A Guide To Men’s Socks

There used to be an old saying ‘you can tell a gentleman by his shoes’ and many believe that this still rings true, even in 2016. If this is the case, that means people will be looking at your feet and the shoes aren’t the only thing they will see, your socks will also be judged immediately. Many people believe that socks have a function of protecting the feet and that’s where it finishes but this isn’t true.

colourful socks


There are some simple tips for colouring your socks that shouldn’t be forgotten if you want to look smart and sophisticated. Firstly, the sock should always be the finishing point of the trouser and not the starting point of the shoe. You don’t want people staring at your ankle so a good rule of thumb is to keep the sock the same colour as the trouser, if not darker.

colour vs single colour socks

If you want to add a little colour to your sock, have a secondary colour that matches up with your tie, shirt, or pocket square. In truth, the sock shouldn’t actually be seen if you are aiming for a smart or even a casual look as the trouser should always cover them. Of course, if you are wearing shorts or are exercising, this doesn’t apply. In every other situation, you should never have to pull up your socks to hide the skin that is being shown by short trousers.

Casual Clothing

If you are wearing a casual outfit of jeans or chinos, the rule of matching the colour of these to your sock applies but you can add a little colour or even a fancy pattern. Crew socks that run up mid-calf are the most popular option here as they are perfectly weighted for a casual outfit. As long as you remember the key rule of ensuring your trousers are long enough, you won’t be showing off any skin when you sit down or bend over.

casual socks

Patterns and textures should be welcome with casual attire and the more pattern – whether it is dots, stripes, checks, or anything else – the better.

casual socks

Athletic Clothing

These are generally the same weight as casual socks but they have the added benefit of a padded sole for comfort; these would generally be all white or at least white with a small coloured pattern. The benefit of these socks is that they allow the foot to breathe and stops moisture from building up within; the natural fibre and cotton allows them this luxury.

athletic clothing

A common myth is that talc in the sock will prevent moisture but the opposite is actually true; if you want to use talc, make sure it goes in the shoe and not the sock. Most designs will be mid-calf but obviously some sports require different designs as you will see with the running sock that stops at the ankle. Furthermore, with most field sports, the sock will run well above the calf.

Dress Clothing

If you are attending a real dressy event, you may be tempted to add colour to your sock but this is a big no-no; keep them dark and simple. These types of sock will be a lot thinner, will provide a tight fit and will be extremely durable. Added nylon often provides this comfort along with the main material of cotton, wool, or even silk.

dress clothing

The design of dress socks can vary greatly and can range from mid-calf to well above the calf and near the knee. The most simple sock you can get will be plain with no texture with ribbed and cable options also available.

So there we have it, the guide to men’s socks. As mentioned, a gentleman really can be spotted by his shoes and if you have the perfect socks too, you will be set to impress.

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