Happy Socks AW12 Collection
#16 - Corgi Thick Fair Isle Socks @ Mr. Porter - the next best thing once you see the price tag on those Junya’s jackets.
Urban Menswear Myths #2
It’s usually accepted that a gentleman should stick to a particular color palette, comprised of classic shades and refraining from overly bold items and accessories. Although this perception of the overall ensemble is slowly falling into oblivion, one item in particular has been breaking boundaries and rapidly assuming the spotlight when it comes to introducing color and pattern into an outfit: the sock.
As with so many other elements in menswear, it’s assumed that socks should only be purchased in a variety of solid hues of black, blue, grey and brown. In strictly formal, corporate environments, any kind of subtle alteration is often looked upon sideways, making it all the more easier and somewhat safer, to stick to those basics and avoid unnecessary risks and attention. Make no mistake, even within this range there’s a fiery debate on how socks should match other elements, namely the shoe or the trouser.
However, as the definition of formal is changing by the day, allowing us to present slight glimpses of personality through our attires, be it in the form of a colorful tie, pocket square, cufflink or even socks, now is the time to do so. Sporting a slightly flashier solid or patterned version, should not be faced as provocative, but rather as a strong dash of character. If done right, it’s a perfect way to add visual interest and the right amount of edge to any look. Just don’t go overboard and stay away from childish prints or motifs, but don’t be afraid to show some color; especially with more casual outfits…roll those cuffs and show them socks! Contrasting ankles are a great way to step it up a notch.
Sock it up
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, this year has seen a growing acceptance of the no socks-no break look.
Everywhere you look, people have been wearing rolled up jeans/chinos or cuffed suit pants well above the ankle line, showing off their bare skin and military shined footwear. Until a while back, when temperatures were high, it seemed like the perfect look to pull off…However, as the cold winter days are upon us, one will certainly feel the need to protect his exposed ankles from the freezing wind and rain (I for one, do).
So, if like me, you’re struggling to conciliate both ensemble and comfort, you know there’s no way around it: your socks will be out there for the world to see. As such, you might consider investing in a fine collection of assorted socks.
When doing so, you should keep in mind that depending on color, texture, fabric and pattern, socks may bear different levels of formality and suitability to outfits. Even in a time when the matching rules of old no longer apply, this is something than can make or break a look.
If you’re going for a more formal attire, stick to thin cotton socks in classic solid colors such as charcoal, navy, black, etc. Other than that, why not have some fun? Consider them a part of your overall look, one you can tweak and incorporate accordingly, either by pairing with other items or making it pop out.
Navy heavy knit cardigan by Massimo Dutti, hunter green oxford button down by Ralph Lauren, jeans by Levi’s (511 Slim), brown tasseled loafers by Lottusse, tartan scarf by Ralph Lauren, argyle socks by H&M and watch by Rolex.
Interesting alternatives are not always easy to find, but here are a few to get you going:
Ralph Lauren (Photos from Asos)