Having been a long time reader, you’re no doubt aware that solid dress socks are essential to perfecting your overall look when it comes to business attire. In summary, a good quality cotton trumps polyester and nylon every time. Solid black or charcoal will match most of your wardrobe without fuss or effort, ensuring you rarely fall foul of the fashion police.

But by now you’re probably bored of the workmanlike navy and unexcitable greys; while pragmatic, these tones do leave something to be desired when it comes to interest.

So if you’re looking to bowl over your colleagues without breaking the bank, now may be the time to invite some new vivacious shades to your drawers.


It’s best to start out with several strong contrasts. For example, an energetic vermilion red or deep purple will contrast marvellously against the classic tone your mid-grey suits. A simple, bold hue will add richness without becoming the focal point of your overall outfit.

Try to avoid pairing too many colours when experimenting with vibrant socks; the statement is easily made with a single shade. As long as you stay clear of pallid pastels, you shouldn’t have difficulty in pulling off this lightening-bolt look.


As ever stick with natural fabrics, avoiding heavy weaves with wool to keep your feet fresh throughout the day. While blends with man-made fibres should generally avoided, you may want to pay a little extra for dress socks with lycra; the advantages are numerous, not least of which is added stretch, meaning as your feet expand during the day your socks will have a little added ‘give’.
Don’t be tempted to try going a size smaller though – you’ll still need a good fit and the added elasticity of the blend will quickly subside if you are squeezing in to your finest male hosiery.

A word of warning

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Use reserve and restraint when adding a strong accent to your accessories. While a wonderful salute to the unceremonious, you should use caution when it comes to more formal events. As always, use your best judgement; while your other half may delight at your new sartorial bravado during a dinner party, your boss may mistake your hue-based enthusiasm for ‘power-dressing posturing’. That said, don’t be afraid to throw away these new pairs when they start to lose their energetic blast of brightness after numerous washings.

Next time, we’ll be taking our ‘Next Steps’ in socks further, looking at how one simple pattern can make a world of difference to your overall look…

About The Author

Johnathan Bell is the founder, owner and main author of Guy Style Guide, a website dedicated to everyday male fashion, style and grooming. The primary mission? To guide clueless men through the tricky mindfield that is the growing world of male couture. Find him on , Twitter and Tumblr.