men s polo shirt Let’s talk about socks
OK, Clinton, I got one for ya: The other day at work I took some heat from my co workers for wearing red socks with my outfit. Here is the visual you make the call if I am in the wrong:
Blue and red striped polo shirt. Khaki pants.
My thought was that the stripes on the shirt matched the socks. The watch topped it off and complemented the outfit. I was told I looked like Spider Man. What are the rules for socks? Should they match the shirt, the pants or the shoes?
JOE S., CHICAGO
I think your outfit sounds perfect if you’re a cartoon character. Your co workers say Spider Man, I say Linus from Peanuts. Whatever.
Joe, my friend, I’ve spent the last five years of my life begging women not to be so matchy matchy. What on Earth makes you think I’d hold men to a lower standard?
Here’s the general “rule” for men’s hosiery: Your socks should match your trousers, not your shoes, and definitely not your shirt and watch. So, when you wear gray slacks and a black shoe, you should wear a gray sock. When you wear navy slacks with a brown shoe, you wear navy socks.
Make sense? Good. Now I’m going to confuse you.
Exceptions to this rule include: socks with jeans, socks with khakis, athletic socks and colored socks.
When wearing jeans, you should match the sock to the shoe, not the jeans. A blue sock looks weird with denim.
Khakis pose another problem, because khaki socks are hard to find and I’m not sure I would suggest you wear them anyway, as they might look too much like old ladies’ suntan hose. So, just wear something in the brown family.
“But,” you exclaim, “I was wearing black shoes!” Well, you can mix black and brown. They’re both neutrals. Or you could wear brown shoes, which I think look better with khakis anyway. (FYI: Every once in a while, I’ll wear my khakis flat front, of course with black loafers, sans socks. Cop out or chic solution? You be the judge.)
Now, here’s one that may sound obvious, but apparently not to my grandfather: Sneakers must always be paired with athletic socks. No exceptions!
And that leaves the topic of colored socks, and I’ll include argyle in this category. Sometimes a man will want to make a style statement and add a little bit of interest to his outfit by way of some color or pattern ’round his ankles. And that’s cool. But don’t match a color from elsewhere in your ensemble unless you’re a master level dandy.
Regular guys are better off keeping the rest of their clothes neutral or toned down: perhaps a white shirt, khaki pants, brown shoes and belt, and then Kapow! a red sock comes out of nowhere, like a roundhouse kick from Spidey himself.