The Dos and Don’ts of Wearing Socks to Work

Unless you work somewhere that requires you to wear flip flops, sandals, or be barefoot at all times, wearing socks to work will always be a dress code requirement. Sadly, not everyone comes into the workforce knowing how to properly pair their socks to their office outfits. If you’re new to corporate power dressing, read on to learn what you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to wearing socks to work.

The Dos of Wearing Socks to Work

While investing in the best socks made in the USA should be a no-brainer, there are certain sartorial practices you should also be aware of. Here are some of the things that you need to keep in mind:

Do Wear Mid-Length to Knee-High Socks

While you might think that it’s safe to wear short socks to work, your slacks might hike up and show off your legs and ankles whenever you least expect it. Indeed, it’s considered quite unprofessional to show off your bare skin at a business meeting or even at your cubicle, even if you’re not doing so on purpose. That being said, you should make sure that your socks are long enough to at least cover up your shins. And given that some offices can be quite chilly, long socks can help keep you warm and comfy, too.

Do Stick with Plain, Dark Colored Socks

Sadly, fun statement socks are usually only appropriate outside of the office. Colorful and cute socks just don’t look very professional, which can work against your favor if you want your colleagues or clients to take you seriously. So stick to black, gray, and tan tones when it comes to your everyday performance socks, as they’re much easier to style for corporate outfits.

Do Match Your Socks to the Dress Level of Your Ensemble

While you can always expect to be in some form of professional wear at the office, some events may call for more formal attire than others. If you’re required to follow a black or white tie dress code, you’ll want to ditch the casual sports sock and pick up some dress socks to match. You may just be surprised at how much more polished you’ll look by simply picking the right type of socks for the occasion.

Do Ensure Your Socks Match Your Trousers or Shoes

For a more streamlined look, wear socks that complement the color of your slacks or footwear. For example, going for socks that are the same color as your slacks will make you look taller and sleeker. On the other hand, matching your socks to your shoes will make you look more put-together without trying too hard. Though these styling hacks may seem simple enough, they can truly make a world of difference to your overall look. 

The Don’ts of Wearing Socks to Work

Even if you pick the best suit, shoes, and watch to wear to work, putting on the wrong kinds of socks can ruin your entire ensemble. To avoid committing a corporate fashion faux pas, remember the following tips:

Don’t Wear White Socks to Work

Generally speaking, white socks give off a more casual and sporty look. While they’re perfect for going to the gym, they rarely work when paired with suits. Put simply, white socks are quite difficult to match to most formal trousers or footwear. To make matters worse, many people associate them with elementary school uniforms. So make sure to invest in a few pairs of dark-colored socks for work to avoid being perceived as childish or immature.

Don’t Wear Mismatched Socks

If you often lose socks in the laundry, you may have a tendency to wear mismatched socks to work. Unfortunately, doing so just makes you look sloppy, and it’s one of the easiest ways to stand out like a store thumb at the office. To avoid this, buy several pairs of socks in the colors you usually wear. That way, you’ll always have enough matching pairs in your sock drawer.

Don’t Wear Torn or Old Socks to Work

You might justify doing this by thinking that no one will see the holes or tears in your socks as long as you’ve got your shoes on. However, you never know when you might run into a situation that requires you to take your footwear off in a corporate setting. For instance, if you often travel for work-related reasons, you may need to take your shoes off while going through airport security. Or perhaps you may need to meet a client at an Asian restaurant that requires you to remove your shoes before entering. Whatever the unlikely situation may be, it’s best to wear your nicest socks to work to save yourself from potential embarrassment. This will help you maintain a professional image and keep your reputation intact.

Socks are an interesting but often overlooked closet piece that can truly make or break your office ensembles. So when it comes to putting your best foot forward at work, make sure that you’re wearing the right socks while doing so.



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