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Sock Matching Demistyfied

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

photo: bizrate.com

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


Sometimes, you can go crazy, when wearing a suit


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.


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


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.

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:


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.

George Lavas

George is dedicated to fashion and style for men. Based in the UK, George enjoys writing about lifestyle and fashion from both sides of the pond. George created BeStylish.org to help readers create a strong sense of style with minimum effort believing that everyone can look and feel good, all day, every day.

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