How to Choose Socks: Navigating the Under-the-Knee Revolution
August 11, 2017

How to Choose Socks: Navigating the Under-the-Knee Revolution

How to Choose Socks: Navigating the Under-the-Knee Revolution

As of late, socks are stealing the limelight in men’s fashion, and even the shiest guys have begun to join the movement, led, unofficially, by a certain young prime minister.

Whether you are already the fun sock type or are still toeing the classical line, so to speak, this post is for you.  Why?  Because, our resident sock-expert, Carmine Micciulla, explains, “we look for luxury fabrications and sophisticated patterns.”

With a dedicated department of over 500 styles at a time and an average of 12,000 pairs sold annually, we have indeed something to say on the topic. Read on for our two cents regarding what color socks to wear for every occasion.

The Rules

We try to keep a little over half of our selection in the “classic” category. So, let’s refresh the basics about socks.

Color: At Paul Stuart we believe that socks can be coordinated to your overall look in any way. That said, the rule of thumb is that your socks should match the color of your trousers. That means you should wear black socks with black trousers, wear dark gray socks with charcoal trousers, wear blue socks with blue jeans, and so on.

Length: The quintessential everyman’s sock is mid-calf length, perfect for professional ensembles as well as casual attire. Just remember that a gentleman should not expose his bare leg unintentionally, at least in a formal environment. Should this be a concern, opt for an over-the-calf length to play it safe.

Fabric: Wool, the earliest yarn used in sock production, is still the best. Wool is breathable, so it keeps feet warm in cold weather and cool in hot temperatures. But cotton socks, durable and easy to maintain, are another good option. However, if you’re looking for high end socks, we also carry high quality fibers such as cashmere and Alpaca wool.  Of note, about two-thirds of our socks are made in Italy, with another small portion behind.

Here a few classic models:

Stepping into the Sock Extravaganza

Even if you don’t feel ready to wear loud colors and patterns, you can still use socks to brighten up your look. If you're wearing a clean palette of black, navy, grey or nude, spice it up with a solid pair of socks in a bright color or subtle pattern. However, when it comes to patterns for starters, it never hurts to stick with classic dots or stripes. Always remember to pick a color that ties back to some element of your outfit or has similar undertones. For starters:

For the Boldest

If statement-making socks are a go-to for you just choose from among our boldest models:

Not So Obvious Options

Because socks are considered serious business at Paul Stuart, our ankle-level product options are many.  While some consider sock garters rather old fashioned, they do serve their purpose, when needed, of keeping your socks in place. Plus, they offer an intimate way to express your personality. We also carry no show socks, known to some as “peds,” which work are the perfect pairing with your favorite pair of loafers.  


Should you wish to see our socks live, a visit to our Madison Avenue store is in order.  You’ll find our recently-renovated sock shop in an alcove between the store’s grand front room and the first floor’s rear galleries.