Socks: The most underrated essential

While we may all have them, we don’t all know how to wear them – and I don’t just mean making them match. Paired correctly, socks can be an incredibly versatile item of clothing,  and add an elegant finishing touch to any outfit.

First things first, however: getting a good pair of socks. Nowadays, we don’t often spend enough money on a pair of good quality socks. No-one ever sees them, so why should we? Rather, the bulk of our savings goes to shoes, leaving us with just enough coins to get some socks that don’t even fit properly.

But the material on your feet doesn’t have to stay so hidden and so secondary to the rest of your outfit. If we added together all the holes we ever found in our second-rate socks, we could easily have afforded a good quality, trendy, long lasting pair of socks. Sometimes sacrificing quality for a bargain will actually cost more in the long-run.

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But how do you know which pair of socks to buy?

Socks come in all shapes and forms, and 90% of it will inevitably come down to taste. I can tell you that rolling up your black, smart chinos to reveal a pair of striped, high-rise cotton socks to match your sweater is a good choice, but you may not like socks that cover your calves. However, no matter what style of sock you end up choosing, the trick to making it worth the purchase is to make sure people can see them.

If you prefer ankle socks like the ones in the pictures, it’s a really good idea to create a stark contrast with whatever shoes you’re wearing. For longer socks, you can either fold them over your boots, simply wear something shorter, or roll up your long pants a fold or two. The fine-tuning will be accenting the colours correctly.

For monotone suits, matching socks and accessories is a timelessly classic look. If you’re keeping it quite casual, then it can be quite exciting to throw some quirky colour combinations together and seeing how it looks. A good rule of thumb, however, is to avoid matching your pants with your socks, and to look for smaller colour palettes in your outfit that you can peel out with the matching colour in your socks.

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So, whether you’re someone who doesn’t even fold socks together anymore, and picks out any two from the drawer to wear, or whether you’re a “ten-pairs-of-the-same-sock” kind of person, treat yourself to a good pair of cashmere, or cotton socks this month. Look for interesting patterns, or colours you don’t usually buy in other items of clothing, and flash your new purchase a bit more when you wear them out.

Socks don’t need to be a back-up gift. They can add colour, elegance, and style to an outfit, and help break-up subtler tones of grey and beige really really effectively. If you put a little thought into your sock shopping, and maybe get socks with a matching tie and pocket, you can make yourself – and even someone else – a very happy sock-owner.

Toss the “holy” feet fabrics you own, and go get yourself some classy footwear.

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