There comes a time when tube socks just have to go. You know who you are. You're the guy that has a collection of designer jeans and some of the flyest blazers ever made. The problem is, no matter what you wear, it always ends up being rounded out with one of black or white contraptions you pulled out of a Hanes 12 pack. No! It doesn't have to be this way!
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Look, we get it. Socks wear out quickly. It's one of those items that we have to replace often, so why shell out big bucks on something that you have to constantly replenish instead of picking up run-of-the-mill gym socks?
Well here a few reasons why:
- Socks can really make an outfit pop (especially on a shorter man)
- Your choice in socks will say a lot about your eye for fashion.
- They can make a great conversation piece (trust me on this one)
- You're an adult, not a high school sophomore.
This blog teaches shorter men how to become better versions of themselves. If you're itching to step up your sock game, then you're at the right place. And no, you won't have to dip into your retirement fund to do it.
One Size Does Not Fit All
Not all short men have small feet (insert humor here), but some do. Rule #1 - The first thing you should check when buying socks is their size range. Tube socks are generally come in one size. Dress socks will usually have their range printed on it's packaging. It's common to see "Size 4-7", "Size 8-12" (most common) and so on. Smaller sizes are harder to find but we have information here so don't fret.
$25 for 4 with their mailing list coupons
The socks you see here are from Express. You can see the size range on the label. With a nice discount coupon from their mailing list, I was able to get 3 pairs for $15 (normally $10-$15 a pop).
If you're wearing over-the-calf socks, make sure they're not so big that they go over your knee caps. If they're mid-calves, make sure they aren't so small that they sit under your calf (that is if they aren't no-show or ankle socks of course).
Note the size on the label
Comfort should be high on your list so but so should the fit!
Materials matter! Near 100% Cotton or Wool are my requirements with few exceptions. Silk is preferred by many. Stick to natural stuff. Once you start adding higher percentages of synthetics to the mix, you start running into problems with care and wear. We're talking about socks losing their elasticity and even issues related to skin allergies. Who wants socks that slip off of their feet while walking?
In Living Color
When I was a fashion newbie, whenever I dressed up, black or navy blue were always the answer. Come into the light! Resist constantly reaching for dark tones. You don't need a briefcase full of dark socks. Consider wearing light colored socks with dark outfits.
Don't be afraid to wear lighter solids
Sky blue socks can work well with a dark suit. Fire engine red can work well with beige outfits which feature brown shoes.
Uniqlo in Herald Square, NYC has 8 of these walls
The socks you here see are from Uniqlo. They're big on socks. Going into one of their stores to look at their sock selection is like staring into at a box of Crayola crayons - just about every color you could imagine is available.
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It's All In The Print Pattern
The most popular prints patterns are Argyle (diamonds of several colors), Burberry (diagonal criss-cross of a few colors) and Polka Dots of various sizes. A general rule is if your outfit consists of a solids, patterns will do. Conversely, if your outfit is full of patterns, I'd round them out with solids or lines.
Argyle patterned socks go great with solid outfits
Larger polka dots on a bright color can really wake up an outfit filled with solids. I found these red socks with large white polka dots.
Test your inhibitions. These will make beige outfits pop
I wore them with a beige suit and brown shoes and kept getting compliments on the socks and overall combination. I found these socks on Amazon for just $6. I couldn't find them by any other clothier, so had to settle for synthetics.
Modest Sized Feet?
My feet are big for my height as I wear a size 10 1/2 shoes. For guys whose shoe size is less than 8, finding a single source for a wide variety of smaller adult socks may be a bit of a challenge.
Socks should never hang off your feet like this
Here are some places you can visit to get them:
- Sock Broker - While the website looks like it was designed before the great recession, this online retailer has a nice variety of patterns and colors with average prices in the $30-$40 range for 6 pairs.
- Happy Socks - Always replaces inventory with new styles. A decent selection of patterns in small sizes.
- Absolute Ties - Not much outside of solid colors, but a nice selection of bright colors from size 7 on down.
- Viccel - The crown jewel of small socks. Probably the largest selection of colors, prints, materials and styles we've ever come across for modest sized feet. At $12 a pair, they're affordable and of quality.
- Socks Fox - European retailer with a host of smaller sized socks, though that isn't their full focus.
- Socksperts - Mostly high quality thick and athletic socks searchable by size with plenty of small options.
- Absolute Socks - High Quality affordable dress socks in assorted colors.
- Ben Silver - High quality with many colors and patterns available, but pretty expensive at $40 a pair
Watch Your Weight
We talked about size, color, patterns and materials, but weight is probably at the top of my list when shopping for socks. Extremely thin socks will make you feel every nuance when walking and depending on who you are, may promote smelly shoe interiors. No bueno.
Thick gray socks with line patterns.
I prefer thick socks because I like the comfort extra cushion provides, plus they are better at absorbing sweat. This means if I wear thin dress socks, I might layer them with tubes underneath. Check for sock weight when shopping in-store and research the same info when shopping online. Diabetic socks for example are extremely thick. I know some people who shop for diabetic socks just for this reason.
Get Out And Step It Up
So now you have no excuse. One-size-fits all tube socks or dark colored non-fitting dress socks need not be your constant go-to from here forward. Whatever your budget it, you now have info which will really help your outfits pop and promote your elite fashion consciousness. Be a short man on his A-game by stepping up your sock game.
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