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How to Wear Dress Socks


Dress socks are pure expression, with flourishes of personality, predilection, temperament, identity - exposed for all the world to see. 

Covered, yet noticeable, dress socks can be the cause of great success or complete failure when it comes to your appearance. 

As the most underrated item in the men's wardrobe, they deserve a special attention in men's fashion. Knowing how to style them and match with the rest of your outfit can make all the difference. 

Below we put together a concise, yet comprehensive guide on how to wear dress socks for men. 


Dress socks generally come in several different lengths: now show, mid calf, and over the calf. Choosing between the three usually comes down to comfort and personal preference. Depending on the size of your calves, you may choose to go with either mid or over the calf dress socks. 


The pattern of your dress socks will to a large extent depend on the kind of patterns you are wearing when it comes to the rest of your outfit. Although exceptions may apply, in most cases, it is a good idea to try and match the dress socks pattern to the pattern of your dress shirt or a tie, while avoiding combining too many patterns. 

Ankle socks are not fashion accessories. This means that wearing them should be limited to the gym or other physical activities, like moving a friend out of a 4th-floor apartment — or running as fast as you can away from any friend moving out of a 4th-floor apartment.


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