The GQ Guide to Sock Subscriptions: How to Match Your Socks With a Tie

The GQ Guide to Sock Subscriptions: How to Match Your Socks With a Tie

What if I told you that you could start receiving a new pair of socks every month without even knowing what they’d look like? Sounds pretty appealing, right? Now, imagine the surprise on your face when the mail arrives with an assortment of socks that you’ll actually want to wear with your favorite suits. Believe it or not, this is all possible thanks to some of the sock subscription services currently on the market. Here’s how you can take advantage of these sock subscriptions and match your socks with a tie in no time!

Are they long socks?

Long socks are probably what comes to mind when you think of dress socks, but if you’re going for a more casual office, then keep your long socks at home. It’s also worth noting that ankle-length socks can give off an old man with argyle slippers vibe, so unless you plan on wearing them with sneakers or loafers, skip them. As for crew-length or above-the-ankle? Only if they match your tie, and even then only if you don't wear suits regularly. Rule of thumb here is that if they go below your calf muscle and/or reach higher than mid-shin while standing straight up (not while bending over), they're too long.

Are they plain or patterned?

The great thing about patterned socks is that you can pretty much wear them with anything. Even if your whole outfit is a little...dare we say, loud, your ankles will be silently screaming, Look at me! The only time plain socks might be preferable is if you have on an otherwise very formal outfit—like a tuxedo. But there’s no reason you can’t match your tie and pocket square in with those plain socks. It adds yet another layer of color—and could even act as an anchor against some wild pieces. Just don’t pair those boring old crew-cuts with bright red shoes (we learned that lesson long ago). No one likes looking like they just rolled out of bed on purpose.

What color tie do you have?

If you're trying to match your socks with a tie, it's best to first decide what color tie you have. You can then build your outfit from there. If you'd like more tips on matching your socks and ties, read our explainer post. If you just want even more suggestions for next time, be sure and check out our sock-and-tie subscription service The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen where we take care of all that for you!

Do you want them bold, subtle, or neutral?

The first thing you need to do is decide how bold you want your socks. Do you want them bright and colorful, so that they make your outfit pop? Or are you going for more of a classic look, which means neutral and subtle hues? If in doubt, go with subtle: After all, your top priority is creating an eye-catching look, not ruining it by pairing neon purple socks with your dark blue suit. When choosing between neutral tones like grey or brown, keep in mind what kind of suit you’re pairing it with—and match dark colours with darker ones and light colours with lighter ones.

Start from the beginning...

Looking for socks that go with all your suits? Looking for socks that never lose their shape? Need a pair of patterned socks that will actually go with everything in your closet? Want to accessorize with some fun and colorful choices every now and then, instead of sticking with boring solids? Not sure where or how to buy something like sock subscriptions, but open to giving it a try? Here’s everything you need to know about getting started.

Keep experimenting until you find a match

The average man owns eight pairs of socks. He doesn’t even know that, really. In his mind, he owns one pair and has a bunch of extra ones lying around just in case. At some point he learned that you should always match your socks with your pants (and maybe your tie), but he stopped caring after that point. Every time he gets dressed, he throws on whatever sock is within reach and moves on with his life.