Socks: An Open Letter to Men

White Socks, Black Pants, Leather Shoes. Image source:

Socks are one of the small style details that can trip up even the most stylish of men (and, to be fair, women). Don’t let this happen to you. Here are some guidelines from Sivani for clearing up the ever-present debacles surrounding socks.

Please don’t wear socks with sandals. Or any shoe with any amount of open toe. Unless, of course, you want to look like you’re completely clueless about fashion. Seriously, there is nothing ironic or funny or endearing about this. It is a fashion crime of the highest order.

When is it okay not to wear socks? As we’ve said, it’s all right (and encouraged, and actually mandatory) not to wear socks with sandals. It’s also all right after Memorial Day if you’re wearing loafers, boat shoes or the like.

Heaven help you if you wear gym socks to work. Yes, even if they’re black gym socks. The streamlined look of a suit can be completely broken up by chunky socks peeking out from below the hem of your trousers. Unless you’re in an incredibly informal or creative work environment, stick to dark, thin dress socks.

Unless you opt for a pattern, socks should match your pants, not your shoes. First part of this rule is self-explanatory, and helps your outfit to flow visually. However, a big trend in men’s accessories for fall 2012 is to opt for socks with patterns.

Feel free to choose a sock in subdued colors with bright patterns, or try an argyle sock. In general, make sure your socks are long enough so that if you need to cross your leg over your knee your skin doesn’t show. Also (and we hope this goes without saying) please make sure that your socks match each other.

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