June 26, 2022

50signs

The Fashion Spirit

20 Best Dress Socks And How to Wear Them

15 min read
Grey Uniqlo Dress Sock

There is nothing more embarrassing than impressing everyone with your impeccable fashion sense just to blow it once you expose your ratty, hole-filled, faded socks peeking out from under your perfectly tailored trousers. You might think “hey, why do I need to put thought into my dress socks if no one actually sees them?” To that, we say: People will see and people will judge you. Your dress socks are a crucial part of knowing how to dress well, so it’s time to treat them as such.

From first dates and job interviews to office Christmas parties and casual days out on the town, the socks maketh the man, and trust us, you want to maketh the man in the best way possible. And you can’t expect dollar-store socks to do the trick.

OUR TOP PICK – UNIQLO COLORED SOCKS : Buy Now

You may be surprised that Uniqlo is topping our list, but this price, style, material, and comfort can’t be beaten by any bougie sock brand. Their simple ribbed dress socks come in a variety of colors to choose from for any outfit in any situation.

RUNNER UP – CALVIN KLEIN COMBED FLAT KNIT SOCK : Buy Now

You trust them with your underwear, so why not your dress socks too? Flashing the signature CK logo on the side will let everyone know that you are a sophisticated gentleman who knows how to dress the part. The combed cotton, nylon, and Lycra blend is a classic crew length that won’t leave that embarrassing shin indent.

ALSO GREAT – CDLP BAMBOO SOCKS : SEE IT

Cotton is so yesterday. If you’re looking to have the future on your feet, look no further than these mid-length dress socks from CDLP made from mostly bamboo, and featuring a reinforced toe and heel and elongated ribbed cuff (with discreet logo).

Here is our list of the best men’s dress socks to scoop up when shopping for your sock drawer. Including options for crew socks, bright colors, classic styles, and more, this list will keep your feet feeling right.

The 20 Best Men’s Dress Socks

1. Our Top Pick: Uniqlo Colored Socks

You may be surprised that Uniqlo is topping our list, but this price, style, material, and comfort can’t be beaten by any bougie sock brand. Their simple ribbed dress socks come in a variety of colors to choose from for any outfit in any situation. Want a pop of color with your otherwise subdued outfit? Uniqlo yellow dress socks with a navy suit and black oxford shoes. Want to spice things up for date night? Try the orange socks paired with dark slim-fit trousers, a cardigan, and loafers.

However you choose to pair your socks, you can’t go wrong with this colorful cotton-blend bunch. With a sturdy thickness that maintains even after hundreds of washes and a grip that won’t have them falling down, you can’t go wrong with the brand that doesn’t sacrifice quality for the price.

Grey Uniqlo Dress Sock

2. Runner Up: Calvin Klein Combed Flat Knit Sock

You trust them with your underwear, so why not your dress socks too? Flashing the signature CK logo on the side will let everyone know that you are a sophisticated gentleman who knows how to dress the part. The combed cotton, nylon, and Lycra blend is a classic crew length that won’t leave that embarrassing shin indent.

These classic socks will go with just about any suit you can imagine so invest in a pair for wedding season, holiday party season, and beyond.

Calvin Klein Combed Knit Dress Socks

3. Also Great: CDLP Bamboo Socks

Cotton is so yesterday. If you’re looking to have the future on your feet, look no further than these mid-length dress socks from CDLP made from mostly bamboo, and featuring a reinforced toe and heel and elongated ribbed cuff (with discreet logo). The bamboo, which is a natural fiber spun from bamboo grass, gives us a blend of luster, flexibility, and breathability as well as the fun add ons of being anti-bacterial, anti-allergenic, and anti-odor.

Consciously crafted in Italy, these socks will have you finding new fresh ways to wear a suit and looking, feeling, and smelling good at every event you may have lined up.

CLDP Dress socks

4. Nice Laundry Herringbone Personalized Dress Socks

Do you know what’s better than a solid dress sock? A solid dress sock with your initials on it. With Nice Laundry’s emphasis on the personalization of wardrobe staples, it’s no wonder you can get specially monogrammed dress socks. There are three styles you can choose from when personalizing your socks: Varsity style, Diamond style, and Classic style. Both Diamond and Classic styles allow you 2-3 initials while Varsity style is a bit shorter at one initial.

These socks also add a pop of color and texture to your look – even without your personal touch. Pair them with a laid-back navy suit or a button-down, navy slacks, and loafers for a smart causal office look.

Nice Laundry Essential Blues Dress Socks

 

5. Boardroom Socks Mid Calf Dress Socks

If you’re looking to invest in some quality dress socks, look no further than Boardroom Socks. Not only are the socks soft and breathable, which keeps your feet dry, but they are designed to stay up and built to last with a reinforced heel and toe. Using yarns sourced from multiple places globally, each pair of socks is ultimately made in the USA.

In terms of their Pima Cotton dress socks, the buttery-soft finish feels like a slight breeze against your skin. With its timeless ribbed style that offers versatility, you can wear these socks with trousers and loafers, jeans and a leather jacket, a three-piece suit, and more. They are also offered in a variety of colors ranging from khaki to olive.

Boardroom Socks Navy Dress Socks

6. Maggie’s Organics Cotton Classic Crew Socks

With cotton harvested and ginned in Tanzania, shipped to one of three independent families in North Carolina to be knitted and dyed to create these socks, you can say that these are both global and American-made dress socks. Comfortable, durable, and affordable socks, Maggie’s are a great addition to any smart man’s collection.

Their classic crew socks are their best-sellers – for a reason. The type of sock you can wear every day, and year-round, it’s the type of sock that will take you from your morning workout to your client-meeting filled days in the office (though we suggest you change your socks to limit any ghastly odors).

Maggie Organics Crew Socks

7. Falke Airport Socks

With jet-setting picking up again, Falke’s Airport socks are making their comeback – not that they went anywhere in the first place.

Built from a versatile blend of wool, cotton, polyamide, and elastane engineered to keep your feet and lower calves cool, cushioned, and comfortable, they were originally meant for long days of air travel. However, these socks are a must even when you don’t have layovers on top of layovers to struggle bus through; these densely knit socks will treat your feet right no matter the situation.

There are many colors available, and its very respectable price tag will ensure your outfit and wallet are equally satisfied without sacrificing your sophisticated look.

Falke Airport Socks

8. Gold Toe Harrington Crew Socks

These crew socks might not be as refined as the high-end luxury brands, but they still deliver ribbed dress socks vibes with the built-in cushioning of your favorite high school athletic sock. They also keep your feet from becoming mini-swamps with their aqua FX cotton, a soft, breathable, and responsive blend that absorbs sweat for dry, cool comfort all day long. The last thing you want is to take off your loafers or other dress shoes and hear a squish.

Plus, at less than $4 a pair, you can afford to buy your Gold Toes by the dozen — and each pack of six socks follows a specific color scheme so you can ensure your socks will match any outfit.

Gold Toe Dress Socks

9. Polo Ralph Lauren Over the Calf Dress Socks

Sometimes, you need to ensure that your socks will not slide down your leg. That’s where Polo Ralph Lauren’s ribbed socks come in. These over-the-calf-high socks are lightweight and comfortable, staying in place for however long you need. The embroidered Polo Ralph Lauren logo at top of each pair also adds a subtle hint of class, putting the finishing touches on your outfit – that is if your pants actually expose the logo in the first place.

If you’re not feeling overly scandalous, then the ribbed nature of the socks will be that subtle touch you need.

Polo Ralph Lauren Over the Calf Dress Socks

10. Pantherella Danvers Rib Cotton Lisle Socks

Pantherella brings luxury, without the luxury prices. Made with high-quality cotton lisle, these socks are made at the same factory that Pantherella has been pumping socks out of since 1937 in Leicester, England.

Available in a wide range of colors, these durable dress socks will elevate your formal looks no matter what time of year and what situation. Designed with comfort and style in mind, they complement a crisp pair of selvedge denim jeans as much as they do a pair of tailored men’s trousers or the best men’s chinos.

Panterella Danvers Rib Cotton Dress Socks

11. Tom Ford White Cashmere Dress Socks

What’s classier than a pair of Tom Ford white cashmere dress socks? Not much to be completely honest. The only reason this sock isn’t part of our top 3 picks is because of the price tag. At $195, these socks are definitely a splurge. But these mid-calf socks are knitted in Italy from soft cashmere that’s breathable and moisture-wicking, so it’s worth it in our books. These ribbed luxury socks also maintain their comfort and shape.

While these socks are definitely very comfortable, avoid making them everyday socks. Fashion house socks should be reserved for special occasions when you need to up your game from head to toe.

Tom Ford Dress Socks

12. Nike Everyday Plus Cushioned Crew Socks

Nike doesn’t have to just be your go-to when it comes to athletic socks; their signature everyday crew can also be used for fancy dinner dates, important client meetings, and more. The Dri-Fit classic has ribbing that mimics a dress sock with extra cushioning under the heel and forefoot to keep you comfortable for hours as you network, walk around or dance at your next bar party. On top of that, you have sweat-wicking power and breathability up top that will keep your feet dry and cool. Talk about comfortable dress socks!

Though they are thin enough to slide into sleeker shoes — like loafers or derbies — it’s thick enough to keep your toes warm should the night take a cold turn. Be prepared to throw these on for any and all occasions.

Nike Dress Socks

13. Bombas Ribbed Dress Knee High Sock

Bombas: the sock brand that podcasters love. And not only are they cult favorites, but they also aim to help others. With socks being a highly requested clothing item in homeless shelters, Bombas donates one pair of socks for every pair purchased. So if you want to buy dress socks and give back, Bombas is the way to go.

In return, you won’t be getting your grandpa’s dress socks (as their website states). Instead, you can expect these socks to be thin, comfortable, and stay up all day. Using lightweight fine gauge knit, a seamless toe, and a specially designed cuff that stretches outward and also vertically, to contour your leg and stay in place. With fun sock designs such as striped color mixes and bright, eye-catching colors (hello neon pink), you will be sure to make a splash.

Bombas Cotton Dress Socks

14. Lady White LWC Sock

Founded in 2015, Lady White Co. initially focused solely on jersey T-shirts. Luckily, they also expanded to men’s dress socks (sort of). Importing them from a 50-year-old hosiery factory in Nagoya, Japan, the LWC sock is made of organic cotton and are mid-length on the calf — and are the only product imported to Lady White Co. due to its unmatched blend of comfort.

This super-soft but durable sock (it can survive many washes) comes in a variety of subdued colors from roasted plum to sky blue and brown twig. While these won’t be in your face, the accent of color with your suit, denim pants, chinos, and more will show others you know what you’re doing.

Lady White LWC Dress Socks

15. Scotch and Soda Ribbed Cotton Sock

Fun Sock Guy + Dress Socks = Scotch and Soda Ribbed Cotton socks.

Made with a soft cotton blend, these socks feature trendy colorways that top off any outfit, meaning you may want to get multipacks of socks in order to splurge on all of the festive socks. Finished off with the Scotch and Soda logo, these socks were made to show off at the office, on a date, strolling down the streets, and more.

Show off your quirky side with a pair of these dress pants — and by quirky, we mean the fun quirky, not the “this guy is a weirdo, run” quirky.

Scotch&Soda Two-Pack Dress Socks

16. Corgi x Todd Synder Plain Sock in Fir Green

Who knew Fir Green was such a trendy sock color? Based on the Todd Snyder Spring 2021 color palette, Corgi and Todd Synder teamed up to develop custom sock colors — and the effect is a sock that goes beyond the springtime.

Pair this particular color with a navy suit for a super dressy event or pair it with some dark-wash denim and a leather jacket to soften the bad-boy edge.

Todd Snyder Corgi Dress Socks

17. Tie Bar Solid Burgundy Dress Socks

Yes, the Tie Bar is known for its ties (and dress shirts), but luckily, they’ve expanded to dress socks as well. Coming in more colors than just burgundy, these hand-sewn socks are the perfect pair to create a backbone to your sock drawer. These simple, yet stylish, socks will carry you through every formal event in your life.

Match the burgundy socks with charcoal, black, navy, or brown suit to really show off your pairing skills.

Tie Bar Dress Socks

18. Bonobos Soft Everyday Socks

Sometimes those black dress socks just won’t cut it; sometimes you need a pair of casual socks that you can cross over to the formal side. That’s where these Bonobos’ everyday socks come in. With both fun and refined prints, you can spruce up your outfit with a single pair. From simple polka dots and stripes to tucan prints, sailboats, and more, you can decide how funky you want to get.

At $15 a pair, you might not want to buy every single pair (even though they do have frequent sales!). But buying a solid 2-3 pairs will make your wardrobe that much happier.

Bonobos Fun Dress Socks

19. Brooks Brothers Merino Wool Socks

Known for the best Oxford shirts for men and classic chinos, the All-American brand can also give you a classic pair of dress socks. Made from merino wool and nylon, with hand-linked toes and an over-the-calf option, these ribbed socks are a staple for your sock drawer.

They will also keep your feet warm for even the chilliest formal event. No need need to suffer for fashion any longer.

Brooks Brothers Dress Socks

20. Easton Marlowe Cotton Patterned Socks

Say goodbye to regular socks and hello to Easton Marlowe socks. If you’re looking for a good deal on some fun socks, then this is the brand for you. Made with a combination of cotton and other materials, these socks come in a set of similar patterns that will give you a mood board for your feet.

Depending on the pack you get, you can dress them up or dress them down. From being the splash of color with your black tie dress to the accessory you need for a day on the town, owning a pack will only elevate your fashion game.

Easton Marlow Fun Dress Socks for Men

How To Choose The Right Dress Socks

When it comes to choosing the right dress socks, make sure to keep the following in mind.

How To Wear Dress Socks

Consider the Material

Cotton

Cotton is lightweight, soft, and moisture-absorbing fiber, helping your feet to stay cool and dry during even the hottest months. Breathable, washable, and durable, cotton is found in most socks that you purchase. It is generally blended with nylon, another nonabsorbent material, to help move moisture away from the foot.

Wool

If you’re looking for a warmer sock for those winter months, go with wool. Wool also manages moisture well, while also managing odor and being breathable. Since it’s a thicker material, it’s perfect for keeping your toes nice and toasty when the air outside drops down.

Silk

While not as durable as cotton or wool, silk is definitely a heavenly material to have on your feet. With its cooling nature, silk socks will keep your feet feeling breezy in your shoes. It is commonly mixed with wool and cashmere for this precise reason.

Cashmere

Also known for its fineness and softness, cashmere is not the most durable material. Cashmere socks are normally referred to as nighttime socks, but if you choose to wear this material outside, save them for special occasions.

Synthetic 

Synthetic material is a lighter, cheaper, and more durable material than other sock materials. It dries quicker, offers good warmth and odor control. While it might not be the most comfortable material, it will last you a long time.

Choose the Right Pattern

Fun Dress Socks

Stripes

If you want to add patterns to your dress socks, starting with stripes is probably your best bet. Easy to incorporate and not overpowering, stripes add flair to an otherwise monotoned look. Just beware of adding stripes to more stripes.

Argyle

We know — this is a grandpa pattern. But sometimes argyle socks can add that certain something to an outfit. If you do end up choosing this pattern, make it the focus of your outfit. Cuff your pants, and make sure the rest of your outfit is more subdued.

Polka-dots

Polka-dot dress socks can be a lot of fun. From choosing the size of the dots to the color combination, this is one way to add flair to your outfit.

Fun patterns

If none of the patterns above satisfies your need for eccentricity, then look into patterns that aren’t so normalized. Pizza patterns, french fries, coconuts, palm trees – you name it! Our advice? Save these fun patterns for a more casual event and leave the more “sophisticated” patterns for formal events.

Think About Length

Ankle socks

While you’re probably not wearing ankle socks to formal occasions, ankle socks are probably best for events where you want to show some skin but also not look like you’re going sockless in your shoes.

No-show socks

We get it – sometimes you want a very exposed ankle. If you decide going sockless (or at least appearing so) is the bold choice for you, make sure your no-show sock is sturdy and actually stays up. The last thing you need is your sock bunching underneath your foot and a nasty blister forming on your heel.

Mid-Calf socks

While slightly longer than the crew cut sock, a mid-calf sock is exactly what it sounds like — mid-calf length. The best type of sock to wear if you have larger calves, this length is more versatile than its longer cousin, the over-the-calf. Best for work, semi-formal occasions, and casual wear.

Crew socks

Slightly shorter than the mid-calf, crew socks are the best versatile sock out there. From first dates to office hangouts and parties and more, crew length is universally flattering and goes with almost every outfit and is still formal enough — without being overly stuffy.

Over-the-calf socks 

Over-the-calf socks are best worn for formal occasions when you want to ensure that your socks will not fall down. If you have bigger calves, make sure that the sock is either made from a type of material that will stretch easily or slightly bigger than other socks you own.

Select Colors That Match Your Outfit

While you don’t have to match your sock color completely, you do want to make sure that the pair of socks you choose is within the color theme of your outfit. Have a lot of warm colors in your outfit? Try a yellow, burnt orange, or deep red. Have a lot of cool colors in your outfit? Try navy or burgundy. If you go with a patterned sock, make sure that the colors within fit the palette.

How To Color Match Your Dress Socks With Your Pants

Man Wearing Dress Socks

While your first thought might be to pair your socks to your shoes, you actually want to make sure your socks and pants match up. Some common colorways to consider are:

1.) Black pants with either black, charcoal, or gray dress socks (or even a solid-colored sock)

2.) Gray or navy pants with either black, charcoal, gray, or navy dress socks

3.) Khaki pants with either khaki, olive, brown, navy, white or purple dress socks

4.) Olive pants with either khaki, olive, brown, navy or charcoal dress socks

5.) Brown pants with either khaki, olive, burgundy or brown dress socks

Whether you’re on your way to a wedding or picking up someone for your first date, don’t forget a key aspect of your outfit: your dress socks.

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