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A Gentleman's Guide to Choosing Socks for Every Occasion

Your socks were probably the last thing on your mind when you got dressed this morning. However, your indifference does not negate the fact that these humble garments are an essential part of your wardrobe. Besides protecting your feet from cold and friction, socks can help make or break your overall look. Think about it. You will hardly look stylish even if you don an expensive suit and matching shoes if you wear the wrong type and colour of socks. That said, you must learn how to choose the right pair of socks to complete your everyday ensemble.

If you don’t know how to dress your feet, read on. This piece will help you figure out what types of socks to wear for different occasions. We will also share several tips you may want to consider when wearing socks, so you’ll always appear dapper whether you’re going to a casual event or attending an elegant function.

Mr Porter
Mr Porter

Types of Socks for Different Occasions 

Socks come in various types. And each kind is designed for a specific purpose. When it comes to choosing the right socks for every occasion, understanding the different types of socks available can help elevate your style. That is why you may need to expand your sock collection to ensure you have a ready pair for every occasion. For starters, familiarise yourself with the different types of socks you can invest in: 

Functional Socks 

As the name suggests, functional socks are practical pairs. They are ultra-comfortable, breathable, and often made with moisture-wicking material to keep feet dry. You can wear functional socks while relaxing at home, running errands, or getting around town. They are the type that most people are familiar with and your best bet for casual and recreational activities. 

When buying functional socks, try to choose colours that blend well with most of your clothes, like neutral hues. You may also want to shop antimicrobial socks for men to prevent your feet from becoming a breeding ground for odour-causing bacteria. Functional socks treated with antimicrobial technology are particularly helpful if your feet are prone to sweating because they will keep your feet fresh smelling for longer.

Stuarts London
Stuarts London

Dress Socks 

Besides having several pairs of functional socks for your daily activities, you also need a couple of elegant and stylish dress socks that you can wear for business and for formal settings. The best dress socks offer moisture-wicking benefits to keep your feet dry and comfy. They are also thinner than ordinary socks to comfortably fit your dress shoes and create a more polished appearance. 

Make sure to find pairs that fit snugly from top to toe and in colours and patterns that complement your shoes and trousers. If you are having trouble picking out the right design, you may want to stick to solid black, charcoal, and similar hues as they always go well with dress shoes and formal attire. 

Athletic or Sports Socks 

Athletic socks are designed for intense outdoor activities. They are made with higher-quality and thicker fabrics to offer utmost cushioning and protection against shock, sweat, and friction. Essentially, sports socks go beyond merely covering the feet. Their primary purpose is to provide additional foot support to help improve athletic performance and prevent injuries. Make sure to purchase quality pairs suited to the sport you are playing.

Barker Shoes
Barker Shoes

Statement Socks 

If you are a bit adventurous and enjoy expressing your personality and mood through fashion, you may want to expand your sock collection to include statement or novelty pieces. Statement socks come in unique designs, prints, and colours, from stripes and polka-dots to musical notes and rainbow patterns. They are suitable for transforming an ordinary casual ensemble into a more fun and stylish outfit. You can also pair statement socks with neutral clothes and sneakers to make them shine. Although you can pair statement socks with a business suit to show your personal style, you may want to exercise caution. Steer clear of controversial prints and colours that could ruin your image and overall style. 

Sock Styling Tips 

The socks you wear can make or break your overall style. As such, you must learn how to put on the right pair that will turn heads for all the right reasons. From picking out the right length to matching socks to your ensemble, here are some key style tips you may want to remember when wearing socks to create a put-together look:


Keep it classy: Although it may seem obvious, it is worth emphasising that you should always wear clean matching socks without holes or visible stains to prevent embarrassing situations. 

Play it safe: When sporting business or formal attire, you may want to wear knee-length dress socks to ensure that your bare legs will always remain hidden. 

Stay colour-coordinated: Choose a sock colour that matches your dress trousers or a shade that blends well with your overall ensemble. 

Consider the occasion: Always wear socks appropriate to the event you are attending. If you are going to a formal gathering, opt for elegant dress socks. For casual and informal occasions, you have more options. You can wear a functional pair or experiment with statement pieces or novelty socks. 

London Sock Company
London Sock Company

Although socks are often overlooked when someone is putting together an outfit, it is our hope that this article showed you the immense value of wearing a suitable pair of these foot coverings. From keeping your feet dry and comfortable to helping you create a more polished look, socks are a must-have in any gentleman’s wardrobe. As such, be sure to invest in different types and learn how to wear the right pair so that you always appear stylish no matter the occasion.

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