The Socks Conundrum
Sometimes even the most simple of tasks is a struggle. What should be an easy process can become complicated and confusing – especially when you start over thinking and focusing too much on the details.
For some this happens when it comes to tying their shoe laces. For others it happens when sitting in front of a laptop and forget how to spell a word or phrase a sentence. Yet for others, it happens when they’re getting dressed each morning.
It seems that many guys out there are having trouble deciding what socks to wear with the outfit they’ve put together. We can obviously sympathize with this issue.
It used to be so simple just a few years ago - even a pair of striped socks made a statement. That’s if you could find a pair of striped or bold colored socks in the first place. Today with the assistance of Twin Roads we’re spoilt for choice, and it’s this choice that can leave you feeling overwhelmed when it comes to making what should be such a simple decision.
In addition, every man with even a passing interest in fashion these days believes that wearing a bright sock is enough to separate them from the pack and give them automatic style kudos, which simply isn’t true.
Like most things, style is based on understanding the rules and then breaking or bending them slightly.
Getting Your Sock Choice Right
Luckily, that’s where we come in. We’re set to outline a few simple rules, tricks and techniques to bear in mind when pairing your socks with your outfit, taking the stress away from the process. After all, we’re fairly sure you have more important things to be focusing on than whether your socks are really working with the suit you’re wearing to the office. But before we get into the nitty gritty, let’s reintroduce the color wheel – your best friend when it comes to integrating any item of clothing into a look:
It’s all very simple really: the sections on either side of a color are similar, directly opposite is complementary and contrasting hues are separated by three sections of the wheel. Complementary colors are more difficult to pair than contrasting ones, but it can be done if you alter the tone and strength of one of the hues. For example, green and red are complementary, but if you change the red to a shade of pink they can be combined a whole lot easier.
Tips & Tricks1.- If In Doubt, Go Tonal
This is the most foolproof method you can use: choose a pair of socks that are either a shade darker or lighter than the trousers you’re wearing.
For example, if you’re wearing a mid-grey suit, think about wearing a pair of charcoal socks.
Maybe all your dark socks are in the wash? Then why not try a pair of cobalt blue socks with your navy chinos? It’s extremely difficult to go wrong when you use this technique.2.- Tonal Textures & Patterns
Stick to the rule above but this time introduce some texture or a subtle pattern to your sock choice.
For instance, you could reach for a charcoal pair made from thicker wool, complete with a fleck/marl, to pair with your grey suit. Alternatively, you could incorporate a subtle stripe or polka dot into the mix.
Just remember that textured styles can add weight to a look, so if you do start using thicker socks remember to team them with pieces made from similarly heavy/rugged materials such as denim, leather, tweed, wool and corduroy.
3.- Make A Statement
When venturing into the world of statement socks it’s imperative you bear in mind the color wheel.
As an easy introduction, try picking some socks in a pattern with a base tone that picks out/matches the color of trousers you’re wearing. You could go one step further by opting for more vibrant block-color socks in a
complementary or contrasting color to that of your leg wear. Think pink socks with navy denim or a preppy yellow sock with burgundy chinos.4.- Be Bold
Finally, if you do want to integrate some bright and bold socks into your outfit, always reference the color wheel to make sure that you’re working within it correctly.
Regardless of how cool you think it may make you look, if your choice of sock is not complementary or contrasting correctly then it will clash and look like an eyesore.
Of course, the easiest way to introduce a bold colored or patterned sock into any look is to give it a neutral base to play off – white trousers, black jeans and dark grey chinos will anchor nearly any type of design you can think of.
There you have it, a few simple tips and tricks that you can use the next time you’re picking out socks for your outfit.
After all, there are more important things you should be spending your time and frown lines on ...
Do keep one thing in mind though; rules, guidelines and suggestions are meant to be broken and pushed beyond their limit. Good taste and a dash of flair will always carry you further than you might think.
Don't forget our byline: Why fit in when you were born to stand-out?