It’s almost universally agreed upon by fashionistas such as myself that socks are the most essential part of any person’s wardrobe. Don’t be fooled into thinking you can just throw on a pair and rush out the door. Chances are you put on the wrong pair, and if your pant leg rides up even a little while you’re sitting down, everyone is going to realize how big a fool you are. I’m telling you, guys — the last thing you want is to look out of style. You’ve got enough problems to have socks slowing you down, too.

The sock has to match the occasion. It’s clear and simple. If you’re feeling sporty, keep those socks out of sight. White or black that don’t reach far out of the shoe. But if you’re feeling really sporty, then put on those half-calf Nike blacks that have the big white swoosh on them. Classic. They scream, “I’m trying to seem athletic” or, “I don’t put effort into my appearance, but I still happen to look good.”

If I’m going out to the bars in hopes of finding some companionship, I put on my shin-high Batman socks. Nothing says “I’m a catch” like the face of a masked vigilante on your lower calf. If I’m going to a business casual event with a little class, I whip out my Hokusai shin-highs — they’ve got a picture of the famous Japanese painting “The Great Wave” on them. Talk about your conversation starters! And boy do they look great with khakis.

But novelty socks aren’t for the novice. That’s some expert dress game so play with caution. Maybe go stripes before you work your way to Batman or classic works of art.

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