Secondary Matching & Complementing

Secondary Matching & Complementing


Shirt: Brooks Brothers. Suit: Mr. Neds. Tie: Paul Stuart. Pocket Square: Robert Talbott. Socks: Paul Stuart.

As we all know I am a big fan of pocket squares.  I reside in the camp that dictates that a gentleman is not fully dressed without one (but then I also realize that wearing one could bite you in the ass in certain job settings).  Many times, and rightfully so, the emphasis of matching/complementing of the pocket square is placed on the shirt, tie and/or braces.  I would like to term that the primary level of matching/complementing; as those things should go together.  But then there is also the secondary level, that being including the socks into the equation. Often the socks will match the color of the trousers; creating a seamless entrance to the shoes.  But then there are times when the socks do not do so; often because the wearer does not know how to dress.  And then there are the times when they do not match the trousers and the wearer does know how to dress.  In these instances ideally the socks will match or complement something else like the shirt, tie, braces or pocket square.  In the above and below pictures I chose to tie the socks to the pocket square via the green on both.  Sometimes its the little things in life that make the day better…


  1. If the shirt were plaid, could you still pull off the striped socks? With solid jacket, pants, and tie, pattern is toned down, but the plaid/stripes bit throws me off; not sure how socks fall into the equation.