This past weekend I spent my time at a campground with over 150 students for a youth retreat. I must say that “dapper” was not present among the weekend attire. When the retreat came to an end and I finally returned home I needed to decompress with a nap. After waking up I needed to run to the grocery store. This meant that I needed to get dressed again.
I assembled my outfit for the journey. The outfit consisted of a pair of jeans, black t-shirt, a zipped up pullover, and a black pair of loafers. I must say it was simple, clean, and sharp. Notice I didn’t mention what type or color socks I chose to wear. That’s because I was being lazy. I chose a style mistake due to my laziness, instead of taking time to make the right choice.
When I arrived at the store I was feeling confident and dapper as usual, until I stepped out of my car and looked down. That’s right, my light grey Puma sport socks were and eye sore at the very least. The clash against my outfit was horrendous. In the moment I realized that my laziness had come with a price. I understand that not everyone could see my socks since my jeans fit with the proper fit, but it started to eat away at my self-confidence.
Most men will never think twice about the importance of their socks. I mean their only purpose is to cover our feet right? Yes and no. While on one hand socks do cover our feet and act as a layer of protection, they’re also meant to compliment our wardrobe. Gents we need to understand that the socks we wear are just as important as the shirt we pick out to compliment our style. It’s critical to pay attention to the “small things” in our wardrobe. Now let’s talk socks.
The White Socks. We are all too familiar with the “white sock.” It’s been all over the world for years. The white sock is great, but just like everything else in life it has a time and place in our wardrobes. Here is the skinny on whites socks. They are never to be worn with dress trousers, jeans, suits, or shorts other than sport shorts. These socks need to be saved for everyday occasions like working at home, lounging, relaxing, and even household cleaning rags. They make great cleaning rags.
Sport Socks. There is no need to go deep in regards to these types of socks. Keep it simple. They’re called sport socks for a reason. Keep them in that department.
Dress Socks. Everyone needs a few pairs of good quality dress socks. You will need dress socks to compliment your outfit. I would suggest starting with the basics and building from there. Make sure that you have at least three pairs of standard black and three pairs of standard brown. Dress blue is optional, but don’t eliminate it from your basic selection. There is no need to have three different shades of black, but if your wardrobe consists of khaki or corduroy consider purchasing a few shades of brown.
Colored Socks. Colored socks using stripes, poke-a-dots, and patterns are fun and adventurous. I highly recommend that everyone owns at least one pair of fun colored socks. Start by adding come wild colors and then branch out into patterns and shapes. Have fun with this. Remember it’s not a job.
Sock Etiquette. First and foremost is quality. You’re on your feet most of the day, so you want to wear a pair of socks that are comfortable and treat your feet the way they deserve to be treated. Second, your sock color should match your dress trousers, not your shoes. There should always be a continuous flow from your trousers or jeans to your shoes with proper color. Third, keep in mind that when experimenting with colored socks such as patterns and plaids should be worn with a more casual pair of pants. Remember the more pattern or crazy combinations you have on your socks, the less formal the look. Fourth, make sure your dress socks always cover the calf. It is never an attractive sight to see a man’s hairy legs during any type of meeting. Next, your sport socks and white socks should only be worn with sneakers or athletic shoes. Never ever wear a pair of sport socks with your dress shoes. The same applies too when trying to wear dress socks with athletic sneakers…don’t do it! Finally, do all of mankind a favor and stop wearing your socks with sandals.
Let me make a quick note of importance here. When attending funerals or weddings make sure your socks remain formal and leave the flashy patterns and pock-a-dots at home. Neither of these sacred events is about you so help everyone stayed focused on the reason why they are attending.
Sock Action. Let’s take some action with your dresser where that pile of socks hibernates. First, do a sock purging. This is an opportunity to inspect your socks for things like holes, rips, and permanent “brown” bottom socks. If you have any of these three elements within your socks don’t save them. Throw them away. Their time here on earth has passed. Give them some dignity and put them to rest. Second, consider the rules of 3’s. The rules of 3’s are simple. Every gentleman should own 3 pairs of sport socks, 3 pair of classic black socks, 3 pairs of brown socks (varying in shades), and 3 pairs of fun colored socks.
There you have it gents. Take some action today and rock those socks!