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Etiquette Q&A: Crazy Colored Socks

Posted by on Sep 11, 2015

“My wife thinks I should jazz up my wardrobe with crazy colored socks, any suggestions?”


Unless you’re a grade school teacher. Or a single term Bush. Then, by all means — please go away.

There is not much room to wiggle one’s toes here, so to speak. Meaning the rules are pretty much died in the wool. I wouldn’t want to step in-between you and your wife, nor stick my foot in my mouth.

Thank you, thank you. I’ll be here all weak.

I digress.

The fashionistas almost to a wo/man agree:

  • White socks are only for exercise.
  • Wear dress socks with dress shoes.
  • Avoid looking like you are wearing booties by avoiding the same color as your shoes.
  • Match them to your tie, shirt, pocket square, or even your eyes. Something.

Personally, however:

(& I do think I have a leg to stand on here)

I’ll break from the flock and recommend both white and no socks as your ‘novelty’ or “crazy colored socks.” Lemme ‘splain…

The key to novelty is two-fold. It is to be both casual and unexpected.

If wearing a sports coat, a blazer, or even a suit with white socks is good enough for all 20 Three Stooges (21, if you count Emil Sitka), it’s good enough for the likes of you. Or me.

Too, going sans socks is a good way to showcase your cool, as well as your old school. I mean what says you care less what people think than, well, nothing? What says film noir grit more than a little skin?

The mainstay in your sock repertoire should be the black variety. Regardless of the fact that I feel no color of shoe should exist other than black*. I’d rather appear understated than over-thought.

I feel these looks are timeless and also fall safely in both the realms of keep it simple, stupid, and too the realm of let your personality be your personality.

Don’t look to wear your character — be your character.

And always wear dress socks. Except for when you go white (simply because they’re not so easy to find).

Here’s your sock drawer contents:

Black dress socks.

White socks (no grey cushion fanciness).

No socks. Put your handkerchiefs (proper handkerchief etiquette shall be discussed in next week’s column) in the empty spot.

On a final note, women like a man in plain white boxers and black socks. Trust me.


If you, gentlepersons, have an etiquette based question and feel I might be of assistance, please do not hesitate to tweet me @iamkap.

* I have, since writing this, purchased a pair of grey shoes which I am quite fond of. Too, I plan on ordering a chukka boot in something called cherry. All else stands. This has been in the interest of full disclosure.


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Born in Brooklyn New York, Kaplowitz quickly ran away with the circus and somehow landed as a chef in the Chicago and Baltimore areas. He is a published author of poetry and prose, as well as a well seasoned podcaster and radio guy. Among his hobbies Kap counts writing bios of himself in the third person, casino trips, and walking his Dachshund, Ruby Vondella. Please follow him on Twitter @iamkap to be alerted as to his frequent Thrift Store purchases.

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