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Sock-matching with shorts?
May 22, 2005 5:20 PM   Subscribe

Sock-matching with shorts? While I have a good feel for the rules on matching socks with trousers, I'm not as sure whether those also apply to matching socks with shorts.

First, let's get socks-with-trousers out of the way. While some MeFites contended that socks should match one's shoes, rorycberger offered a reputable source when he cited Dressing the Man that "the rule is to match your socks to your slacks, although there is much leeway for patterns".

The hosts of What Not to Wear (the US version) concurred, saying that socks should match one's trousers, except for jeans.

So, do the same rules apply for shorts? For reference, I'm a 27 y/o guy in the US and, rest assured, I'm aware that shorts aren't always appropriate, even in the summertime. Having said that, how should I match my socks when I am wearing shorts? My sneakers are off-white (almost a cream color) with some royal blue striping and, for example, I have some olive green and khaki colored shorts. I'm not about to wear white socks (except at the gym, natch) so that leaves, what, black? Or maybe gray? And, can you even buy khaki colored socks?

And, on the subject of socks, what about low-cut socks? I've seen some guys wear those but are those fashionable? I'm guessing that they wouldn't be appropriate for trousers or jeans but would they work with shorts?
posted by Handcoding to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (25 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
No socks with shorts (except white socks with gym shorts). No low-cut socks on men. I have spoken.
posted by nicwolff at 5:45 PM on May 22, 2005


Stop stressing because nobody you encounter will be analysing your socks. On one hand you ask if your socks should be the same colour as your shorts, then you ask if low cut socks are fashionable! Sock couture is a minefield.

Wear what you like (I go sockless) and forget sock etiquette would be my crazy advice.
posted by fire&wings at 5:49 PM on May 22, 2005


I agree...no socks or white socks. Colored socks with shorts are weird. Not horrible, up to your knee white socks, but normal athletic socks. (This assumes that you're not going anywhere fancy. If you are, I've always been partial to a nice loafer with shorts and a nice shirt.) There is always the nice sandal option as well...and in Texas, that might be a good idea.
posted by amandaudoff at 5:51 PM on May 22, 2005


If you are wearing normal cut socks with shorts, it won't matter what color they are, they will look dorky. Please avoid it. (Especially if you are on the short side)

The ultra low-cut socks are a good idea if you are wearing the right shoes. My hubby wears them with summer-weight Merrells. Someone under the age of 30 can totally get away with it.

But please, please, please, no visible socks!!!
posted by wallaby at 6:04 PM on May 22, 2005


I too am extremely interested in this topic. I find not only the socks-and-shorts issue, but the entire sneaker universe, totally perplexing.
posted by josh at 6:20 PM on May 22, 2005


No socks. And really, grown men shouldn't be wearing shorts unless they are on vacation at the beach or it is around a hundred.

Since we've reached consensus, what are your sneaker questions, josh?
posted by dame at 6:56 PM on May 22, 2005


Socks with shorts?

Ewwww.

Shorts and Tevas. That's the only way.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:59 PM on May 22, 2005


That's crap. The very notion that grown men shouldn't wear shorts is kind of insulting. But, if you're wearing shorts... invest in a good pair of sandals, be them Tevas (which I loathe), Doc Marten's, Ecco's or my new fav - Keen. I'd also go with leather if it's in your budget. If you're out hiking, a good pair of heathered or white hiking socks.

But I wouldn't recommend a pair of sneakers with shorts unless they are skate shoes or something equally funky. If you go that route Low crew socks are just fine.
posted by FlamingBore at 7:03 PM on May 22, 2005


No socks with shorts unless you're hiking / climbing / etc, in which case, they should match the landscape, not your shorts.
And white socks? Never, never, never, under no circumstances, for no reason whatsoever, no white socks.
posted by signal at 7:28 PM on May 22, 2005


No-shows. Problem solved!
posted by geoff. at 7:30 PM on May 22, 2005


My question sneaker question was, what is the verdict on 'cool' sneakers--i.e., super-cool sneaks from Puma or Adidas or Roos or what have you in crazy colors? Are they cool if you've graduated college? What about Merrell-esque non-cool, non-loafer type sneakers? I see everyone wearing 'cool' sneakers where I live, but I have a sneaking suspicion that they are actually not cool at all.

Anyway, my answer to the sock question is: no socks, or, if you're wearing athletic shoes, the lowest cut possible. Otherwise loafers or mocassins or something of that sort are more appropriate with shorts.
posted by josh at 7:34 PM on May 22, 2005


Living in a tourist town on the sunny beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, I am subjected to the sight of sockitis on a daily basis. Please find my rules of thumb below:

1) Tevas or Reef sandals with shorts...NO SOCKS
2) No show socks with sneakers
3) NO SOCKS with casual "boat shoes"
4) Dark colored low socks with hikers

Under NO circumstances should white mid calf socks or tube socks be worn with short pants. Also, NEVER wear any type of socks on the beach.
posted by PrincessLara at 7:43 PM on May 22, 2005


me? i wear athletic socks with shorts.

but then again, i'm only wearing shorts when I'm at the gym or doing something equally athletic, so the socks make sense.

if you wear sandals, no socks.
posted by fishfucker at 7:43 PM on May 22, 2005


Whatcha loathe about 'em, FB? Mine have a great dual-layer footbed with an never-wearing sole and a firm (though small) arch and footbed, with soft nylon strapping and snap-together clips.

They're likely a decade old by now, and I have steadfastedly avoided replacing them because I've never seen that design again. I don't like what they're doing now (or, at least, a year or two ago when I last tried 'em).

I think if I ever do replace them, it's going to be with [gasp!] Birkenstocks. I've never quite figured out if they're worn by a cult, or if they're actually a decent bit of footwear. The owners seem a little too enthusiastic about their sandals.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:48 PM on May 22, 2005


No socks. And really, grown men shouldn't be wearing shorts unless they are on vacation at the beach or it is around a hundred.

Agreed, dame! But I'd take it further and say grown PEOPLE shouldn't be wearing shorts. But then again, we are New Yorkers, and it seems that shorts are rarer here than they are in other places (like where I came from in Florida, where every fat rolly-polly gross looking person is wearing shorts halfway up their butt).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:55 PM on May 22, 2005 [1 favorite]


No socks. And really, grown men shouldn't be wearing shorts unless they are on vacation at the beach or it is around a hundred.

"A Don doesn't wear shorts."

Wiser words were never spoken. That said, if shorts are necessary, wear sandals. Unless you're over 80, in which case those shorts had better be hiked up to your armpits and paired with giant wraparound sunglasses and a transparent green visor of some kind.
posted by Vervain at 8:07 PM on May 22, 2005


I'm due back on the planet earth where I wear shorts with white socks & sneakers during the summer.
posted by mlis at 8:52 PM on May 22, 2005


If you're wearing shorts with sneakers, I really wouldn't worry about your socks. Form should follow function. If you're not running a 5k yet you're wearing sneakers, why would be a better question.

Also, this is ask metafilter. Computer question? O.k. Style? Probably not the best place to ask unless the mefi three quarter sleeve shirt is your idea of dressing up.

But then again, we are New Yorkers, and it seems that shorts are rarer here than they are in other places (like where I came from in Florida, where every fat rolly-polly gross looking person is wearing shorts halfway up their butt).

Oh please, as someone who has lived in florida and visited ny often, you have your more than fare share of train wrecks. Open your door and step outside. It ain't pretty.
posted by justgary at 12:26 AM on May 23, 2005


Low cut white socks, generally. In many cases, this means that you get the comfort provided by socks while maintaining the "no-socks" look suggested by some of the posts here. Like everyone said, don't wear socks with sandals (if you're older than fifty and a woman, or you're a "hippy," you may qualify for the "Birkenstocks Exemption" to this rule.)
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 2:05 AM on May 23, 2005


With khaki shorts:

Once-were-white cotton socks; unpolished black leather steel-toed work boots, heavily scuffed and dusty; optional plumber's crack.

Every other option presented so far reveals such a total lack of credibility as to leave me dumbfounded.
posted by flabdablet at 6:49 AM on May 23, 2005


I'm due back on the planet earth where I wear shorts with white socks & sneakers during the summer.

Yeah, really, MLIS. No socks at all? This is a phase young men go through, when they're exploring what looks "cool." Eventually, after enduring enough of stinky sweat-slicked shoes, we learn the joy of socks. But never those low socks -- they're only for the girls. And black socks, outdoors, with shorts and leather shoes? You'll look ridiculous!
posted by Rash at 8:31 AM on May 23, 2005


If you're tan and you wear dark sneakers, your normal length white socks will stand out and look stupid. If you wear short white stocks, it will be less noticeable.

If you can get away with wearing no socks, you probably should be wearing sandals instead.
posted by smackfu at 8:59 AM on May 23, 2005


Light heather gray socks, not white socks, scrunched around your ankles.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:23 AM on May 23, 2005


Don't wear shorts. If you insist on wearing shorts, you might as well finish it off with some flip flops and a fanny pack.
posted by crapulent at 11:27 AM on May 23, 2005


My summer work outfit usually consists of some cargo shorts and sneakers WITH low socks, that you can barely see over the tops of the sneakers. . .

I am 54, in good shape. . .

I think it looks fine and I have not noticed anyone snickering behind my back about this.

On preview, crew socks scrunched around ankles is also a good option.
posted by Danf at 11:32 AM on May 23, 2005


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