Hold onto your pumpkin-spiced everything. As the gentle whir of the cider mill wheel fills the crispening air, the ears of sartorialists everywhere prick up in anticipation: fall is here. For menswear enthusiasts, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. We break out our blazers, sweaters, raw denim, and boots. And, here at Boardroom Socks, it also means some of our favorite socks. To get us all in the mood, we’ve come up with some tips to help you transition your sock drawer and embrace the season in style.
The colors of our clothing tend to mirror the colors of the season. In the summer months, brighter hues- think pale yellows, bright blues- are front and center. In the winter months, grey tones, navy blue, and black take a more prominent position. But fall, as nature’s fireworks display, is an excellent opportunity to dive into more interesting colors and combinations.
We’ll agree a solid navy blazer should be a staple in every man’s wardrobe. With or without brass buttons, it’s an infinitely versatile piece applicable in most any situation. Brown and grey jackets are excellent, too. But, for fall, consider experimenting with a little more color. Burgundy or emerald green jackets are fantastic companions to dark denim and grey flannel trousers.
But, a burgundy jacket can be a little loud for some. Perhaps a more approachable way is to incorporate these colors into your socks and anchor them to a neutral color. Returning to our navy blazer and grey flannel trousers combination, this mundane uniform is easily elevated with our burgundy and navy striped socks. Or, even just a solid burgundy can show you know what you’re doing and will stand out (in a good way) in the sea of navy and khaki socks.
Consider olive green in both solid and our new striped options. Rather than a more vibrant kelly green, this shade works particularly well with tweeds and helps to bring the fabrics of the season.
As the days get a little shorter, we’ll turn to wools for trousers and sweaters. This means we can play with textures in our clothing in both business and casual settings.
In a business setting, a chalk-stripe charcoal flannel suit can make quite the impression. Paired with a crisp white shirt, burgundy madder-silk tie and burgundy socks to match, a chalk-stripe flannel suit gives an air of sophistication in a formal setting. Bring the same outfit into a boardroom, and it conveys authority. The stripes elongate the limbs and emphasize (or give the impression of) height. The textures in both the flannel and wool socks are those details that pull an outfit together for a complete package.
These principles can be applied to a dinner date which may not require a tie. Here, our black and purple striped socks are the perfect accent piece for a pair of dark charcoal flannel trousers, black cashmere turtleneck, patterned tweed sports jacket, and black suede tassel loafers. The knobby tweed and nappy flannel play well with the more silky cashmere and fuzzy flannel. Our merino wool socks pull the outfit together.
Fall layers allow one to play with some classic patterns. Pulling on the threads (pun intended) of both color and texture, let’s explore a couple ways we can play with classic menswear patterns to make them feel more ‘fall.’
First, consider a classic windowpane pattern in the classic colors of blue, brown, and grey. In many cases, a designer will layer a cream colored windowpane over a basic navy or medium-blue cloth base. Or, you’ll see a jacket in two different shades of grey. They’ll make for some very nice, versatile suits. But now, take a chocolate brown jacket and layer a burgundy windowpane over it, and you’ve got a seasonally-appropriate twist on a classic pattern.
Pair this jacket with fitted denim, a white button-down shirt, and some slip-on boots with a low heel, and you’ve got an excellent outfit for a fall-themed get-together at someone’s home. Or, if you happen to be out for the evening, try swapping the jeans for the charcoal flannel trousers we mentioned earlier and adding some suede derby shoes. That way, you’ll be able to show off some classy burgundy socks!
Now, let’s build on the windowpane and look at another pattern, the Prince-of-Wales check. Traditionally, this is a Glen check pattern with a windowpane layered over it. Usually, it comes in a black-and-white, or various shades of grey, with a thin blue overlay. But, you may also see ones in pink or even lime green (which can be quite adventurous and surprisingly versatile!). For the fall, though, take a medium-brown Glen check jacket and add a dark green overlay, and you’ve got a beautiful, seasonally-appropriate piece.
How does pattern translate to hosiery in the fall? Sock patterns tend to fall into three categories: stripes, dots, and geometrics. So, how do you combine these with your outfits in the fall?
For these, our principles follow much the way they do year-round. If you’re going to wear striped socks, we suggest letting them be the star of the show. A thicker stripe in our peach/tomato colorway is perfect for the time of year. But, this is a bold look, so do keep the rest of your outfit a little more subtle.
Socks with dots in a similar colorway can be perfectly nice as well. We think you can pair them with patterned shirts, as long as the scale of the pattern is different. So, the striped shirt you left on the hanger while wearing our peach/tomato striped socks would be just fine here!
Geometrics are a great middle-ground for your sock pattern. Pair our green, orange, and blue square knots with any heavy cotton chino or brushed corduroy trouser for a seasonal flavor. Geometric socks work well with smaller, tightly-patterned jackets- in particular, classic tweeds.
To recap, we’ve covered color, texture, and pattern as a way to get ready for menswear’s favorite season. Colors become darker, richer, deeper. Textures are softer and inviting-or ‘cozy,’ to use the vernacular. And, pattern play is perhaps the most interesting of all. Building upon the richer shades and more complex textures of the fall, a classic pattern can take on new life.
But, there’s a little more to the story. We tend to think of ‘spring cleaning’ as a way to organize, clear out winter’s stockpiles, and prepare for the year ahead. Here, though, we also say you can organize before winter by taking stock of your sock drawer. The truth is, we tend to wear far more socks in the fall and winter than summer. See what you have, and how you can combine it based on what we laid out above.
Thanks for reading.
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 Nathan James September 05, 2023
by Nathan James July 28, 2023