Anytime you’re dressing up in a tux, you know something special is on the horizon. Are you attending a black tie dinner with the President? Getting married to the love of your life? Or maybe painting the town red in Las Vegas? (Don’t worry: What happens there stays there, or so we’re told).

Yes, wearing a tuxedo is the surest way to a classy and classic style for any man. But to really nail the look, you’ll need to make sure every detail is in place:

Cufflinks? Check.

Polished dress shoes? Check.

Socks? Well, glad you asked — because that’s what we’re here to help you with today.

What Are Tuxedo Socks?

Let’s get things clear right from the start: If you’ve had trouble finding tuxedo socks with a quick online search or two, that might be because there isn’t quite a type of sock by that name.

What do we mean? Well, the socks you’ll wear with a tuxedo are most commonly known as plain ol’ dress socks. The same sort of socks you might wear to work at an office will usually do for wearing with a tuxedo as well.

What Type of Socks Do You Wear With A Tuxedo?

With that cleared up, you should also know that you’ll need black dress socks to complete the tuxedo look. Not just any black socks will do — you should really go for a high quality pair of black cotton or black merino wool dress socks.

black tuxedo socks with velvet slippers

Dress socks that you can wear with a tuxedo come in two different lengths, though, so you’ll have to decide which one is right for you. Either way, the goal is the same: You don’t want your bare legs to show when you sit down and the cuffs of your pants rise up.

Lucky for you, we’ve put together an entire guide to dress sock length that will clear up any confusion and point you in the right direction. It’s largely a matter of preference, but the basic idea is this: Over the calf socks are more formal and classic (and 90 percent of the time, they’ll be the better choice for wearing with a tuxedo). Mid-calf socks are more casual, but can also be cooler and more comfortable if you’re in a warm climate.

Speaking of climates: To really dial in your tuxedo sock game, you’ll need to choose between cotton and merino wool.

The best material for dress socks is partly a matter of personal preference, and partly a practical matter. Cotton dress socks are generally softer and lighter, and better for wearing in hot climates. But merino wool dress socks manage moisture and odor better, and are cozier in cold climates.

Our advice: Grab a pair of each and test them out for yourself.

Shop Tuxedo Socks

What’s Next? Other Formal Socks

To sum it up: When it comes to socks for a tuxedo, your absolute best bet is to go with a pair of black over the calf dress socks. Merino wool will likely be more comfortable for colder climates (or guys with particularly sweaty feet), and cotton is a better choice if your tuxedo-clad event just happens to be in the middle of the desert in June.

Once you get a taste for wearing high quality socks though, chances are you won’t want to go back to your department store standbys. If that’s the case, maybe you’d like to give some of our other guides a quick read? We also cover how to buy dress socks step by step, as well as how to wear fun dress socks without looking tacky.

Finally, be sure to visit our comprehensive piece on how to wear socks with a suit, a perfect resource for those events that are a step below black tie in formality.

 Other Articles on Formal Attire:
Guide to Wedding Dress Socks
5 Best Wedding Socks for Groomsmen
What are the Best Knee High Socks for Men?

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff

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.

Also in The Boardroom Memo

navy wool dress socks with dark slacks and black oxfords for male banker
Banking Attire: How Bankers Dress Like a Million Bucks at Work

by Editorial Staff April 18, 2024

Whether you’re new to the banking industry or are a seasoned vet, this article shares style tips on how to dress like a million bucks as a banker.
Read More
pastel pink dress socks worn with dark denim and brown tassel loafers
Pastel Dress Socks: How to Embrace the Spring Season in Style

by Editorial Staff March 15, 2024

Spring weather marks the transition away from darker colors as brighter shades emerge into full bloom. This guide to spring socks offers advice on incorporating pops of color to your attire for the new season.
Read More
wool socks with lots of pilling
How Do You Stop a Wool Sock Pilling?

by Editorial Staff January 20, 2024

Like fine sweaters, you may encounter pilling on your dress socks. Read this guide for tips on how to fix pilled socks as well as how to best prevent pilling in the first place.
Read More