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So much more than a simple staple, raise your sock game to compete in the style stakes
Men’s formal attire offers little opportunity for personalisation. While tie and pocket square are the obvious choices for expressing individuality, don’t disregard the humble sock. Pick carefully and show a little personality, when the time is right. While formal affairs and black tie events aren’t the right time to up your sock style, stick to these simple rules for what you wear inside your shoes and elevate your style automatically.
Not so plain game
When the occasion calls for a neutral tone or a dark, plain sock that matches or blends with your suit trousers, go for texture to add a little je ne sais quoi to top-to-toe style. Ribbed socks work a treat.
Bold in brights
Brightly coloured, single tone socks work a treat. When you go with them, make sure to contrast, don’t clash. Pick accent hues that complement your overall outfit palette.
Pick a print that’s right
Simple but stylish is the name of the game. Classic patterns such as stripes or spots never go out of style and add personality. Match the spot or stripes with a coour you are already wearing above the waist, but always contrast patterns – if you are already sporting a striped tie, go for spotted socks.
Say no to novelty
Novelty socks are generally a no-no, though you might just get away with a skull printed pair from Alexander McQueen.
Ankle socks should be reserved solely for sport – as is the case with anything white. On any other occasion, if you are wearing socks your ankles should not be showing. If you want to flash a smattering of skin, go sockless – it’s a look in itself.
With or without you
There’s nothing wrong with baring all, particularly when the weather’s right. The sockless look in summer is encouraged – though when it comes to socks with sandals – well, that trend should never have happened.
Waste not, want not
Don’t waste a good pair of socks for them never to be seen. Trousers should not be too long but should just kiss the front of your shoes. On the other hand, if your trousers are too short, or cropped, go without. And remember, holey socks are always unacceptable.