by Nathan James October 21, 2020

If you are reading this after purchasing some of our socks, thank you very much for your business. As we like to say, “Welcome to the Boardroom.” With the proper care and attention, your new Boardroom Socks are built to last. This article shares an in-depth guide of how to wash your new dress socks and also shares a few quick care tips to further extend the life of your socks. Let’s dive in!

Table of Contents
 (click to skip ahead)
How to Wash Dress Socks
Removing Packaging
Personal Hygiene
Proper Wear

How to Wash Dress Socks

Whether you are washing cotton or merino wool dress socks, following the below guidelines will help your socks retain their performance and shape.

  1. Turn the Socks Inside Out - In addition to protecting the fibers of the socks, washing them inside out will prevent lint or any other debris lingering in your washing machine from adhering to the exterior of the socks.
  2. Wash Cold - While our dress socks are made with resilient materials, high temperatures over time will degrade the nylon and spandex that give the socks their shape. These materials are also responsible for keeping the socks up.
  3. Dry With Care - If possible, we recommend placing your dress socks on a drying rack to let them air dry. If you prefer to machine dry your socks, be sure to dry them on a low temperature.

dress socks inside black mesh sock laundry bag

Finally, we always recommend using a sock laundry bag to wash your socks. In addition to keeping the socks together throughout the laundry, the bag will also protect them from rubbing against other garments. Eliminating this rubbing is key to stopping wool socks from pilling.

View Laundry Bag

Opening Your Boardroom Socks

If you just received a package from Boardroom Socks, the instructions below will help you get started off on the right foot.

Removing the Label

Each pair of our dress socks is held together by a small piece of cardboard, known as a rider. The rider is attached to the socks with a small staple that should be removed with scissors or a small knife. If the rider is forcefully pulled off, you may inadvertently put a hole in the socks.

removing packaging from a pair of burgundy Boardroom Socks

Disposing of Packaging

Please note that all of our packaging is recyclable. The plastic sleeves that our socks are packaged in are rated a “5” on the recycle chart, meaning they can be recycled in the same manner as plastic grocery bags. The postcards and packing slips that accompany our socks are rated as “21” on the recycle chart, meaning they can be recycled in the same manner as magazines and other paper products. We are constantly striving to eliminate waste from our operations.

Personal Hygiene

Each pair of our socks is produced with a reinforced heel and toe, greatly enhancing durability. Even with this extra protection, long toenails will cut right through any pair of socks. If you are consistently wearing a hole in the same area of the toes on your socks, you may need to look at your toenails. While we like to include photos for illustrative purposes, we will spare you in this section!

Proper Wear

Wear the Right Shoes

Dress socks are typically knit with finer, lightweight yarns. The purpose of this is to produce a thinner sock to accommodate the more snug fit of dress shoes. Furthermore, it ensures a smooth drape of your pant leg; thick, bulky socks tend to bunch up around the ankles which will break the otherwise clean look of well-tailored trousers.

brown dress socks and black shoe horn paired with light brown brogue cap toe dress shoes

Given their lightweight nature, dress socks are meant to be worn with dress shoes. If you wear dress socks with heavy-soled shoes or boots, the weight of the shoe will likely pull the socks down and cause premature wear. For your heavier shoes, be sure to wear thicker, heavy weight socks.

man wearing brown dress socks using a black metal shoe horn to put on a pair of light brown brogue captoe oxfords

Also important is how your shoes fit. If your shoes are too big, your feet will slide around, causing increased friction and wear. On the other hand if they are too small, you will likely notice premature wear around the heel and toe areas. If you find holes in your socks consistently in the same spot, check how your shoes fit. These holes can be on the side of the foot, ankle, bottom of your socks or side of your big or small toes.

Shoes Protect Your Socks

Just as socks protect your feet, your shoes protect your socks. Walking around in socks without shoes on exposes them to increased friction and, as you have heard throughout this article, friction is what causes wear on socks. Avoid walking in your socks without shoes on for prolonged periods. Even soft surfaces such as carpet can be abrasive against fine dress socks. If you plan to be walking around the house without shoes on, be sure to slide on your slippers. For even more care tips specifically for wool socks, see our article on how to wash wool socks.

Rotate Your Socks

A common question we are asked is, “How many dress socks do I need in my drawer?” Based on how frequently you wear dress socks, you need to have enough pairs that you can consistently rotate them. If you are wearing the same 2 or 3 pairs of dress socks every week, they will wear out faster than several pairs that are rotated intermittently.

gift box full of colorful wool dress socks for men

To put together a sock drawer, begin by building out the socks you will wear most often. For instance, these could be black, navy and grey – core colors that will pair well with most colors in your closet. We recommend a minimum of two to three pairs of each foundational color. Then you could add some pop to your drawer with patterns and brighter colors. A solid foundation for most men is 12 to 15 pairs. If you wear primarily patterns or brighter colors, we recommend more pairs to allow sufficient time between each wearing to keep your look fresh.

We’re Here to Help

Should you need any assistance with your order, please do not hesitate to contact us. For the fastest response, we recommend emailing us at If you prefer to get in touch via phone, you may call us toll-free at 855-379-7625 (10 AM-4 PM EST).

If you haven't yet found your perfect dress sock, check out our detailed guide on how to buy dress socks. In that article, we go over the three steps we recommend to finding your next favorite pair of dress socks.

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Nathan James
Nathan James

CEO, Boardroom Socks

Nathan is an eighth generation textile professional, passionate about producing quality hosiery right here in North Carolina. His favorite dress socks are our burgundy merino wool socks. You will also frequently find him wearing our no-show socks. Outside of the office he enjoys fishing, reading and exploring Charlotte with his wife, son and Golden Retriever.

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