Socks are an important part of a suit outfit. All suits require a pair of socks. They'll create a soft barrier between your feet and your dress shoes -- all while introducing new colors and visual elements to your suit outfit. For an attractive suit outfit, there are several rules you should follow when wearing socks.
#1) Stick With the Same Fabric
You should typically stick with the same fabric when wearing socks with a suit. Suits are available in different fabrics. During the summer, you may want to wear a cotton or linen suit. During the winter, you may want to wear a wool suit for additional warmth. Regardless, you should stick with the same fabric.
Wearing socks in the same color as your suit will result in a more cohesive outfit. Different fabrics have different textures. Wool, for instance, has a thicker and fuzzier texture than cotton. By choosing socks in the same fabric as your suit, you can rest assured knowing they won't clash. Your socks will flow cohesively with the rest of your suit.
#2) Mid-Calf or Longer Length
The length of your socks matters. Some socks are shorter than others. There are ankle socks, for instance, that only extend to the knees when worn. And there are knee-high socks that, as the name suggests, extend all the way to the knees worn.
Proper suit etiquette calls for mid-calf or longer socks. In other words, your socks should extend to at least the middle of your calves. With a mid-calf length, your legs should be completely covered when you sit. Sitting, of course, will often raise the bottom of your trousers. Your trousers may rise a few inches up your legs. As long as you wear mid-calf or longer socks, your legs will remain covered by the socks. Wearing shorter socks, conversely, may result in your legs being exposed while sitting.
#3) Avoid Athletic Socks
While inexpensive and readily available, you should avoid wearing athletic socks. Athletic socks are a poor choice for a suit outfit. You can wear them when running, jogging and exercising; you can even wear them as part of your everyday casual outfits. Nonetheless, you should avoid wearing athletic socks in suit outfits.
Athletic socks typically lack the aesthetics and attention to detail needed for a suit outfit. Most of them consist of plain black or white cotton socks. Without any alternative colors or patterns, they look out of place when worn with a suit.
Athletic socks are also designed to be thicker than dress socks. If you compare them to dress socks, you'll notice that athletic socks are about twice as thick. Their thick construction allows them to create more padding in the shoes, which is useful when running or jogging. But if you're wearing a suit, you probably won't be doing any running or jogging. As such, you don't need to wear athletic socks. Athletic socks will only take up extra space in your shoes while projecting a more casual appearance. Instead of athletic socks, wear dress socks with a suit.
#4) Wear Matching Socks
You should wear matching socks with a suit. Both of your socks should match each other. Wearing mismatching socks is never a good idea. If one of your socks has a different color or pattern than the other, they'll clash.
Fortunately, most socks are sold in matching pairs. Whether you buy a pair of socks locally or online, they'll probably match. There are some stores that sell mismatching socks, but most of them sell matching socks.
#5) Choose a Background Color That Matches Your Suit
Another tip to follow is to choose socks with a background color that matches your suit. If you're wearing an all-black suit, for example, you can wear socks with a black background. If you're wearing a navy suit, you can wear socks with a navy background.
If you don't want to wear socks with the exact same background color as your suit, you can opt for a slightly darker tone. As long as your socks feature the same general background color as your suit -- particularly your suit trousers -- they'll help to create a more stylish and cohesive appearance.
#6) Solid Color vs Pattern
Some men assume that they only should wear solid-colored socks with a suit, but this isn't necessarily true. You can wear either solid-colored or patterned socks with a suit. Solid-colored socks feature a single color. They are simpler and easier to match than their patterned counterparts. Patterned socks feature a particular pattern that encompasses two or more colors.
Common patterns in which socks are made include polka dot and striped. There's nothing wrong with wearing patterned socks such as these with a suit. Solid-colored and patterned socks are perfectly fine; the key thing to remember is that you need to choose a background color that matches your suit. As long as the background color matches your suit, your socks will flow with the rest of your outfit.
#7) Avoid Wearing Stained or Damaged Socks
If your socks are stained or damaged, you shouldn't wear them. Socks don't last forever. Wearing the same pair of socks long enough may result in them developing a stain or becoming damaged. When this happens, you should invest in a new pair of socks.
Socks are relatively inexpensive. While dress socks do, in fact, cost more than athletic socks, you still buy new dress socks for about $5 to $10 per pair. Therefore, trying to repair stained or damaged dress socks typically isn't worth the effort. Instead, you should invest in a new pair.
There are certain rules you should follow when wearing socks with a suit. These rules include sticking with the same fabric, choosing a mid-calf or longer length, avoiding athletic socks, wearing matching socks, choosing a background color that matches your suit, opting for either a solid color or pattern, and avoiding wearing stained or damaged socks.