Socks are of the more commonly overlooked aspects of men’s dress. All to often men, whether knowingly or not, wear the wrong socks. For you see, many men do not know (or care) to match their socks with the rest of their attire. On my train car this morning of the 12 men I saw, four had improper socks on. This ratio is not too far off from what I normally observe on a day to day basis. It seems the most common error is wearing socks that are to dark. Black or navy socks with grey or tan trousers, this just does not work. If you hold yourself to be a good dresser yet you wear black socks with grey trousers, as pictured below, think again because chances are damn good that your wrong.
As a general rule, it is best to match one’s socks with one’s trousers. This is also the most conservative method of dressing the ankle. The idea is to not interrupt the line from waist to shoe. It visually elongates the leg, giving the appearance of height. Furthermore, the aesthetic of separating the shoe from the leg at the break between the shoe and sock (as pictured above) is far superior to doing so at the trouser and sock (as pictured below). When an overly dark sock is worn, as is often the error, a void of sort is left at the ankle; the idea is to avoid this.
Although this rule is simple it is often missed but when followed it is an easy way to elevate one’s personal style. Obviously, this is a rule with exceptions; primarily that it is acceptable to match one’s socks with another article of clothing above the waist like a shirt or tie; or dress in the fashion of a London gentleman. But, more on that another time.