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A guide to help the average man... look less average

Dos & Don'ts: white socks

Mark Kwak

There was once a time in my life where I didn't own a pair of socks that weren't white in color. Why? Partly because that's all that my mom bought me, but also because I had the naive impression that my socks would never be seen by anyone but myself. Then I turned 12. Hmm, or was it 21?

Either way, the game has changed since then, and socks have become an important part of my wardrobe, and they should be for you as well. Let me paint a story for you.

You walk into a smoky lounge with your dark wash denim, sports coat, and dress shirt. A pair of shiny black dress shoes also dons your feet, commanding attention as your feet clack authoritatively on the hardwood floor. The woman in the red dress sitting at the bar looks down to check out your shoes, but is instead greeted with flashes of white athletic socks every time you make a step. She immediately dismisses you and your elementary sense of style.

Okay, maybe I'm being a little dramatic, but I do want to convey the point that you should have a decent amount of black, brown and grey socks in your drawers, not just white. Here are some general rules of thumb:

1. When wearing anything apart from athletic shoes, wear socks that come up past your ankles and are not white in color.

2. No need to match socks with your shoes, unless they are black. Otherwise, match your socks to your pants, tie, shirt, eyes, whatever. Socks can be used as an accent piece, and you have some freedom with it.

3. Have a little fun with socks. You've probably noticed guys decked out in charcoal or navy suits with neon green or hot pink socks. Though I wouldn't necessarily recommend going too extreme with sock colors, it's the one part of your outfit that you can be a little playful with, even when wearing something as serious as a suit. I personally have some colorful argyle socks to spice up my outfit once in a while.