I suppose it’s hard to begin this piece without thinking of Carl Perkins’ 1953 lick about ‘Blue Suede Shoes.’ Black and brown are traditional shoe colors for a reason; they’re easy to style. But, what if you’d like to deviate from the norm and venture into more sartorially uncharted territory? Blue just might be a good bet. Here’s how to match your socks with your blue shoes.
Blue shoes come in more than suede, of course. You can find them in just about any material it’s possible to make shoes out of, from synthetic athletic sneakers to exotic-skinned penny loafers with elongated, squared-off toe boxes. As with anything, we’d recommend the more moderate end of things.
For dress shoes. Keep the blue darker. A deep navy with a little patina is far more versatile than a ‘shocking’ electric blue. Try it with a blue suit, of course, but also consider as a substitute for standard brown shoes with grey flannel trousers and khaki chinos. Jeans, of course, can work too.
Blue shoes do come in any style you can think of, but we’d recommend erring on the more casual end of a dress shoe. So, avoid cap-toe oxfords or wholecuts. Instead, go for derby styles or casual loafers. While tassel loafers can work, a penny loafer is perhaps more versatile.
Next, consider materials. True to the song Elvis covered, blue suede shoes are going to work better than smooth leather for a couple of reasons. First, colored dyes in suede can show up a little darker than smooth leather. This dovetails with the second point. Lower-cost suede looks far better than lower-cost smooth leather. Since these won’t be the most frequently-worn pair in your closet, it’s okay to skimp a little here.
With style and materials covered, let’s move on to dress sock colors.
Blue shoes and blue socks are natural for a first choice. It’s common sartorial wisdom matching your trouser and sock color elongates the leg line, making you appear taller. You could do the same thing here without too much difficulty, and I’m sure it would look quite nice. However, I’d encourage trying a lighter blue sock with a darker blue shoe for maximum effect. A darker sock and lighter shoe creates an odd contrast, especially in blue. Our sky blue socks are perfect for this.
For something a little bolder, try the complementary pairing of blue and red. Deeper blue and brighter red are classic “power suit” and tie pairings for a reason, so why not apply it to shoes and socks?
Burgundy can look nice, too, as the color itself has blue undertones to go with the shoes. However, I’d be particular on the shade of blue on the shoes. Blue can have some purplish undertones, which can contrast oddly with a pair of burgundy socks. So, do be mindful of that.
Cream socks work quite well here. First, it’s a blank canvas on which just about shoe-black, brown, burgundy, or otherwise-works well. Second, it’s easy to dress up or down, so it’ll work with bolder blue dress shoes, or some casual trainers for a trip to the market or coffee shop.
Cream socks can be a little tougher to keep clean- but if you wash them gently and use one of our sock garment bags, it makes the process much easier!
The rules for patterned dress socks and blue shoes are pretty much the same for any other pair. First, keep the patterns small. So, dots and knots are what I’d go for first. Stripes can be fine, but tread lightly here. A striped sock is much bolder than a small pattern, and blue shoes are naturally going to attract attention anyway. It’s easy to go overboard!
As for color, seek out ones that complement blue. A khaki pair with dots in orange and green. Or, some in charcoal with pink does. Or, consider charcoal and burgundy as well.
As we discussed, blue shoes-especially blue dress shoes- are going to be the hero piece in any outfit. Bold stripes, large patterns, or anything especially funky distract from the end goal. So, keep it simple.
As for colors, I’d avoid solid pink, kelly or lime green, or solid orange. While each of these work well on their own (and olive green is quite nice with blue canvas shoes or trainers), it’s just too much.
Thanks, as always, 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 Editorial Staff December 07, 2023
by Editorial Staff December 01, 2023