Man of The House asked us to talk about socks. We ended up having a three page discussion. If you thought those ratty gym socks were enough. Think again.
Unless it’s laundry day or there was a catastrophic event resulting in the loss of all the hosiery except what he is wearing, a man’s socks say a lot about him. The logic of “I wear whatever socks I have, so this argument is invalid” may actually prove the point even further.To peer into a man’s soul, look at his socks.
Yes, this may come off as sacrilegious or judgemental. Yes, it may be critical. But, in the end, hosiery is one of those things people pay attention to. As Grant Harris, owner and chief style consultant of Image Granted, a Washington, D.C.-based company, says: "[People] notice what you should be wearing—not the nice things you are wearing. If you're wearing a nice shirt and a crummy tie, they're going to notice the tie, not the shirt."
Hosiery—The Final Frontier
Although a man’s closet may largely revolve around the versatility of the clothes inside, something must be said about the non-universality of socks.
You would not wear a tanktop beneath a blazer in a situation that calls for a full suit. In that same vein, wearing athletic or ankle socks—even if they're black—with a pair of Oxfords doesn't work.
Regardless of your default style, a 24-pack of white cotton crew socks (while possibly an amazing deal) won't complement the majority of a man's wardrobe, professional or otherwise.
"Menswear is about the detail," says Harris, who adds that a man who is specific about the hosiery he dons is a man who understands the particulars.
But he's also a man whose wardrobe is getting close to where he needs it to be. "When it comes to the point where you're looking for those cashmere over-the-calf socks to go with [nice] boots, you've already got the boots. You've got the suit that goes over the boots. He's past the right suit, shirt or tie."
That point established, Harris says he understands those who are just beginning to build a wardrobe aren't obligated to share his intrepidity when it comes to hosiery ("My sock drawer looks like a rainbow," he says), but after a man's wardrobe is nearing an acceptable level, it's time to focus on refining details.