Should your socks match the pants you are wearing or match the shoes you are wearing?—Jonathan, New York, NY
It’s tricky questions like these that make gentlemen long for Spring and Summer when one can safely and comfortably forgo hosiery all-together. Who wants to try and coordinate socks with these guys anyway?
That aside, the answer lies in the nuance of the distinction between matching and coordinating. Attempting to match the color of your shoe or trouser to your socks will often result in a “boot-effect” as one color bleeds into the next. The safest trick is to aim a bit darker than the trouser and a different color than the shoe. Example, light grey trouser, dark grey hosiery (OTC if it’s more formal, but we’re biased) and a black lace-up.
Once you’re mastered the art of the compliment you can move on to the more sophisticated world of patterns such as stripes or argyles. Some truly skilled gentlemen even progress to a point where they treat their socks as though they were GTH trousers and sport reds, yellows, greens etc. all while tying them in with another subtle pop of color within the ensemble, such as a pocket square.
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