Coordinating socks with shoes and trousers

Little thought tends to go into the choice of colour of one’s socks. Black socks with black shoes and brown ones with brown shoes, with a white pair to wear with sports shoes. Fairly simple, until you come across a pair of multi-toned shoes that you’d love to have, or one in an unusual colour. How do you coordinate the right pair of socks with it? Do black or brown socks go with any shoe colour?

Generally, the colour of one’s socks should be identical or very close to that of one’s trousers, rather than the shoes’. This avoids stopping the eye at the trouser-leg bottom, as opposed to the floor, where it should stop.

However, what if the trousers themselves are in an unusual colour? Would you wear mint socks with mint trousers? It might be a question of personal style but the combination looks a bit too coordinated. On the other hand, black or brown socks will contrast too much whilst also looking too wintry in comparison to the trousers.

Instead of socks that match your trousers, or the usual black/brown, go for colourful socks instead. Opt for a pair that includes a colour that’s identical or similar to the trousers’ and which ideally, also tie in with one of the colours in the shoes. If the trousers are bright, balance the intensity of the colour with socks in a mainly neutral palette or one that’s muted. Think of the socks as the link that leads to a gradual transition from trousers to shoes.

When wearing shorts, as one mostly does in summer, rather than focusing on the shorts’ colour, one’s socks (short socks, of course) should mainly tie in with the shoes’ colour scheme. On a pair of canvas lace-ups, rather than opting for white or black socks, go for a pair that’s contains a colour similar to that of the shoes. You probably wouldn’t want to coordinate your shoes with socks in a solid colour (unless the shoes are colourful or contain a pattern). When both socks and shoes are in a very similar colour, the combination will visually alter the shape of the shoe. By opting for colourful socks (not necessarily bright colours), it’ll be easier to distinguish socks from shoes.

Of course, there is always the option of no-show socks. This will make coordinating trousers/shorts and shoes much easier. However, socks can also serve as the style-piece that makes an outfit more interesting and reflective of personal style.

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