Do I match my dress socks to my shoes or my pants?

I have a friend who recently called me to settle a bet between he and some buddies. Staunchly opposed, they had to know whether they should match their dress socks to their shoes or their pants. I can only imagine how they arrived at this impasse.

The short answer to their question? Neither.


Most writers and fashion bloggers will agree that socks are the place for guys to show some personality. Argyle, stripes, houndstooth and paisley are all fair game. 

But they pressed me to choose . One of them had to win the argument and "neither" wasn't a valid option. So here is my answer: If you are dead set on matching to one or the other, match your socks to your shoes.

When it comes to matching fabrics, an easy beginner rule is "exactly or very different" meaning you either need to match the color, pattern and texture of fabrics exactly or choose a positively contrasting color. This is especially evident when people try to put a black blazer with faded black pants and we all wonder what they were thinking.

Matching socks to your shoes is much easier because no one expects fabric to have the same color or finish as leather, so you can get away with a much wider array of styles. 

But whatever you do, never wear white socks