakis. The men’s socks should blend harmoniously into the visual line created by the pants leg. If you are wearing a gray suit and black shoes, go with dark gray instead of black. Brightly colored are best reserved for sports attire or casual situations.


When selecting socks for a formal occasion, make sure you pick a pair that stay up. Socks that bunch around your ankles and require you to fiddle with and tug at them definitely ruin a look of refinement and grace. Cotton and nylon or lycra blend socks have a good amount of stretch and memory and will stay put around your calves.  Wearing over-the-calf socks with formal dress will ensure that they do not slump and bunch.


Subtle ribbing or stitching detail can add exactly the touch of class and elegance you want. While the detailing of the men’s socks should not compete with the texture of the suit, pants, or shoes, a light touch can do wonders. Silk socks with a slight luster complement tuxedos and other fine formal wear. With a heavier wool winter suit, thicker wool socks are appropriate. In general, the thinner the sock, the more formal it is. For instance, thick cabled or ribbed should be worn with more relaxed outfits.


Argyle and other patterns are generally not considered to be elegant or modern, but on the right guy and with the right outfit, they can be unique, sexy, and attention getting. A slight glimpse of something out-of-the-ordinary under a pants cuff can be alluring. Patterns can go very well with tweed or houndstooth coats. Stripes or dots can offset similar elements in the shirt or tie. Beyond this, reserve patterned socks for plain suits. Likewise, avoid pairing patterned socks with a patterned suit. This will create a busy, complicated, unflattering look. Create contrast between the suit and accessories.

Though socks are a small part of your wardrobe, they are a critical detail to creating an elegant look. Invest in several pairs of nice dress socks to keep yourself looking stylish and suave.