We may earn a small commission from product links. Blog posts at Nimble Made are written to provide value and advice for our readers—any product(s) we recommend are items readers use and love.
As much as you might want to just grab those old white socks, you can’t just use them for everything. When you want to dress for success, that means dressing with the best pair of men’s dress socks. Your dress socks don’t need to be black and boring either, or uncomfortable. We have many options here that look great, have some personality, and are comfortable too. It’s a lot harder to pick the best dress socks than you might think!
Best Men's Dress Socks
Who says that dress socks have to be boring? You can still have a little personality with these Blue Waves Socks while dressing your best for any event. Our favorite pair of socks are made of cotton and spandex for a comfortable stretch. They stay cool and keep your feet dry so you can wear them all day without feeling uncomfortable. The color makes them easy to pair and match with any outfit, and the size extends to 17 inches. Stretch them over your feet and trust that they’ll stay up all day. That’s because they have a little stretch at the top, which means your socks will be the last thing you’re thinking about which was the pushing point for us to rate it as the best socks.
- Bright and vibrant design
- The colors and design won’t fade with time
- Sock is thick and durable
- Comes with an awesome blue pouch
Three pairs of socks in one pack? Beyond the fact that this is a great deal, these Nordstrom socks are your classic black color. This means that you can pair them with anything, and that they’ll look great with any pair of your nice black dress shoes. They’re lighter weight too, and shaped with a comfortable stretch to them. Check out the wide-ribbed dress socks that will fit your calves without a problem. There’s also a wide-ribbed cuff at the top, so these socks will never fall down throughout the day.
- One size will fit sizes 7 to 12 of men’s feet
- Comfortable enough for everyday wear
- Perfect for both the spring and the summer
You can pick out these Nordstrom Ultrasoft Dress Socks in three different colors. It doesn’t matter what color you pick though with these refined socks. They’re made with a weave that gives a very subtle texture to them, and which keeps them feeling firm on your feet for the entire day. Of course, the fabric is made to stretch and be soft, which is especially important when it comes to dressing up your feet.
- They’re so soft that they’re easy to wear all day
- Good and comfortable fit on the foot
- Professional yet still comfortable to wear
If you’re looking for socks with some personality, look no further than these Easton Marlowe socks. Not only are they fashioned from the finest cotton, making them softer and more durable, but they also come in a variety of colors that makes them unique. You can look great and still show off some of your style, not to mention that they’re soft enough that you can wear them all day. Thanks to the elastane, they will stay on your feet all day and retain their springiness for longer no matter how many times you throw them in the wash.
- They have a strong hold on your feet
- The soft texture ensures that they feel good
- The colors stay bold and don’t fade over time
Argyle fans: look no further than these OKISS cotton dress socks. They come in a variety of colors so that you can add a little style to your outfit, but it’s not all about the coloring. They’re also made with cotton, polyester, and just a little bit of spandex, meaning that they’re nice and soft, and thicker than you might expect when you think about your socks. This means that they will stay on your feet well, and will remain comfortable throughout the day.
- Don’t itch or irritate over time
- They have enough stretch to stay on your feet all day
- The polyester helps keep the socks warm in the winter
While there are many amazing colorful options out there, you might be a classic kind of guy that prefers solid colors. It’s lucky that there are Calvin Klein dress socks like these classic ones then. They’re made to be high-quality for all kinds of men and all kinds of suits too. They’re made with a mix of polyester, cotton, and spandex, which means that they’ll stay warm even on colder days and won’t fall down your leg even when you’re moving a lot.
- Comfortable yet strong
- The simple style is perfect for any outfit
- They’re thin enough to feel good during the summer
What Should The Length Be For Your Dress Socks?
Showing off a little bit of your calves isn’t usually a problem, but it might get you to thinking about how long your socks should actually be. If you’re looking to be completely formal, you should know that even a little bit of your skin below the knee isn’t the way to go.
You don’t need to always be completely formal though. In that case, check to make sure that your socks at least go up to halfway up your calf which are generally known as mid calf socks. Around the ankles is definitely not something you want.
In order to check the length of your socks, especially if you’re buying socks online, check the overall inches. You’ll want something that’s fairly long. Some socks say they come up to your calves, but just lack the inches they need to really fit over your calves.
Of course, you can go to a tailor for your socks as well, although you don’t necessarily need to. Just consider how many inches your socks are when you buy them, and what kind of elastic is at the top. This will keep them up around your knees all day so that they really do stay at the proper length all day.
Always aim to have your socks covering any skin that may be seen between your shoes and pants. This means that the ideal length for socks is above the ankle, providing a smooth transition from the two pieces of clothing.
You should never go without socks in a dressy or business occasion because it is highly unprofessional and can cause your shoes and feet to smell more. Ankle or no-show socks should also be avoided because they are far too casual and can look like you aren’t wearing socks at all. Aim for either an ankle dress sock, or a knee length socks for the best overall look.
How to choose the best men’s dress socks?
You shouldn’t just choose your dress socks with its looks in mind. There are also several features that come with them that you should look for.
If your dress socks are too tight, it can cause circulation problems in your legs as well as being very uncomfortable to walk around in. But if your socks are too loose, they can slide as you wear them. This can cause discomfort as you walk and issues such as blisters. You should aim for them to be tight enough to stay in place, while not being tighter than necessary.
Even when you are not working out, your feet can still sweat. If your socks are not moisture wicking, it can cause them to hold in moisture, leading to an uncomfortable feel, irritation and a very unpleasant smell. It can also lead to medical conditions like rashes and bacteria build up on your feet. Moisture wicking will provide greater breathability as air flows through them and will prevent sweat from sitting in your socks. This is ideal year round, especially in the warmer months like summer so make sure to own a beathable dress sock pair.
Even if you are wearing supportive shoes with inserts, you should still look for socks with a little bit of padding in them. This is because they will provide greater comfort as you wear them, as well as greater durability in those areas. You should also make sure that your socks are thick enough to avoid your feet rubbing on your shoes and causing irritation.
Dress Sock Basics To Know
To make sure you don’t commit a fashion faux pas, it is important to know the basics of dress socks.
One of the more important things to check when choosing a dress socks to wear for the day is that there are no holes in them. Dress socks should look well maintained, clean and fully functioning. Otherwise, it will look like you are not putting in effort.
No Thin or Fine Socks
Socks that are thin look more like athletic socks than dress socks. You want to make sure you look like you are dressed for the occasion, and not like you are ready for the gym.
Make Sure They Match
While you may like to mix and match socks when lounging around the house, when you are wearing dress socks they need to match. This is because mismatched socks may look cute, but do not look professional. Even when they have a theme or commonality, they still do not work for a business or professional setting. You can wear socks with patterns or colors on them, but they must match.
When In Doubt, Go With Black
If you are not sure if the color or pattern on your socks match your outfit or the situation, you should just go with a full black sock. Plain black socks are subtle and go with anything, making sure that you do not wear something too flashy or mismatched. Plain black socks are also a staple in any wardrobe, so you should always have at least one pair.
However, if you want to show more personality then you can definitely wear colorful socks - just don't do it at a funeral or gala.
How to Wear Dress Socks Properly
To guarantee you are wearing your dress socks properly, there are certain factors to consider.
There are four main types of dress socks that you can consider incorporating into your outfit.
- Plain socks are a single solid color with no designs or images. You should aim to wear a pair of dress socks that are either a shade lighter or darker than your pants to guarantee they match, without being obvious or camouflaged. This provides a simple and straightforward look, without drawing the eye downward. You should also avoid wearing white socks with a suit in any color.
- Textured socks may include a slight mix of colors, but will still be a subtle design, without patterns. Instead, the pattern is in the weave of the sock itself so you can feel the design. Textured socks provide you with a more weighted appearance to your socks, making them great for many different occasions. Once again, you should choose a color either a shade darker or lighter than your pants. You should also pair them with more rugged materials like denim or wool so the texture doesn’t stand out too much.
- Patterned socks provide you with a pop of color, while still fitting with the rest of your outfit. You can choose to go with a classic dress sock pattern like argyle, or keep it simple with some stripes. No matter what pattern you go with, you should make sure the colors do work with the rest of your outfit and you keep everything else simple. Ties, pocket squares or shirts should be a similar color and be plain to let the socks blend well.
- Statement men's socks are designed to draw your eye to them, making them the boldest part of the outfit. They are not ideal for business events or more serious endeavors, but are great for fun and casual days. You should wear socks that either compliment or contrast the colors in the rest of your outfit, but watch out for clashing.
Socks need to stay in place without sliding down or slouching. When socks begin to slide, they do not look as sleek and gives off more of an unprofessional vibe. You should choose socks that are snug enough to stay up on your leg and prevent wrinkling or sagging. If you are still concerned with whether or not the socks will stay up while you are out, you can also wear sock garters. This will keep your sock in place all day and will avoid you needing to pull them back up.
You should never just grab a pair of dress socks and assume that they will go with your outfit. Whether the socks will clearly show or not, they need to match your outfit with complementary or similar colors. If you are unsure about what colors or patterns will go together it is always acceptable to go with a plain black sock. Subtly will do wonders by staying with the basics and not going too extravagantly with your socks. You can also find plenty of inspiration online for how to pair socks with colors and outfits.
What Materials To Choose?
There are several acceptable materials for dress socks, but all have different advantages and disadvantages.
While cotton is an inexpensive material, it is not ideal for socks on its own. This is because regular cotton absorbs moisture and does not easily allow it to dry. This makes them ideal for cooler days, but not for warmer ones where your feet will most likely sweat. You can also consider cotton socks that include other materials like lycra for a better fit or pima cotton dress socks.
Wool is a perfect dress sock material as the weather gets colder, but also works well for in hot weather as well. This is because the material is insulated and allows air to flow more freely than other materials like cotton. Wool is also a very sturdy material and can handle a lot of wear. The only downside to wool socks are the overall bulkiness. If you feel like splurging go for fine merino wool socks.
If you want a more effective material for keeping your foot dry you can also choose socks that include synthetic materials like acrylic, polyester, nylon, polyethylene or olefin in the weave. These materials are too thin and sporty to be worn on their own as dress socks, but when mixed with another material like cotton or wool, it works very well.
Cashmere and Silk
If you want higher end, luxury socks, you can also opt for materials like silk and cashmere. The materials provide similar benefits to wool, while not being as bulky as wool. They can also be blended with other materials like linen, bamboo, mohair, or synthetics to provide a more durable or elastic sock.
Don’t let your socks be the weak link in an otherwise great outfit. If you are going to put in the effort to look good, it is important to do it right and avoid an awkward moment with your old gym socks. You will see the difference the right dress socks will make and feel the difference by putting your best foot forward.
1. Which socks are best for formal wear?
Known as dress socks or business socks, they are most appropriate for formal attire. You might choose socks with delicate designs and finishes to match your formal attire. Made of luxuriously soft materials, they will keep you comfortable all day. The materials used are durable and long-lasting such as nylon, cotton, or wool.
2. How do I choose the right dress socks?
Choosing socks that match an aspect of your clothes or have equivalent undertones (cool or warm) ensures that your socks contrast, but not in an offensive way. In the event that your socks cannot avoid clashing, make that color the only one that seems intentional. Pick a theme that seems grown-up.
3. What are mens dress socks made of?
A sock's performance is largely determined by the material it is made of. Among the most common foundation materials are cotton, wool, nylon, polyester, and a variety of other synthetics. Some are trademarked, while others are recognized by their chemical names.