A Simple Guide to Sock Matching

December 5th, 2012

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Your sock game got you sweating? Never know which socks to pair with your trousers/shoes?

Well worry no more, here is a simple guide, because you have to know the rules before you break them.

1. The General Rule

When in doubt, go one shade darker than your trousers.  This is a classic staple and is appropriate in virtually every situation.

2. The Exception

The exception to “The General Rule” comes when you’re wearing a beige/khaki/tan colored pant. Rather than finding a darker beige (which would work, but is often difficult to find), go with one shade darker than your shoes.

3. Go Seasonal

You can stick to the “rules” but still ad some personality. In the winter, a thick marled sock is a great option – it ads visual interest and keeps your feet toasty warm.  Come summertime, consider a “no-show” liner sock – it will allow you stay on trend and bare a little ankle while keeping your feet nice and cool.

4. Match the Stripe

If you’re wearing a fabric that has a stripe of pattern, you can try pulling out the color subtly. Here, the grey socks pull out the grey of the chalkstripe trousers and bring the combo together.

5. The “Go-to-Hell” Sock

With a look that doesn’t have a lot of color, a patterned sock can make a great statement.  Don’t forgot to keep it seasonal and think about colors that will complement, not clash. Lastly, when wearing a statement sock, make sure your shoe game is on-point as it will draw attention to your feet.



You can see more about socks in our feature here.  Tell us about your own personal sock strategy in the comments below!

Thanks for reading,

Townsend & The TSB Team


Photography by Alex Crawford

Check out more of his work at alexcrawfordphotography.com.

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  • David

    Recently I’ve taken to matching my socks with my shirt or tie. Am I totally off base?

    • http://tsbmen.com Townsend

      No, not at all! These are just general guidelines if you’re ever in doubt… Matching socks to ties is a very common trend among the TSB office.

      Thanks for reading!

  • Joe

    A source for the coral snake sock in the 4th look would be great.

    • Joe

      Sorry, meant 5th look.

      • Sid

        i believe those are from smart turnout

  • Gazman

    Small point I suppose but it is one I see again and again in style blogs. The correct word for describing items that match/suit is complement not compliment. I see this error made so consistently I’m beginning to wonder if I am wrong. Am I?

    • Joe

      you’re not wrong.