Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Sock It to ‘Em


Dressing well is all about the details – the way a scarf is knotted, the crispness of a sliver of white pocket square and the striped contrast of a sock against a selvedge jean.

Attention to detail is what sets men apart from the boys, humans from animals, and dapper from droopy.

One of the most overlooked parts of guys’ wardrobes is usually their socks. Yes, socks – in all colors and patterns. Get a step on the competition and fly your sartorial freak flag.

Throughout campus, worn out white-athletic socks are very popular. Perhaps there is a mindset that socks are not an important part of one’s outfit or that no one sees them. A good ole dash of color to a pair of socks can really accent your shoes, though. It’s a great way to dip your toes, literally, into pattern mixing. A plaid sweater or jacket may be a bit too much for the faint of heart, but a plaid pair of socks can add a jolt of life to any pair of khakis or jeans.

Different materials and patterns will add pops of fun color, baby blue, lavender or burnt orange to your outfit. You will get a few double takes as your Adidas Sambas take a stroll down Argyle Lane.

No one likes cold feet. They cause lost opportunities. Get confidence with some weather-appropriate socks. Just as a nice color is imperative, so is a sock’s material. I currently fight off the gale-force winds that whip around the W.E.B. Du Bois Library with burly rag socks from J. Crew, made in marled cotton. Marled cotton is a threading technique, twisting different colored yarns together, that gives an interestingly inconsistent flecked look.  Wool socks also do wonderfully in cold weather, where thinner materials such as lighter cotton do not hold up as well. There is no need to barter with Grandma for a nice knitted pair; O’Hanlon Mills from Urban Outfitters makes a great camp sock. They come in a range of colors and each one is accented with a solid stripe.

Heavier duty materials are a definite in the colder winter and fall season. However, like the monotonously gray days, sticking to just solid colors is mundane. There are a multitude of patterns to explore, and argyle and striped socks are the most used and versatile patterns.  Desert boots get a dash of class when paired with a dark navy argyle pattern. Striped socks work well with just about any shoe.

Contrast is another important factor to think about when pairing up socks with an outfit. They should never match your shoes, but always complement them. Beige shoes are not helped with beige socks. A burgundy shoe would look excellent with a pair of deep wine colored socks.

For the sartorially adventurous, there are more outlandish patterns that can be explored. One such example is Psycho Bunny, which makes socks with a delightful bunny skull-and-cross bone emblem on them, not glaringly obvious, but intriguing nonetheless to the careful observer.

Beautiful socks do no good if they are covered up completely by your pants. Properly tailored pants come into play, and they should hit just at the tops of your shoes.

When you casually roll up some jeans, or cuff a pair of khakis, then the world can see what kind of sock wearer you are. Are you one to sport bunny-cross bones or maybe more inclined to keep it classy with a gentlemanly argyle? Whether the case, your feet will thank you.

Ryan Ford can be reached at [email protected].

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    NicolajOct 31, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    You can get your awesome funky coloured socks at – They ship to the United States including massachusetts. Check it out!