Since someone first discovered how to make a protective foot covering that was both warm and dry, socks have evolved to be an integral part of clothing as well as a fashion accessory. Today the range of sizes, fabrics, styles, colors and patterns is practically unlimited. Men are no longer restricted to black socks (or the dreaded beige sock!) when dressing for work or a formal occasion. Tube socks are no longer the only option for casual wear.
The dilemma then arises . . . When should I wear bright socks? How do I choose how bright to go?
There is no need for men to fear color when dressing. Respect color, by all means, but put the fear aside. There is a subtle line separating stylish from clownish, and knowing which side to stay on is important. If you are able to learn and follow a few guidelines, you will be outfitted with flourish and command respect, rather than ridicule.
There is always a time and place for loading your outfit with every shade of every color that exists. Unless you are formally employed as clown and it's your uniform, that time is usually Halloween. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and remember that less is best. So, let's get into the finer details of when and how to wear bright colored socks.
Work wear, even in the most conservative environment, is now open to individual styling and flourish. Every man should have his own personal style that suits him and his lifestyle and reflects part of his personality. He should carry the look with confidence. Once you have found your thing, embrace it. Accept that you have a personal style, something that makes you individual and unique, even if you have to wear a suit and tie to work every day. It doesn’t mean it needs to be conservative or boring.
In this day and age, suits have evolved to encompass every fit and style that a man could be comfortable in, whether it is the traditional suit as worn by bankers many years ago, or whether it is a tailored, slim fitting suit that is more popular with the younger generation. There is no excuse for a poorly fitted suit as tailoring is an affordable option. This means that tall or short, slender or large, every man can wear a suit that literally looks like it was made to fit only him.
In his closet, the average man will have a few suits, some less formal pants such as chinos, the regular blue jeans and then the variety of shirts and blazers to go with them. At the time every clothing item was bought, he already knew what he would wear it with and had a mental picture of his outfit. Accessories such as ties, socks and pocket squares are probably the items that get the least attention although they are the items that add the most flair to the ensemble.
A general rule of thumb when wearing colored socks is to pick up the color of your tie or pocket square for cohesion in your outfit. If you are not wearing a tie, you could pick up your shirt color or boldly match your blazer if it's a different color to your pants.
If you want to be more adventurous and dress your feet with more flourish, you will be thinking about much more adventurous socks than navy stripes. You may already have been standing in the sock department, or browsing your online store, and longingly glanced at the bright jewel toned socks. Your hands may have hovered over the bright patterned socks, wishing you were bold enough.
There is a first time for everything, be bold!