1. The old saying that you should match your socks to your trousers (rather than your shoes) still holds water — to an extent. In no-shoe situations, socks matched to your trousers give a sense to continuity to your outfit. Having said that feel free to wear socks that match an accessory, or the tie you’re wearing if you want to break the monotony
2. Your socks, in general, need to match the overall look you’re going for with the rest of your outfit. Unless you own the damn company, you’d probably be better off sticking to a pair of subtle dress socks with your suit, at a business meeting. Similarly, bust out the ‘Oh my’ patterns if you’re attending a fashion soiree.
3. If you want to play it safe, pick socks that are either a little darker or lighter than your trousers. With a light grey suit, for example, you can’t really go wrong if you wear a pair of socks that are a slightly darker shade of grey — or vice versa.
4. A good place to start if you want to begin experimenting with colours and patterns is the classic argyle sock (the one with the diamond pattern). These are formal enough to wear to a business meeting without eyebrows being raised, and in brighter shades, they go well with many other outfits.
5. Speaking of colours and patterns, the modern man needn’t necessarily be bound by all the odd rules concerning socks. Go a little wild and build a sock collection with polka dots, stripes, paisley prints, plaids and other patterns — but keep it tasteful. While wearing them, you will achieve best results if you coordinate at least one colour on your multi-coloured socks with a shade of your trousers.
6. Plain white socks are boring, and they can also cause too much of a high-contrast look if you’re wearing them with dark trousers. Instead, pick white socks with patterns on them, preferably ones that match some elements of your clothes.
7. In this country, cotton socks and cotton blends are the way to go — they breathe well and are easy to maintain, although they tend to lose shape quicker than, say, woollen socks. Replenishing your sock wardrobe every few months should take care of that
8. When you sit down and cross your legs, there should be no skin showing between the bottom of your trousers and the top of your socks. It’s better to go without socks entirely if you want to show some skin — and it’s quite acceptable to wear a pair of brogues without socks.
9. You’re not in high school anymore, so please don’t fold your socks, or roll them up — doing either of these will produce unseemly bulges near your ankles. Socks should be pulled up your leg as far as they will go.
10. Your socks should be clean and without holes and should not be loose from over wearing. You might think that this is overstating the obvious, but you’d be surprised by how often these basic rules are broken.
11. Repeat after us: “I will not wear sports socks with dress shoes — ever.” Even if you’re on a sinking ship and this is the last thing you’re forced to do with what remains of your life, don’t do it. Sports socks are too thick for dress shoes and are often ribbed — what you need is a thin pair that are easy to slide into the shoes. At most, dark sports socks can be worn with a pair of denims.