Sock it To Me – How to Choose the Colour of Your Socks

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I have to wear office-appropriate but warehouse-safe shoes, so I have close-toed brown slip-on flats. Even with my longest pants, if I sit down and cross my legs my socks show. I’ve long since moved to black ankle socks (as opposed to the white socks that were long enough that I folded them over from my school days). Are these socks “right”? I don’t think any socks can look right, but some look less wrong.
How to choose socks to go with your pants or trousers - for either business or casual outfits

 

Sock Colour for Corporate Attire

The theory on socks for business or formal attire is that they should be a similar colour to your trousers, so that when you sit down, and your pants ride up, we don’t notice because your socks are the same colour as your pants.   

  • In corporate attire, socks are an extension of your pant colour.
  • For example, if you’re wearing black pants, then black socks are the way to go.  So even if your shoes are red, your socks are black.
  • Socks for business or more formal dress should have no visible pattern, you’re trying to create one seamless line from trousers to shoes.
  • This rule holds true for men too (if you happen to be the sock buyer in the house for your man, now you know what colours to buy).

Casual Dress Sock Colour

  • But if you’re wearing jeans (or cargos, chinos etc), then the socks should match your shoes – so brown shoes, brown socks.
  • And of course, you can go an alternate colour altogether with your casual attire as it’s the place to express your personality!

Open Toes and Hosiery – Should You or Shouldn’t You?

How to Choose Hosiery to Go with Coloured Shoes

What Shoes to Wear with Skirts and Dresses in Winter

How to Look Taller Using a Column of Colour

 

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5 Comments

  • Socks are very casual; I find opaque knee-highs (40-60 dernier or 'tights" weight or something close to it) mor polished for work. Knee-high length keeps the line clean.

    There are of course other 'looks' like ankle socks with heels- a fashion-y look that has never really caught on in the workplace.

  • Imogen, would you care to do a post on patterned leggings? with winter here in the southern hemisphere, gorgeous tights with patterns abound. Of course I have a few pairs of the standard opaques and some with simple vertical ribbing; now I am keen to try patterns, but I wish to avoid designs that will make my legs look any thicker.

    It seems to me that some line patterns (such as checks/tartans), actually make one's legs look curvier because of the "cross-hatching" effect of the lines appearing to bend as they pass over the leg contours. Whereas, leopard skin spots and other medium sized irregular patterns have the reverse effect, i.e they flatten the leg contours(though they don't reduce the apparent overall width.) At least they seem to make my knobbly knees look less knobbly.
    Would you have any images of what a person with average, but not "model" legs can wear in the pattern line?

  • What about skirts? I typically wear knee-length A-line skirts and short heels or flats to work. Most of my shoes, and the extremely cold climate of my office, necessitate socks. But they look weird! Is there a way to wear socks with skirts and not look frumpy?

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