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Will Matching My Socks to My Shirt Make Me Look Weird?

In any ensemble, combining the clothing and accessories reveals your sense of style and refinement. Here's some tips on how you could match your socks with your clothes.


Shirts are matched with socks

Will matching my socks to my shirt make me look weird?

You won’t look weird when you match your shirt to your socks, you’ll look coordinated. Regardless of your gender, coordinating the items of clothing and the accessories in any ensemble shows your style and sophistication.

You can use the accessories you wear, such as your socks, to subtly work your personality into any outfit, even a suit you wear to the office. They should match your pants or your shirt but can feature a pattern or character on them.

So, how do you know when you should match your socks to your pants or your shirt?

The color of your pants decides

A hard and fast rule in fashion says you should not wear light-colored socks with dark pants. You may think it would be fun to flout fashion rules, but you probably want your teachers and/or boss to have a high opinion of you and people do consider such things. Looking the part of dapper gentlemen or sophisticated lady can help you move further along in society.

So, here are a few rules to follow when dressing for everyday school and office dress:

If you wear black or brown pants, you wear socks that match the color of the pants.

If you wear white, cream, or tan pants, you wear socks to match the pants or the shirt, so long as the shirt is not black.

If you wear gray pants, you wear socks to match the pants or the shirt, as long as the pants aren’t dark grey.

 What about dressing for fun?

Women, perhaps unfairly, get to flout fashion rules a bit more often. Right now, I’m wearing a purple sweater with black leggings, and woven socks that use purple, pink, and turquoise yarn. The bright colors match the sweater without clashing with the leggings.

A man could probably get away with similar socks with black dress pants or black jeans, but not in a formal office setting. It depends on the office.

Examples of How to Accessorize Socks to Ensemble

Dressing for success actually proves much easier than most people think. If you purchase just a few essential clothing pieces, you can always look stylish and well-coordinated.

Related to: Can You Wear Socks with Crocs? If So, How? Which Socks?

1. Khakis and a Blue Oxford Cloth Shirt

A man wearing blue shirt and khaki pants

This classic look pairs tan or cream pants with a light blue heavy cotton shirt. In this case, you can match the socks to the pants, or you can match them to the shirt. You can pair a tie of khaki and navy blue with the shirt or leave open the top button or two of the dress shirt.

Your belt and your shoes should match, so brown shoes with a brown belt, black shoes with a black belt.

2. Khakis and a White or Black Shirt

Conversely, when you pair a white or black shirt with your khaki pants, you should match the socks to the pants. Your shoes and belt should match.

3. Black Dress Pants and a White Shirt

A photo guide of pairing clothes

When you pair black pants with a white shirt, you always match the socks to the pants. You never wear white socks with black pants, despite the 1980s Michael Jackson outfit. Leave the funky glittery glove at home, too.

4. Black Dress Pants and a Black Shirt

When you pair black pants and a black shirt, you need to make sure the two blacks match, and you need to wear black socks with the ensemble. Yes, there are shades of black, just as there are for all other colors.

5. Black Dress Pants and a Print Shirt

While it may seem unusual, you will, at times, wear a printed or patterned shirt with black pants. It may be a striped shirt or feature a jungle or animal print. Maybe you go through a cheetah print period. You still wear black socks.

6. Black Dress Pants and a Solid Color Shirt

Photo guide for colored shirt ang black pants

With black dress pants and a solid colored shirt, you can sometimes wear socks of a color. If you pair a lighter colored shirt with black pants, you wear black socks. If you wear a darker colored shirt, such as a dark gray or blue, you can match your socks to your shirt.

7. White Pants and a White Shirt

Keep the white of the pants and shirt monochrome by wearing white socks with the ensemble. You’ll rarely wear white dress shoes, but a pair of men’s espadrilles could look good with this, ala the 1980s Miami Vice look.

8. White Pants and a Solid Color Shirt

You can wear white or colored socks as long as the color of the socks matches the shirt precisely. Coordination proves key in carrying off this look.

9. White Pants and a Black Shirt

I see your quizzical look, but this is a common combination in restaurants and the service industry. Always wear socks to match your pants, so white with white, as long as that matches the shoes. If your employer requires you to wear black shoes, you wear black socks.

10. Blue Pants/Jeans and a Casual Shirt

Here’s the easiest way to integrate those fun socks you own into your fashion. Wear them with blue jeans and sneakers. You can wear white socks with sneakers easily and with any colored jeans except black. It will always be a better idea to wear colorful socks you love with your jeans because they work easily with the casual feel that jeans provide.