What color socks should I wear with brown shoes and blue jeans?
February 13, 2005 11:49 PM   Subscribe

What color socks should I wear with brown shoes and blue jeans?
posted by willnot to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (43 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Tricky. I'd go for black, but I don't think dark blue would be too far off the mark. Big valentine's day date? ;-)
posted by fvw at 11:52 PM on February 13, 2005

Personally, I wouldn't be too worried about it. If it's casual enough for blue jeans, socks probably aren't on anyone's mind.

If you're willing to opt for tan jeans instead, brown socks would fit in nicely though.
posted by Saydur at 12:00 AM on February 14, 2005

I'm so not someone you want to model yourself after, but I wear white socks. Of course my jeans are such that unless I really hike them up, no one will ever know.
posted by FlamingBore at 12:02 AM on February 14, 2005

I would go with light grey, but then I hate white socks and refuse to wear brown and black at the same time.
posted by amandaudoff at 12:12 AM on February 14, 2005

Definitely stay away from white socks! Either brown (lighter than the shoes) or blue (similar or darker than the trousers). Be careful matching dark blue and black, they can clash horribly.
posted by swordfishtrombones at 12:12 AM on February 14, 2005

posted by painquale at 12:25 AM on February 14, 2005

Black, or dark navy.

White socks are for exercise only.

We can spot Mormon missionaries in this country a mile off, because they all wear white socks. So American.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:29 AM on February 14, 2005

Seconding black/dark navy. And seconding the fuck-no! to white socks in non-sporting situations.
posted by riviera at 12:47 AM on February 14, 2005

posted by robbie01 at 12:54 AM on February 14, 2005

Grey is safe.
posted by NortonDC at 1:11 AM on February 14, 2005

I always wear white unless I'm dressing up. In which case I wouldn't be wearing jeans. Not exactly a fashion plate here though. But I never have understood the vehemence against white socks. Just what you're used to, I guess.
posted by grouse at 1:26 AM on February 14, 2005

No white socks. Grey is ok, but I like argyles with brown, tan and blue diamonds. They make a nice transition between the jeans and shoes.
posted by fixedgear at 1:42 AM on February 14, 2005 [2 favorites]

Any shade of gray (from light to dark) or "natural"/tan. Or, yeah, some kind of pattern (fixedgear's color-combo sounds fine). Black wouldn't work for me with brown shoes and jeans. Dark navy doesn't sound right either.
posted by Melinika at 1:45 AM on February 14, 2005

Black or Dark Navy is the answer here....although jeans shouldn't be short enough to see MUCH of your sock anyway....

Unless, of course, you plan to take them off...in which case, make sure the damn socks come off first...

And yes - white socks...v.bad outside the sports area...
posted by mattr at 3:48 AM on February 14, 2005

Dark brown. But make sure it is dark brown and not chocolate.

Or black.
posted by Frasermoo at 3:52 AM on February 14, 2005

i think you could look at the shirt as well. wearing an orange shirt with orange socks can be a good combo together with jeans and brown shoes as far is i can imagine. although i wouldn't wear white socks with a white shirt.
posted by mailhans at 4:01 AM on February 14, 2005

You should not be able to see the socks, is my sartorial pronouncement. Too-short jeans look geeky.
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:28 AM on February 14, 2005

posted by Shane at 4:51 AM on February 14, 2005

Pale Orange.
posted by Gyan at 5:36 AM on February 14, 2005 [1 favorite]

Socks should match shoes. That's the rule, CL is correct. Never ever white, and lighter than the shoe is not cool either. Never ever match your socks to your shirt, unless you are in seventh grade and seeking negative attention.

This rule applies to stockings, too, unless they are sheer nude or fashion-forward (as in black tights and white slingbacks a la Chloe Sevigny).
posted by thinkpiece at 5:39 AM on February 14, 2005

Humbug to the "no white socks" contingency here on MeFi. It was good enough for James Dean.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:44 AM on February 14, 2005

I'm with swordfishtrombones--match the pants or the shoes. If you don't have blue or brown socks, go with another dark, unobtrusive color. White will stand out too much and hasn't been cool *since* James Dean.

Also, please don't match your socks to your top (unless, of course, your top is that same color as your pants or shoes). That look experienced a brief moment in the sun in the 80s and has been hiding in the closet ever since.
posted by equipoise at 6:04 AM on February 14, 2005

Cardinal rule: Always match socks to shoes.

So, go with brown socks.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 6:06 AM on February 14, 2005

A recent column in a men's magazine I commonly read noted that the "cardinal rule" of socks matching shoes can often create the "boot effect" if the colors are a close match.

I second the argyles. Just make sure your shoes match your belt. THAT is a cardinal rule as well.
posted by MrZero at 6:37 AM on February 14, 2005

I have a fashionable girl at my work who says that your socks should match your shoes.

So brown shoes, brown brown socks.

But I've read elsewhere that it's the opposite and your socks should match your pants.

So blue jeans, blue socks.

The matching the pants thing seems to make sense to me. I saw my boss the other day with black shoes, brown slacks and socks that matched to pants perfectly. But that's kind of complicated because you may have 5-6 pants with completely different colors.

I prefer matching the shoes. I have two pairs of black shoes and I have a lot of black socks and that's it. Then again I have some beige shoes and I only wear some grey socks, because a man can't be a man if he's too coordinated.
posted by Napierzaza at 7:03 AM on February 14, 2005

Another vote for blue close to the colour of your jeans or brown close to the colour of your shoes (preferred). Although, as previously mentioned, argyle or another patterned sock that coordinates with both would be a good choice as well (this is more of a "funky" choice).
posted by deborah at 7:26 AM on February 14, 2005

White will stand out too much and hasn't been cool *since* James Dean.

Quite incorrect. Around 1970, white socks were the norm (for those that wore socks), for reasons I can't imagine. Live long enough, you learn how weird fashion really is. If you're honest (and male?) you'll accept that fashion is pure bullshit.
posted by Goofyy at 7:36 AM on February 14, 2005

The benefit of using black socks in almost all situations is that you only need one color of sock.

White socks are especially bad with dark pants and shoes, because it just looks like crap.
posted by smackfu at 7:53 AM on February 14, 2005

Black socks with brown & blue is just so wrong. Brown or argyle or stripey. I support the latter two. H&M currently has a good choice of brown-based patterned socks.
posted by dame at 8:08 AM on February 14, 2005

Rules for which socks to wear with jeans? You're all scaring me. That's important for dress pants, but jeans?

For jeans you get to have a bit of fun on the socks. They don't have to be the same color as your shoes or the same color as your jeans, but they can't clash with anything unless it's obvious you're doing it on purpose (which, incidentally, is what fashion is about: knowing that rules are being broken. You will have a hard time convincing anyone that you are intentionally wearing brown shoes with black socks to make a statement, however.)

Stripes are big right now. I'm a big fan of ironically-ugly argyles. Make them have something to do with the other stuff you're wearing, even if the other stuff is your shirt. Oh, and don't wear dress socks. They're called "dress socks" on purpose, and you wear those with dress shoes, and you don't wear dress shoes with jeans.

Stay away from white, choose with intent, wear things that make you happy.
posted by mendel at 8:16 AM on February 14, 2005

Navy or dark brown.
posted by Doohickie at 8:29 AM on February 14, 2005

makes me want to go and ditch all my black socks in favor of white
posted by edgeways at 9:16 AM on February 14, 2005

I don't know why everyone is trying to match socks to shoes or pants, but IMO that's bland. The only true matching rule is that shoe color should match belt color.

The most important part of an outfit usually ends up being what you wear above your waist (shirt, jacket, jewelry, hat). If you can tie in the color of your socks to what you're wearing up top it will tie the entire thing together.

Green shirt? Green/Orange socks.
Red shirt? Blue/Red socks.

And white socks only if you're going for that whole greaser look, penny-loafers, cuffed jeans etc...
posted by splatta at 10:24 AM on February 14, 2005

I think mendel is right for the most part (although I do often wear fashionable "dress" shoes with jeans). Also, everyone saying that the cardinal rule is to match your socks to your shoes has no idea what they are talking about. Check Dressing the Man (the definitive men's style book, recommended by many here in virtually every men's fashion thread), and you will find that the rule is to match your socks to your slacks, although there is much leeway for patterns, etc. Though you occasionally will match socks, shoes, and slacks by convenience (black suit, black socks, black shoes), when slacks and shoes don't match, go with the slacks (a grey suit with brown shoes will look way better with grey socks than brown. Ditto for a navy suit.) This, of course, is all about dress pants, so apply to jeans as you see fit. Or don't; as others have said jeans are casual and you shouldn't see the socks for the most part, so you can get away with just about anything. Personally, I think black and navy are both way too dark, and will look stupid for the same reason that white would look stupid: it doesn't match your shoes or your jeans in color or in tone (way too dark). I usually go with a light brown/tan or a medium grey, and only occasionally a color or pattern matched with my shirt.

[on preview: splatta is definitely right about the belt rule. Nothing is worse than a black belt with brown shoes or vice versa.]
posted by rorycberger at 10:52 AM on February 14, 2005

shoes match belt, socks match pants. socks should not be an exact match, however. usually I wear darker navy blue or black socks -- that goes well in most situations.

I saw Letterman wearing white socks with a grey suit the other night. wtf? the girlfriend, fashion expert that she is, said it was "a look." I still think it looked bad. Thank goodness he sits behind a desk most of the time.
posted by Jonasio at 11:09 AM on February 14, 2005

Cardinal rule: Always match socks to shoes.
This would be for the males. The cardinal rule for females is to match the hemline, extending the leg profile.
posted by rhapsodie at 11:18 AM on February 14, 2005

Match the shoes or match the pants, it's your choice. The idea is to not draw attention when the cuff of your pants seperates from your shoe.
posted by electroboy at 11:32 AM on February 14, 2005 [1 favorite]

Grey socks with brown shoes? You guys are bonkers. Navy or dark brown.
posted by Specklet at 11:42 AM on February 14, 2005 [1 favorite]

rorycberger has it right,

A gentleman's socks complement his trousers, be they denim or wool. They ought to be the same general color, but ought not to slavishly mimic. In order to present an interesting personality, try a nice pattern or a slightly different shade.

Socks should only match shoes at the expense of the pants as a last resort. You want to avoid, as an earlier post mentioned, the "boot" look. When the trousers are raised (when seated, for instance), the socks are standing in for the pants in covering the leg. They are not part of the shoe (which covers the feet).

The color of blue jeans is not always a dead-on blue. Often distressed jeans look more grey or even white. Several responses suggested grey socks with blue jeans. They are perfectly correct in suggesting that grey socks would nicely complement blue jeans. If you plan to wear dress or casual shoes (as opposed to boots or athletic shoes), you'll want dress or casual grey socks (not athletic socks).
posted by Metametadata at 11:51 AM on February 14, 2005 [1 favorite]

I've just realized that I know absolutely nothing about matching. Belt matches shoes matches socks? Suddenly I'm all wardrobe-stressed...

Is there a concise source for all of these fashion "rules" for women? Like 'dressing the lady', or 'fashion rules for dummies'? Because apparently I have no clue.
posted by sarahmelah at 3:55 PM on February 14, 2005

I always, always wear white socks. Dressing up is too expensive and time consuming. If I could find a way to do it with less than a 5 minute time commitment per day, I would think about it, but I have trouble caring what I look like.
posted by recursive at 4:37 PM on February 14, 2005

recursive: you're one of the people who will eventually get us to the bad sci-fi future fasion (ie: everyone wearing the same outfit, usually silver with a v neck).
posted by splatta at 5:20 PM on February 14, 2005

Red on the left foot, purple and black stripes on the right. Preferably different lengths and in different fabrics. And make sure you iron them properly. You don't want to look scruffy.
posted by flabdablet at 7:08 AM on February 15, 2005

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