Above everything socks represent a clothing accessory that can either pull your outfit together or ruin it. Too many men are spoiling great outfits by wearing the wrong type of socks. By following a few key rules you can make the right choice in order to make sure that your look is well put-together.

For example, some types of socks are only for specific occasions, while certain colours should only be worn with specific outfits. Of course, socks are also key to our everyday comfort, protecting our feet from abrasion, wicking away our perspiration and keeping our beaters snug in our shoes. Today we will have a look at the types of socks every man should wear based on their own style, outfit and occasion.

Dress socksBrief history of socks

You may wonder what socks looked like thousands of years ago. It appears that people were attempting to wear foot coverings (nothing like what we wear today) as early as the Stone Age. About the year 5000 BC, cavemen were wearing “socks” to protect the feet and to keep them warm.

Even though there are no specimens left from that era, from the cave painting discovered, archeologists speculated that most sock-like clothing were made of animal skins and plants. Socks were first mentioned a few thousands years later by the Greeks, in the 8th Century BC, representing a type of foot covering made from matted animal hair, worn under sandals.

Why is it important to wear socks?

Socks are key for the overall health of your feet, they absorb moisture and help prevent rubbing of shoes on the bare foot. Going sock-less can result in conditions such as athlete’s foot, blisters and sores. Odour can also develop if you do not wear socks, since your feet have a lot of sweat glands.

Casual socksSocks’ lengths and fabrics

  • No-show socks: designed to be hidden from view at all times. They are the perfect type of socks for warmer weather and can be worn with cuffed pants, shorts and any low rise shoes. The most common mistake is to wear no-show socks with formal outfits.
  • Ankle socks: excellent choice for when it heats up, not distracting too much attention from your shoes. Ankle socks are perfect for running, hiking and other sports.
  • Crew socks: most commonly worn men’s sock style. They can be plain, paired with smart trousers or colourful and eye-catching if you want to show a bit of personality.
  • Athletic socks: tend to be made of a thicker material than your average sock, proving that touch of extra cushioning for harder impacts. They are perfect for sport activities such as long runs, cycling, hiking or gym sessions.

By taking into account qualities such as breathability, cushion, durability, and warmth, it’s better to wear socks made out of cotton, wool, silk, cashmere or bamboo rayon.

White socksCommons rules concerning socks. Dos and Don’ts of men’s socks

  1. Your socks should match your trousers, not your shoes. When wearing dress pants or casual pants, the colour of your socks should be dictated by the colour of your pants and NOT by the shade of your shoes. You cannot go wrong following this advice, because it makes your outfit appear more fluid and sophisticated.
  2. For formal outfits wear knee length socks. This rule is based on the belief that a gentleman should not expose his bare leg unintentionally – a flash of a hairy leg can be distracting when wearing a dark suit.
  3. White socks are NOT for dress or casual outfits. If you are going to the gym, white socks are fine. Apart from physical activities, white socks are a big NO.
  4. Wear your socks pulled straight up. Unless you want to look like you are stuck in the ‘80s, rolling or folding your socks down around your ankle looks odd and sloppy because it makes your ankle appear bulky.

Woollen socksConclusion

Socks might not be the first item in our wardrobe we pay attention to, however they are an important part of a man’s clothing. Poor quality socks worn with a high quality suit and shoes risk weakening the strength of your entire outfit.


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