Sunday, August 3, 2014

Matching Socks - Taking the Middle Ground

Back in April, I wrote a post explaining in detail how to go about picking out a pair of socks to go with your outfit. Our previous advice was to pick solidly between two distinct options - either match your pants (but never your shoes), or to contrast your pants with something bolder, but compliment some colors elsewhere in your outfit (like your tie). 

However, I've recently enjoyed eschewing my own advice (gasp), and instead have been favoring a middle ground. In large part, this has corresponded with a growing tendency in my own style to lean just a bit more classic, and less bold and modern - but I still feel just a little 'off' with plain, solid socks. That in mind, I've been trying to find monochromatic patterns that allow me to put a little bit of contrast and visual interest into my socks while still matching my trousers.

My favorite example is this pair of brown socks I recently picked up from The Tie Bar:

Big Tooth Socks in Chocolate/Light Champagne | The Tie Bar
First, I just gotta say The Tie Bar socks are always a pleasant surprise in comfort and style - especially at the price. That aside, though, I love the tan houndstooth pattern laid over a darker brown background. It's not quite solid, but it's also not a real attention grabber. Additionally, the light/dark mix makes these work just as well with khaki chinos or darker brown dress trousers:
On yours truly. What can brown do for you? (UPS - don't sue me)
Another pair I've been enjoying are these light cotton socks from Frank & Oak in marine blue:

Lightweight Cotton Socks in Marine | Frank & Oak
These actually are listed as solid, but in-person the ribbing actually comes across as a lighter, fine stripe that helps separate them  just a bit from a pair of similarly colored chinos or trousers:

Again, on yours truly. No catch-phrase for blue off the top of my head...
The lesson to be learned is that all the lines drawn in the menswear sand can be blurred. Sure, our previous article listed two pretty distinct methods for math info your socks - but is that all there is to it? Of course not - feel free to interpret, bend and blend the guidelines until you find your own go-to methods. Even then, don't ever be afraid to question those methods and allow them to grow and develop with yourself!

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