Should I Match Socks to Shoes or Pants?


Fashion Friday returns with the age-old question: “should I match my socks to my pants or shoes?” I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve answered this. People at the gym ask me that at least once a week. As a rule, you should match your socks to your pants and not your shoes.

Why? you might ask. Mainly because it just looks better. If you match your socks to your trousers, then you have a streamlined look from your waist all the way down to your shoes. If you match them to your shoes, however, you can get the booty look where your pants have the illusion of ending around your ankles and your shoe/sock/booty combination begins. It makes your legs look shorter and your call attention to your ankles, or cankles (the combination of calf+ankle in one unsightly, unnatural organ).

There are a few exceptions. (Yep, you didn’t think it was that easy, did you?) You can match your socks to your shirt, tie and even a pocket square. But this is not for the fashion timid. When in doubt, match your socks to the pants and you’ll be fine.

matching socks

So this guy is not matching his socks with anything. While it might work in more cosmopolitan environments, it doesn't work for most everyday wear. When in doubt , don't go there.


Matching socks with underwear


purple socks brown shoes

Love the color combination but don't care for the cuffs. This is not for the timid or an accountant.

matchless socks

You can try this look. but people will think, 1) you are color blind 2) you lost a bet 3) you are single

How do you feel about matching socks to a tie or pocket square?

  • This cracks me up. I have no fashion sense really. I learned something new this morning. But, when in doubt go with flip flops. They go with everything!

  • Billy Williams

    I prefer to tie a tie around my ankles and wear a sock tie. I do have a question, I wear jeans 99% of the time. Blue socks? Or do I match the. Brown ior black shoes of the day?

  • Back in the days when I wore a suit more frequently, I occasionally matched the socks to the tie, especially if I had a matching handkerchief as well. Definitely not for everyday, but it makes a splash.

    • One thing you should not do, however is match your handkerchief to your tie. It should coordinate, but never match it. 

  • I always love when you post about Men’s style. And i always forward them on to my husband 😉 And you’re right: socks –> pants unless you have a history of being fashion forward or are a teenager.

  • Tedsquires

    I am speechless. !!!!

  • Trey Chandler

    Ok, Maurilio. As an accountant, I will overlook the above remark. But, as a creative in a more “analytical” job, how can I express myself and still look professional?

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