Socks are an overlooked and often misunderstood item of menswear. Neatly concealed by trouser legs, it can be very tempting to think that any old pair will do no matter what the occasion. However, the right pair of socks can really complement an outfit as well as provide much needed comfort and protection to your feet. Buying an appropriate selection of socks can be essential to completing your look and style, and you’ll wonder how you lasted for so long with your tried and trusty multipacks of plain, black socks.
Design, Design, Design
Novelty socks can be fun and they might get a remark or two from friends and co-workers, but they don’t really exude gentleman’s fashion. When choosing the colour or design of a pair of socks, a simple tip is to go one shade darker than your pair of trousers. This gives your socks and trousers a natural, seamless look. Many men make the mistake of matching their socks to their shoes, but this can be distracting and make it look like you’re wearing a pair of child’s bootees. If you want to experiment or go for a more visually arresting style, complement the style of your trousers with socks that have a solid colour design or a basic pattern. Learn what colours go well together without clashing and match your socks appropriately so they don’t come off as garish.
Wear the Right Material
Cotton is by far the most common material used to manufacture socks, and chances are most of the pairs you already own will be made from some sort of cotton blend. While cotton socks are cheap and easy to take care of, making the change to wool can make a big difference to your style and how comfortable your footwear feels. If you’re always on your feet, you’ll know that cotton socks absorb moisture and sweat during the day. Wool is a moisture wicking material, which means that it repels water and can absorb more before it feels wet. Wool is also an excellent insulator so it will keep your feet feeling nice and toasty during the winter. Don’t despair during the summer months though, as the sweat wicking properties of wool means that they won’t feel wet even if you’ve been walking all day. While wool socks may be a little more expensive, they will have a much better cut and shape than a cheap pair of cotton socks and will last much longer. Cotton socks may have a wider range of designs, but wool socks have plenty of contemporary and classic styles that make them perfect for any casual or smart look.
One Size Does not Fit All
There’s more to choosing the right size of sock than just going by the size of your feet. There is a diverse range of different sock styles and sizes. The ‘no show’ or ‘invisible’ sock is pretty self-explanatory; they hide inside the shoe so no material is on display. Although most men wear liner or anklet socks with shorts during the summer months, no show socks will look much better as they won’t distract from the rest of the outfit. Standard mid-calf socks are fine for casual or office wear, but proper dress socks should be worn with formal attire. Long dress socks should be worn with a suit or in professional situations as they not only ensure that no skin is on display when the trouser leg rides up, but they are also less likely to bunch up or fall down.
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David Jameson is a part time blogger and writer for Sealskinz.com, a leading stockist of UK sports garments. David enjoys urban street style, and graffiti art when he is not indulging in his two other passions; twitter and facebook.