When an occasion calls for formalwear, socks are likely your last thought when putting your outfit together. However, they can be a way to make a statement. If your pants fit correctly, there’s going to be some ankle exposure when you sit down, so if you wear socks that are garishly clashing, people will probably notice. Some conventional wisdom states that dress socks need to match your shirt, but that restrictive rule will have you missing out on some great outfits and dampen your creativity. Let’s explore why this old-school rule is out and what dress sock options are in.
Break Out of Your Box
There’s one obvious problem with always matching your socks to your dress shirt: It’s highly limiting for no good reason. There’s nothing wrong with matching black socks to a black shirt, etc., but socks can be an excellent opportunity to add a pop of color to your outfit. You should, of course, consider the nature of the event you’re attending. A funeral or major business meeting is likely not the place to draw attention to yourself with a bright patterned sock, but celebrations are a great opportunity to stand out with a unique pattern or color.
Avoid Direct Clashes
Although you don’t need to match your dress socks directly to your shirt, you want to avoid pairings that actively clash. For example, brown socks with a black shirt or mustard yellow socks with an olive green shirt could be off-putting simply because the colors look odd together. There’s also the matter of patterns. If your shirt is a plaid pattern, wearing socks with a different plaid pattern would be awkward. A good rule of thumb is to stick to one pattern per outfit, whether socks or shirt.
Choose the Right Length
Many people forget that dress socks need to be a certain length. Ankle socks will not cut it, as they will not offer enough coverage to hide your calves when you sit down or cross your legs. Crew socks are an acceptable option, but mid-calf or knee-high socks are the traditional pairings for formalwear. If you’re attending a more extended event, you might even consider compression socks to keep your circulation flowing throughout.
Go With Your Gut
When it comes to dress outfits, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to make a statement with your socks. If they fit well, stay up throughout the event, and don’t actively clash with your shirt, your dress sock color is unlikely to make or break your outfit. Whether you’re into neutral colors or bright patterns, Feetures has a dress sock that will perform well and look great for all your formal occasions.
Take our quick quiz to find your Feetures, and see for yourself how versatile dress socks can be.