This Fashionista's Guide to Matching Socks with a Tie

This Fashionista's Guide to Matching Socks with a Tie

The humble sock may not be the most exciting accessory, but it’s one you’ll wear every day, which makes it worth thinking about carefully. Whether you love shopping and want to find great socks to add to your wardrobe, or you hate shopping and want to simplify your life with a sock subscription service, there are plenty of brands out there that are worth considering when it comes to choosing the right pair of socks. Here’s some fashion advice on matching your socks with a tie that will help you do just that.

A Little Background

Socks and ties have been an item of debate for quite some time now. Some say it’s good manners to match socks and tie, while others believe that doing so is just pointless and plain silly. To settle an ongoing debate in my household, I did a little research about why some people match their socks and ties, what’s considered appropriate (i.e., color), and how other fashionistas feel about pairing these accessories together. Here’s what I found out

Solid Color Suits

If you have solid-colored socks and shoes, you can pretty much pair your dress socks with any tie. If you have patterned socks or just want to stick more closely to matching them up exactly, then keep reading! The most formal option is probably trying one of these three: (1) black dress socks matched with a simple black tie; (2) dark gray dress socks matched with a similarly dark gray tie; or (3) navy blue dress socks matched with a medium-to-dark blue tie.

Patterns on the Suit

As illustrated by Philo and clearly expressed by Aristotle, Plato, Descartes, and Kant; philosophy applies to nearly everything in life. I mean, literally everything. Life is but an extension of logic, just as pants are an extension of our legs (obviously). Philosockphy is important because it provides me with valuable insight into how matching socks and ties should take place. Here’s what you need to know: If you’re dressing up for work or any other formal event you may have noticed that people tend not to match their socks and ties.

Why it Matters

The colors on your tie shouldn’t conflict with what you wear, but they should complement it. While we could go on about complementary vs. contrasting colors for days, here’s a bit of wisdom from Philosockphy author Douglas Smith: If you see one color as foreground and another as background, then whatever is in between is going to be part of both... It all becomes one thing that relates back and forth.

Prints on the Suit

When it comes to matching your socks with your tie, there’s an important philosophical question you need to ask yourself: does matching your socks and tie really matter? Are you someone who cares about what other people think, or do you do things for yourself? If you want an easy way out, here’s my answer: No, matching socks and ties is not something that matters. In fact, if someone criticizes your fashion choice—perhaps they say something like matching is overrated—all I have to say is it might be time for them to take a look in the mirror. When it comes down to it, though, there are times when it really does make sense matchy-matchy style.

Paired with a Contrasting Tie, Pocket Square, Belt or Handkerchief

Contrast is an important factor when it comes to matching ties and accessories. Rather than going for an exact match, opt for something that complements your tie. If you are wearing multiple patterns, it’s best to pick one dominant pattern and keep other items complementary. A pocket square, belt or handkerchief in a different pattern or color can play off your tie and add some visual interest. In addition, if you’re someone who likes to accessorize but isn’t super confident in your fashion choices—don’t be afraid of prints! Prints tend to work better together than solids.

Stand Out in Your Office by Coordinating Your Accessories

The ability to coordinate your accessories is more of an art than it is a science. To ensure that you don’t get lost in your office, take note of which socks go best with your ties or pocket squares and remember those combinations for future use. You can also match your pants color-wise (e.g., if you have blue pants and wear red socks, wear a yellow tie; if you have black pants, wear gray socks, wear gray or white tie). That way, you stand out in an office environment but keep things simple enough that people won’t be staring at what you’re wearing all day wondering how on earth you pulled it off so well. #fashion101

The Perfect Black Tie Combination

It might seem like a complex task, but knowing how to match your socks with your tie is actually pretty simple—you just need some inspiration. We asked Stephen Shum, co-founder of Big Knot, for his advice on pairing up socks and ties. It all comes down to color psychology: If you're wearing charcoal gray pants, wear a plain black or white pair of socks, says Shum. If you're wearing navy or black pants and tie, try an argyle pattern in that same dark color. The idea is that it will create one color story across your outfit by matching one feature (your socks) with another (your tie). Here are five more tips on how he matches his socks with his ties