Underwear, namely boxers and socks, has always been my favourite item of clothing. Partially because they are items you change every day (we hope) and because most people will never see them, the amount of effort you put into considering their style is completely for one’s own benefit. Despite the huge range of colourful, striped, patterned, silky, smooth and soft socks, men still opt for a plain black pack of 5 from their local department store. Thus I decided that it was time to pay a tribute to the humble sock.
3 things to look for in a winter sock
Socks come in a variety of materials, the most common are cotton and wool, whilst the most luxurious material is cashmere, which requires you to dig a little deeper into the pockets. When looking at materials for socks, it is best to go for natural fibres. Your feet sweat during the day, in fact they sweat a lot! Synthetic fibres do not absorb or wick away sweat as effectively as man-made fibres, thus your feet get wetter when wearing them, increasing your discomfort and the chance of blisters.
Both cotton and merino wools come in a variety of thicknesses and patterns allowing you to find a suitable sock for your chosen formality. The thickness of the material is nearly as important as the material itself. The formality of the sock is determined by its thickness; for formal events thin glossy socks are suitable, whereas thick socks are more suitable for casual wear. Thus it is time to stop wearing thick sport socks that you buy in a discount store with your smart shoes.
Socks are available in a range of lengths, the two lengths to concentrate on are half and full length socks. Half-length socks come up to the bottom of your calf whereas full length socks go over your calf.
Therefore, long socks are more suitable for formal style whereas short socks are aimed predominately towards the smart casual market. Long socks will prevent any skin from showing when you sit or cross your legs,n making them the perfect attire for wearing with a suit.
A style rule that will surprise many of you is that you should never match your shoe colour and sock colour, thus if you are wearing black shoes do not wear black socks. If you do it will look like you are wearing boots rather than smart shoes and socks. If you do want to match socks and shoes, find a pair of socks that have a contrasting pattern to break up the solid colour.
When it comes to socks don’t be afraid to add a little colour. Coloured socks can add a personal unique touch to your outfit; they add a splash of colour to your style helping you stand out. An easy way to add colour without looking like a traffic light is to match your sock colour to your tie. Obviously this only works with conservative tie colours, but it is effective none the less. When it comes to business it is best to stay clear of the bright colours and stick with more subtle colours such as navy, blue and grey. Plain or simple designs along with dark colours will send a professional, smart message.
– Opt for natural fibres
– Wear thick socks for casual wear
– Wear thin socks for formal wear
– Wear half or full length socks for formal wear, never short socks
– Match your socks to your trousers
– Match your sock and accessories colour (tie or pocket square)
– Match your socks and shoes
– Wear vibrant coloured socks for business
– Wear ankle socks with formal wear
Our top winter purchases
Bargain colours – Next – 5 pair of bright colours – £12
The Luxury Pair – Richmond Socks – Cashmere Blue socks – £28