How to style your colourful and pattern socks


How to style colorful socks

Fortis Green's rust orange socks highlight the colour in blogger Jared's patterned tie

 

Many men can be intimidated about taking sartorial risks, thinking it’s an approach best left to the experts. Experimenting with improving your day-to-day style is something that’s certainly not for the faint of heart, but if you’re keen to inject a touch of personality into an existing wardrobe, your socks can be a great place to start making these changes (literally working from the ground up). 

And it's worth the investment - In 2016 The Wall Street Journal reported a study by the Yale School of Management that revealed that wearing nicer clothes may raise one’s confidence level, affect how others perceive the wearer, and in some cases even boost the level of one’s abstract thinking, the type in which leaders and executives engage. 

The classic style rule for men when choosing socks and other accessories, is to match the colour of your trousers, for example black socks should be paired with black pants, grey wool trousers with grey dress socks, navy with navy. This trick helps to elongate the leg and you are sure to avoid comment with this traditional approach.

However, some rules were meant to be broken, and if you own a great quality pair of shoes and don’t mind drawing attention to your feet and ankles, Fortis Green wholeheartedly suggest selecting a block colour or patterned pair of socks that will add a touch of contrast to your daily look.

But how do you know which style of sock will suit when the amount of options available on the market is so completely overwhelming? To make things easy we’ve developed the Fortis Green guide to choosing socks, broken down into the categories of Colour, Pattern and Texture. 

COLOUR

Imagine that you wear a classic charcoal or navy suit every day and you’d like to liven it up while still appearing professional. Socks can be a way of expressing a more tailored message to your colleagues and clients without having the in-your-face impact of a boldly patterned shirt, pocket square or tie.

Jared from A Poor Man's Millions in Fortis Green red block colour sock

Jared uses Fortis Green's block colour dress sock in red to highlight plaid trouser detail

Socks can also be a way of colour coordinating an outfit. Things don’t have to match exactly, although we do suggest choosing a shade that works with the existing undertones of your clothing. If you want to take the use of colour to the next sartorial level, the best place to begin is with a colour wheel – this will help you establish which hues blend well together and how diametrically opposed shades can also add impact to your wardrobe. Classic combinations of orange and purple or blue and yellow work well together and are guaranteed to add a ‘pop’ of interest.

If you want to get more technical, you can begin to match with your own natural tones. To determine what they are you simply need to look at your hair, eyes and skin. Darker hair, dark eyes and olive complexions suit earthy warm tones, while lighter hair, eyes and complexions look best with colder colours like blue, grey and light green. If that seems overwhelming, there’s nothing wrong with pairing a single bright tone (perhaps matching with your shirt or tie) with classic black or white.

Shop Block Colour Socks

PATTERN

Patterns can easily be worn on more relaxed occasions to add an easy point of interest to an otherwise straightforward smart casual look – think chinos, white shirt or t-shirt and blazer.

Fortis Green chevron stripe pattern sock

Accentuate chinos or suit trousers with a tonal pattern sock such as Fortis Green's chevron stripe in blue

 

Being able to choose an appropriate mix of patterns is where things tend to get a little more technical.

Much like layering, the key points to remember when mixing patterns are:

Colour
Scale
Shape 
Texture

With colour already covered and texture discussed below, let’s now focus on scale and shape.

The first tip for successful pattern mixing is blending a variety of different sizes. If you’re considering layering patterns, for example, a horizontally striped sock with windowpane suit, it’s best to try and mix shapes in a similar colour family.

Within the fashion and tailoring industry, it’s common knowledge that the most effective pattern matching is achieved by sticking with a single tonal palette. For example, if the base colour of an outfit is in charcoal hues, you can use patterned grey or blue accessories for a subtle touch of personality.

Fortis Green mens guide: How to wear pattern socks

Jared teams Fortis Green's navy polka dot sock matching his suit and matching with a blue clover patterned tie

Let’s say that you’ve decided to wear the aforementioned charcoal suit. Try pairing it back with a pale blue shirt and a navy tie. You could then choose a patterned navy or grey-based sock to match these tones. Choose another complimentary colour from your sock’s pattern, or play it safe and work in a neutral, like white or camel for your pocket square. Lay your clothing out on the bed and try to imagine how the patterns and tones will look when worn together. Layering can be a lot of fun when you know what you’re doing and it only requires a small amount of practice.

Shop Pattern Socks

TEXTURE

The main reason that chunky socks appear to be more comfortable, albeit rarely considered stylish, is because it’s very easy to forget that texture is just as important as colour and pattern choice when deciding what to put on your feet. If you’re a fan of a thicker weave (in wool, cashmere or thicker yarn cotton) it ‘s probably best to match this with rugged fabrics such as wool, leather or denim. Perfect for the colder months, heavier socks are also practical when worn with Chelsea or Chukka boots.

The general rule of thumb when it comes to choosing a sock with the appropriate texture is to consider the formality of your outfit. While heavy duty, more casual trousers such as chinos and jeans can be worn with a weightier sock; lightweight suit fabrics require a more formal fine yarn dress sock, so as not to distract from the shoe and overall line of the leg.

The main reason that chunky socks appear to be more comfortable, albeit rarely considered stylish, is because it’s very easy to forget that texture is just as important as colour and pattern choice when deciding what to put on your feet. If you’re a fan of a thicker weave (in wool, cashmere or thicker yarn cotton) it ‘s probably best to match this with rugged fabrics such as wool, leather or denim. Perfect for the colder months, heavier socks are also practical when worn with Chelsea or Chukka boots.

The general rule of thumb when it comes to choosing a sock with the appropriate texture is to consider the formality of your outfit. While heavy duty, more casual trousers such as chinos and jeans can be worn with a weightier sock; lightweight suit fabrics require a more formal fine yarn dress sock, so as not to distract from the shoe and overall line of the leg.

Jared Acquaro apoormansmillions.com blogger Fortis Green style guide

As a rule of thumb, using socks is an easy way for men to begin adding a touch of personality and flair to their existing wardrobe; it just takes a few minutes of thought and a little confidence to take your first literal steps towards enviable sartorial style.

 

Example images courtesy of menswear blogger Jared Acquaro from apoormansmillions.com