‘One can never have enough socks’ – Albus Dumbledore

Rarely seen – and often overlooked – our choice of socks can either make or break an outfit. Most men, myself included, have two types of socks: black and white. From a functional standpoint that’s all we need. But today we’re going for fashion over function.

The most simple and most unbreakable rule of socks is only wear white socks with athletic shoes. The ultra-orthodox will even tell us not to wear our white socks with our jeans but I think that depends on what we’re doing in our jeans.


Once we’ve decided to step up our style and wear a sock that’s not black or white, the general rule is to match our socks to our pants. Grey socks go with grey pants; brown socks go with brown pants. We can’t go wrong if we stick to this.


Think of socks as an accessory to our outfit. When matching socks to pants starts to get dull, and we’re ready to try incorporating more style, start coordinating socks with other articles of clothing like a necktie or a shirt.


It may be useful to think of socks in three categories. Neutral solids like brown and black are good for coordinating our socks with our pants. Brighter solids are the next step up and need to be coordinated properly to be worn with style. The same is also true of patterned socks. The thing for men to remember with patterned socks is to never wear novelty socks.

One last piece of advice: you can show skin, or you can show socks, don’t show both.

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