The evolution of socks in the workplace

For the last 200 years, the suit has been at the forefront of the corporate dress code in the office. Socks have always been an afterthought, men being given dull, mundane socks as birthday and xmas presents. Men never thought twice about socks. Generally they have been either black, for wearing with a pants or white for wearing with sneakers and jeans.

Socks are now a commodity that is no longer snickered at, like the way we snicker at men that do not wear socks with pants. I know a guy like this. Its really sad.

The sock industry has turned into a $5.6 Billion dollar market as of August 2014. Could socks become:

The new Necktie?

Did you know that socks became decorative as early as the 15th century? Yes, that is some serious wow right there.

This article from October 2014 describes the new trend as:

Like Lingerie for Men

These are my “Top Tips” for upping your sock game:

Know your brands

There are different “grades” of socks. Chain store socks from outlets like Woolworths are of lesser quality than outlets that only sell and focus on socks.

Colour matching

Just because blue/grey suits are worn with brown shoes, does not mean you can wear blue socks with brown shoes, especially when there’s white in the sock. Be wary when matching colours in your socks to that of the rest of your attire. Select at least one colour that matches. If you suck at this, grab a colour palette tool for your phone and it will do the heavy lifting for you.

And if you still get confused, black pants with black shoes will allow you to pull off pretty much any sock colours except for brown.

Be creative — Don’t be shy

Denim allows you the widest level of creativity with socks followed closely by twill fabric like chino’s. You can pretty much wear any colour socks with denim. Be it dressed up for work or a function, or with trendy casual shoes like Converse or Etnies.

A huge NO would be daft images like animals, or those dreaded shapes of sandals stitched into sock patterns.

Fabric/Sock Fibre selection

This is super important. Socks by definition should complement the texture of the shoe that it is paired with.

  1. Cotton carries the most absorbent qualities so it should be worn with sneakers or for training.
  2. Wool breathes much better and should be worn with leather shoes
  3. Synthetics like lycra help with retaining sock formation and for the most part are used in conjunction with cotton and wool to strengthen the sock
  4. Do not mix up fabrics with different shoe textures. Wearing wool with trainers makes for soggy shoes
  5. Edit — Lawrence Cawood provided some epic information. It appears that bamboo is used as a fabric as well.

Selecting the correct shoe

Oxfords or Brogues…

Now that you have been educated in the ways of the smart “socked” man, where do you procure these fine products:

My personal favourite, Happy Socks. These can be bought at Fabiani stores country wide, online at NetFlorist, and are reasonably priced. (They are available elsewhere too)

ToePorn. Where it all started for me. I still hold the brand very close to my heart. They offer the best fabric in my opinion.

NicHarry, my latest obsession. They have the best outlets at most of the popular malls.

Versus Socks — Cycling. These are the only socks you need to purchase when cycling.

There you have it. I have a thing for socks. Get your sock game rocking with this article.

Also, check out these sites for more information.

Be cool my ninjas.

Azure and Office Servers MVP | Speaker | Blogger | Podcaster | Evangelist

Azure and Office Servers MVP | Speaker | Blogger | Podcaster | Evangelist