Pairing socks with shoes can be tricky business, especially if you don’t regularly wear dress shoes in today’s increasingly casual workplace dress environments. Here are some best practices for wearing socks with brown dress shoes.
1. Your socks should typically match your pants
A general rule of thumb is that your sock color should match your pant color. For example, if you are wearing navy pants, you should wear navy socks. Black pants warrant black socks. Gray pants are a bit trickier, but you should wear socks that are gray or a darker shade than the gray you are wearing.
2. You can wear brown socks to match your shoes
Generally, if you don’t have socks that match your pant color, its ok to audible and find a pair of socks that matches your shoe color. So if you are wearing brown shoes, its ok to also wear brown socks. However, make sure your socks are a lighter shade of brown than your shoes (and its often pretty common to wear tan socks)
3. Colorful socks are acceptable in the right scenario
If you are at a wedding or other uplifting, party type event, its ok to wear colorful socks with brown shoes. Colorful socks can really make your outfit “pop”, but be mindful of the rest of your outfit and make sure you don’t go overboard with too much color across your socks, belt, tie, and shirt.
Looking for a great online sock store to find socks to pair with brown shoes? Try out Ozone Socks!
As we’ve discussed previously in our sock style tip series, there are lots of nuances to wearing socks and making sure you correctly pair socks with both your pants and shoes.
One common enigma that people who wear socks encounter is how to pair socks with a gray suit — because its very rare to actually own or wear gray socks.
Typically, the rule of thumb is to wear the same color socks as your suit pants. For example, if you are wearing a navy suit, you wear navy socks. A black suit warrants black socks. But a gray suit? Here are our tips:
1. Is your suit dark gray or light gray?
If your suit is dark gray, you may be able to pull off black socks or any pair of socks that are a darker shade of your suit color (assuming you don’t own socks that are dark gray). If your suit is light gray, you can also try dark gray socks or any darker color sock than light gray (again, assuming you don’t own any light gray socks). In both cases, you want your socks to be darker than your suit color but lighter than your shoe color.
2. What color are your shoes?
A backup plan, in the event you are wearing a gray suit and don’t have any gray socks, is to wear socks that match your shoe color. For example, brown shoes would be paired with brown socks. Black shoes with black socks.
3. White socks continue to be a no-no
Don’t wear white socks — they are lighter than your gray suit, and a general no-no in the context of wearing a suit.
4. In the right scenario, you can wear colorful socks
A wedding is a great event to sport a light gray suit and then some whimsical patterned socks (provided you don’t go over the top with colorful shirts, ties, belts, etc as well!).
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As part of our sock style tips collection, one question we want to address is when to wear white socks. Dress socks and colorful socks are appropriate in many obvious occasions. But increasingly it feels like white socks are being marginalized and only appropriate when working out at the gym. Is that the case? Here is our guide for when to wear white socks.
According to this Esquire article in February 2017, white socks are making a comeback. When are the best times to wear white socks?
- When you are wearing sneakers
This is an obvious one — if you are at the gym, its appropriate to wear white socks with your sneakers. However, increasingly sneakers are becoming appropriate as an item to wear casually — most major shoe companies are releasing “nice” sneakers that can be worn to the office or out at a party. Wearing a clean set of white socks helps the sneakers stand out.
- When you are wearing light colored shoes
Dress shoes have moved beyond the traditional black or brown dress shoe options. More and more, white dress shoes or tan dress shoes are becoming viable options. Its ok to wear white socks in these scenarios, even if you are wearing shorts in most cases.
- If your white socks are actually white!
Be mindful of the quality and cleanliness of your socks. If they are socks that have been worn for years while you are at the gym, they are likely tattered and should remain in your “gym only” collection. Or if they are white socks with random colors or logos on them, they might be perceived as goofy. The best white socks are clean, high quality, and single color.
If you are looking to buy white socks online, check out Ozone Socks!
Matching socks to your outfit can be a tricky problem for those with high style demands, different color shoes, different color pants or trousers, and a rotation of suit colors for both weddings and work. Here are 3 tips for anyone trying to better match their socks with their outfit:
1. Your socks should match your trousers
Follow this as a rule of thumb. If you are wearing navy pants, wear navy socks. Black pants should be paired with black socks. Adding in the shoe dynamic can make things tricky, but generally you should wear black shoes with black pants, and black or brown shoes can work well with navy pants.
2. Be careful with going too bold with your socks
A flashy pair of socks can really lighten up an otherwise dull outfit. However, if the rest of your outfit is very flashy (such as your necktie or belt), be careful going overboard with crazy sock patterns and colors. You can end up looking more goofy than stylish!
3. Precise matching can also be a no-no.
Socks and ties are two parts of an outfit that can come with flash. Increasingly, belts are popular in crazy colors. However, matching a pair of socks and belt and tie with the exact same pattern can look pre-programmed and not very stylish at all.
If you are looking for a fun sock club, check out our list of the 5 best fun sock of the month clubs to choose from!
Sock subscriptions are a fantastic option as a gift for someone who needs to upgrade their sock game. However, jeans are a popular piece of attire, especially as workplaces become more casual and allow for jeans to be worn anytime. Pairing socks and jeans can be a tricky endeavor, so here are our tips for what color socks to wear with jeans.
1. Generally, you can pair your socks with your shoes.
If you are wearing jeans and black dress shoes, you can wear black dress socks. If you are wearing brown dress shoes, you can wear navy or black dress socks. In both cases, its also acceptable to wear more stylish, fun patterned socks if matched correctly. However, you shouldn’t wear white socks and dress shoes, even if you are wearing jeans.
2. If you are wearing sneakers and jeans, go with white socks.
If you are sporting jeans and sneakers, the best look is to wear white athletic socks in most cases. This is a typical casual Saturday or “heading to the gym” outfit. Regardless of your sneaker color, you should be able to pull off this look without any issue if you are wearing jeans.
3. When wearing fun socks, don’t go overboard with the color
Colorful socks are a great way to spice up an otherwise dull outfit. However, don’t use them as an additional way to add color if that is already part of your outfit (for example, if you are wearing a shirt with lots of colors and patterns). Jeans and colorful socks go well with a single-color shirt such as blue, white, tan, and more.
4. Understand what “type” of jeans you are wearing
Are you wearing your “nice” jeans that you wear to work or business meetings? Or are you wearing your 5 year old “weekend” jeans that are tattered and faded? If the latter, go with the look and wear white socks and worry less about the matching. If you are wearing nice jeans, you should be also wearing dress shoes or sport shoes with a pair of dress socks or high quality patterned socks.
Looking for a great place to buy socks that you can wear with jeans? Check out Ozone Socks!
We’ve talked before about the different sock lengths and how to choose the right size. One common question everyone has about socks is how to wear socks with shorts. Here are a few tips for men who are sporting socks with shorts on a hot summer day.
1. Fancy dress shoes, socks, and shorts don’t go well together
In fact, dress shoes and shorts don’t go well together, period. If you are wearing dress shoes, you should be wearing pants along with a set of socks that are crew length or higher and match your trouser color.
2. When wearing socks, shorts should be cut above the knee
Nothing destroys style like low cut, baggy shorts and socks. That’s so nineties! If you want to wear socks and shorts, wear your shorts above the knee and expose your knees.
3. Don’t go overboard with the patterns
Typically, its best to wear single color socks and patterned shorts, or patterned socks with single colored shorts. But don’t wear both patterned shorts and patterned socks — that can be a style killer!
4. Socks should be ankle length or quarter length
Ankle length socks are about as short as you can get, barely exposing the sock or the pattern. Quarter length socks are a few inches longer and allow the pattern of the sock to be more exposed. Go any longer than this, such as crew length or calf length, and you start to look goofy or like a soccer player.
5. Don’t scrunch your socks
If you are wearing socks and shorts, wear your socks fully extended for their full length — don’t roll them down or scrunch them. This makes it look like you are wearing sweat bands around your ankles and destroys the look!
If you are looking for a classic sock subscription for men that will help you increase the style of your socks when wearing shorts, check out Sock Fancy!