When you're busy choosing a suit and matching accessories, it's easy to overlook something as simple as your socks. After all, how much of an impact will your choice of socks really have on your overall appearance? The answer: more than you may realize. This is why it's important to choose the right socks when wearing a suit. Today, we're going to further explore this topic by revealing answers to commonly asked questions about wearing socks with a suit.
Can People See My Socks?
The number one reason why men fail to wear the right socks with their suit is because they believe it's concealed and hidden from plain sight. If no one can see your socks, conventional wisdom should tell you that the color or style doesn't matter. Well, the truth is that people can see your socks, though not necessarily all of the time. When standing, for instance, your trousers should stretch past your ankles to fully conceal your socks. But when you sit down, the bottom of your trousers will rise just slightly to reveal the top of your socks. Therefore, you socks will remain visible when you are sitting.
What Color Socks Should I Choose?
A good rule of thumb is to choose dress socks in the same color as your suit trousers. If your trousers are black, you can wear similar black-colored socks to achieve a more uniform and cohesive appearance. If you're wearing gray trousers, you can wear gray socks -- you get the idea. The general principle behind this is to minimize attention to your trousers by making your socks "blend" into your outfit.
Can I Wear a Different Color?
Absolutely! There's no rule stating that you must wear socks in the same color as your suit trousers. Many men prefer different colored socks. When wearing socks in a different color, however, it's best to consider the shade. Generally speaking, your socks should be slightly darker than the shade of your suit trousers. With this format, your socks will still be concealed, though they'll also feature a more distinct appearance that makes them stand out (in a good way).
What About Patterned Socks?
Instead of solid-color socks, you may want to wear patterned socks -- and that's okay. Patterned socks have a more vibrant and dynamic appearance that many men prefer over traditional single/solid-colored socks. However, you should try to match the background color of the pattern to the color of your suit trousers. Using the same example cited above, you should choose socks with a black patterned background if your suit trousers are also black - or vise-versa for gray trousers.
How High Should I Wear My Socks?
Even if you're familiar with the general rule of matching your socks to your suit trousers, you might not know about the proper height for dress socks. As explained on Wikipedia, dress socks are typically worn around mid-calf height. Some may certainly extend higher, though your dress socks should never extend over the calf. If your dress socks extend all the way to your knees, they are too high and should be replaced with a more suitable pair of socks.
What Material Should I Choose?
Just like suits are made of different fabrics and materials, so are dress socks. So, which type should you choose? When wearing a suit, it's best to stick with dress socks made of either cotton or wool for most occasions. For a more formal look, however, you may want to experiment with an alternative fabric for your socks, such as silk or cashmere. Both silk and cashmere are excellent alternatives to cotton and wool. They are soften, thinner, and arguably "cooler" in warm weather. And with summer fast approaching, there's no better time than the present to invest in a pair of cool dress socks. With that said, cashmere and silk are more susceptible to damage, so use caution when washing and cleaning them to minimize the risk of damage.
Can I Mix and Match My Dress Socks?
Not unless you want to stick out like a sore thumb. As previously stated, no one should see your dress socks when you are standing. When you are sitting, though, it's a different story. And if you mix and match different colors or styles of dress socks, it will look awkward and unflattering. Unless you're running late for work and the only two socks you have are from different pairs, it's best to avoid mixing matching your dress socks. Stick with a single, uniform color or design with your dress socks to ensure an attractive appearance.
How Do I Clean and Care for My Dress Socks?
Well, it depends on the type of dress socks you have and how they were made. Dress socks made of different fabrics, for instance, require different steps to clean and maintain. If your dress socks are made of cotton, you can usually wash and dry them just like any ordinary garment of clothing. If they are made of a more delicate fabric like silk, on the other hand, you may have to wash them using cold water and tumble dry on low. Check the original packaging for more information on how to clean and care for your dress socks to prevent damage.
How Do I Keep My Dress Socks from Falling Down?
This is a problem that every man has experienced at some point in his life. After wearing dress socks for a while, you may notice (or feel) them falling down. There are a few steps you can take to prevent this from happening, one of which is buying socks that fit better. If your socks are falling down, they are probably too big, in which case replacing them for a smaller pair should resolve the issue. Another idea is to wear something called a "dress shirt stay," which lives up to its namesake by holding your dress shirt in place. It features two elastic bands that connect the top of your socks to the bottom of your shirt. In addition to keeping your shirt in place, they also keep your socks in place.