The Five Rules of Matching Your Socks to Your Outfit

The CEO and Creative Director of Etiquette Clothiers gives us lowdown on matching your socks to the rest of your getup.

If anyone knows the right way to match your socks to the rest of your getup, it’s Benjamin Vergnion , the CEO and Creative Director at Etiquette. So naturally, we asked him for some tips -- since, as you can see from the photo above, we were in desperate need of some help. Here’s what he had to say.

Socks, Meet Pants

If you want to keep it simple, this is the biggest tip you can get: just match your socks to your pants. You’ll create a visually seamless extension of your leg that’ll make you appear taller. Matching doesn’t mean identical colors, though; they just need to fall in the same hue.

A shade lighter or darker is just fine, since it doesn't relegate socks to complete anonymity but they're not screaming to be noticed, either.

Don't Pile On Too Much Flash

There's a fine line with colored socks. Colorful: good. Clownish: bad. Unless you make balloon animals in the park for a living, leave the rest of your outfit muted if you're going to flash some color with your socks.

Everything in Moderation

The busier the patterns and the louder the colors, the more careful you should be. Just like mixing booze, it's a rookie mistake to combine too much. Proceed with caution, and avoid getting overeager. Like everything in life, balance is key.

If You Go Bold, Make Sure Your Outfit is On Point

Colorful socks work best with sharp & simple tailoring or a clean, dark pair of jeans. Though admittedly, everything works better with sharp & simple tailoring or a clean, dark pair of jeans.

The key point is that like waving a bright flag, vivid socks will only draw more attention to a schlubby outfit. So get the rest of your getup in check before you reach for that bright argyle or three color striped pair.

Stay Away From Exact Matches

Don't match the color of your socks exactly to the dominant color of anything else you've got going on, like a tie or pocket square — it looks too deliberate. Matching socks with your shoes is not a smooth move either: your beautiful shoes will blend right into your socks for a bootie effect.

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