If you keep up with our style coverage here at The Manual, you know that we love a good ole pants-to-shoe ratio. If you’re new here, by this we mean the tiny area of your outfit between the hem of your pants and your feet. It can literally take a tee-shirt and jeans, (heck sweatpants!) from zero to swag daddy. However, there is one article of clothing in this particular area that we haven’t discussed in full detail yet. Enter, socks.
Normally, men tend to not overly accessorize, which is why you must be especially thoughtful when you do. It’s all in the details is a phrase most wardrobe stylists live by, for good reason. Details like socks add that “je ne sais quoi” that can turn your fit into a stylish one and effortlessly. This can be done by fully committing to the socks look, or by going the no show route (spoiler alert: we’re fans of both if you do it right).
Men’s socks have been having a moment in business, formal and causal dressing. Even when you’re forced to wear a basic suit, socks can bring a light-hearted moment of personality or self-expression. Because after all, that’s what fashion is all about am I right?
Disclaimer: I don’t know who needs to hear this (cough, my brother, cough) please throw away any and all socks that appear worn or discolored. Even though you say they are “clean just stained” it’s time to invest in the new. There is no need for that to take up precious real estate in your sock drawer. You are hardworking and deserving of nice things. Get rid of them and purchase one of the many lovely options ahead.
Retro Sporty Socks
Wear these with: These are your everyday socks. You can wear them with gym shorts or even cropped trousers and denim. There is something about the retro sporty vibe that makes these selects cool for hype beasts, VSCO boys and average joes alike. You can tuck sweatpants (it’s a look), show them off with a cuffed hem and pair with your Jordan’s or the 90s dad sneaker.
This is the one pair of socks everybody and their brother should have in their sock drawer. They are reliable, always in style and have gone viral on Tik Tok during quarantine.
Bombas is a feel-good brand because when you buy one, the company donates one to someone in need. These have a great cushion, just enough compression, and are made from moisture wicking materials.
Really commit to the retro style vibe in these 70s Olympics-inspired mid-length calf socks.
Wear these with: A suit. Yes, you heard that right. Think of these as your business on the outside, party on the inside mentality. They are thin enough to fit comfortably with dress shoes or crisp white kicks. These are best when they play peek-a-boo when you sit or move, not to be full exposed all the time. We recommend coordinating with your tie or pocket square.
Happy Socks makes the most fun and quirky socks you’ll ever find. Seek out a print that speaks to your personality. They will be a great conversation starter.
This three-pack of Pact socks is sustainably and ethically made. The variety of colors work well to mix and match and the materials feel super soft.
If you really want to get crazy, browse through the Hot Sox collection on Amazon. You will find random prints that speak directly to your hobbies, memes, or inside jokes.
Wear these with: A suit for formal occasions. While the option of personality socks is great to have, you should also be armed with truly sophisticated socks in your closet arsenal for those more serious situations. Keep it neutral in navy and black and go for a soft cotton microfiber blend so they won’t stretch out too much.
Suit men know that just like Calvin Klein underwear, #InMyCalvins hit differently, socks included.
Extremely affordable but expensive looking, The Board Room makes socks that inspire confidence and exhibit a whole new level of dapperness.
Just because you’re being a bit more sophisticated, doesn’t mean you have to be boring. These Polo Ralph Lauren socks give just enough pizazz while still being appropriate for the most important business meetings.
Wear these with: Any and all activewear. Don’t be shy of the midi or crew length. Remember to be intentional with your dressing. If you’re going to show the socks, then really show them. When you’re trying to hide ankle socks that peak just above your sneaker it can sometimes come off as unpolished or sloppy.
This wouldn’t be a socks roundup without Stance. The brand makes the coolest, most comfortable socks to ever exist. While many styles are pop-culture inspired, these performance socks in floral print turns any gym outfit into a stylish one.
The earth-friendly shoe brand recently launched high tech Merino wool socks that feel like you’re wearing a cloud. They are a perfect fit under their wool Runners.
Pro athletes are obsessed with Strideline for good reason. They hug your foot in all the right places and claim to improve performance in all things when wearing them.
The No-Show Socks
Wear these with: Slip on Vans or any other sneaker shoes of similar height. Also, loafers, huaraches and more! This category new for most guys. And man, let me tell you just how life changing they are. There is nothing worse than a guy wearing cool Vans with socks that ruin them. If you take anything away from this article, remember that clean lines are your friend.
If you’re wearing slip-on Vans, you might as well purchase socks made specifically for the shoes. They will line up perfectly with your footwear to hide themselves.
We’ve written about these from Kane 11 before. There is nothing worse than your no-show socks slipping off from either side. These are designed to avoid that, while remaining thin enough so your shoes fit comfortably.
Mack Weldon basics have a cult following. And yes, no-show socks are now considered a basic in your closet. These provide great comfort without showing themselves for lower-cut dress shoes or loafers.
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