Menswear is supposed to be fun. Here at Boardroom Socks, we try to encourage it and give you the tools to do so. To roll out our newest collection of striped dress socks, we’ve got three tips (and a bonus one!) on how to style striped socks with ease.
This first one is kind of a two-part tip. First, stripes, no matter their width, are going to be a bold choice for menswear. While we’re certainly not advocating bright green ‘funky’ socks with large water-dwelling mammals embroidered on them, leaning into the bold can be a good thing. So, feel free to experiment and let your socks shine.
You can certainly do this with your choice of footwear. Opting for loafers over lace-ups exposes more of the foot and, of course, more of the sock. A pair of striped socks and some oxblood penny loafers work well with dark denim or corduroy trousers and an Oxford cloth button down (or ‘OCBD’ in menswear-speak) under a thin cashmere v-neck sweater for a casual evening.
Another way to do it is through the rest of your outfit. So, if you’ve got a sock with horizontal stripes, a shirt with wide, vertical stripes is going to look quite busy indeed! The same goes for a windowpane jacket, or one with large glenplaid or Prince-of-Wales check patterns. We’d suggest subtle patterns (if any) on your jackets when wearing them with striped socks. Sharkskin, birdseye, or hopsack fabrics are excellent pairings for striped socks. This allows the sock to take center stage while playing the other pieces in the ensemble off of one another to create a harmonious outfit.
When choosing striped sock colors, consider a classic color wheel and look for socks with stripes complementing both each other and the outfit you’re putting together.
First, let’s consider bases. An excellent foundation for socks would be common trouser colors of navy, grey, and brown/tan. It’s far easier to pair these with a variety of outfits than, say, a pair of lilac or purple socks: these aren't common trousers in classic menswear!
Next, let’s look at complementary colors. Blues and Oranges, reds and greens, and the like. So, finding a deep navy blue sock with a burnt orange stripe would be quite versatile, as would a grey sock with green undertones and deep burgundy stripe.
It’s easy to get carried away with color, though, and have four different ones snaking their way up your calf. That makes for a very bold sock and one we wouldn’t suggest! We recommend no more than two accent colors in your socks. Our navy sock with peach and & tomato stripes are an excellent use of color.
Now, let’s pull this into a real-life outfit. Consider socks with, say, grey as a neutral base color and alternating red and blue stripes. This is an excellent complement to the classic ‘menswear uniform’ of grey flannel trousers, navy wool blazer, and light blue OCBD. The grey base of the sock elongates the leg line by tying in with the trouser. The blue stripe works with the blue in the shirt, and the deep red adds just enough of a visual to keep things interesting.
Seasonal tones are important in menswear, and that extends to your socks. As we move into fall, consider adding reds, oranges, and our peach & tomato socks. Our deep reds and navy blue are also excellent companions for the fall and winter color palette. And, as we move deeper into winter, the black and ice blue is a way to add a burst of color to cut through the doldrums.
Moving into the rebirth of spring, brighter colors emerge once again. Not only will the peach and tomato work in spring as well as fall, but adding our fuschia sock is a way to add an additional pop.
As a bonus tip, style doesn't count for much if there isn’t substance behind it. Cheaper, low-quality socks will use inferior dyes and synthetic fabrics. This causes colors to bleed and lose their luster after only a few trips through the wash. At Boardroom Socks, our colors are selected and dyed with the best we can find to keep your look fresh and bright for years to come. And, we use only the best long-staple cotton and finest merino wools to not only offer superior breathability and comfort, but to help our socks keep their shape and stay up all day.
There’s something to be said for a thoughtfully assembled outfit. So, let your socks shine and be the star once in a while. It’s okay to go bold and have fun with your striped socks. But, keep the number of bolder colors to one-perhaps two. That way, each can shine on their own and it’s far easier to combine with your outfits. Keep the season in mind. Darker colors with single ‘pop’ for winter; a little more whimsical in the spring and summer months. And, most importantly, look for quality goods made right and with top-tier materials. Your feet will thank you for it.
Yours in Style,
Our editorial staff is comprised of menswear experts dedicated to providing you with helpful information. Sharing everything from style tips to sock care instructions, these gentlemen are a wealth of knowledge for both our customers and the Boardroom Socks team.
by Editorial Staff September 29, 2022
by Editorial Staff September 06, 2022