If you could find one thing to critique about men’s formal attire, it would be its rigidity. Compared to the varying outfits from which women can choose or the more casual clothing available to men, a pair of slacks, a sport coat, a button up, and a tie can come off as a little constrained. But in our mind, this perceived weakness of men’s formal wear is in fact its biggest strength.
Something as simple as a great pair of dress shoes, a striking tie, or – yes – even a pair of great dress socks can add a lot of fun to an otherwise formal outfit.. In actuality, interesting dress socks are one of the few things a guy can use to put on a personal touch to a more traditional business outfit. So, with that in mind we pulled together what we think are some of the best dress socks out there for men. Whether you’re looking for something that’ll fit in and not make waves or a pair that will pop – this list should be of some help.
For those who prefer a simple look and a broad variety of options when it comes to color, this pair from Uniqlo is well worth consideration. The Japanese fast fashion brand offers nearly 20 different colors to choose from. Each feature the same classic construction and are more than fit for year-round use. All things said, these are a solid affordable pick for the guy looking grab up a handful of different socks.
The Hill Side Tokyo Bus Lines Socks
Like most things from The Hill Side, this pair of socks boast a simple but playful style. Not only are they made in Japan, but their design is inspired by the paint job on Tokyo’s Seibu buses. Of course, these socks have more to offer than just a fun design. Constructed from a cotton, polyester, and spandex fabric, they are built to be super comfortable and well-fitting.
Richer Poorer Wright Socks
It is hard to write a list on men’s socks and not include Richer Poorer. The California-based brand has turned the business of making men’s undergarments and basics into an art. Take these socks for example. Made from an up-cycled yarn knit in Alabama and dyed using special process that does away with the need for water or chemical dyes, they’re just about as sustainable as they come. But more than that, they look great and fit incredibly well.
Gold Toe Canterbury Dress Socks
As far as traditional dress socks go, Gold Toe is just about the best out there. Rather than focusing on fun, playful colorways or eye-catching designs, their socks are designed to fit well, stay put, and keep your feet dry and comfortable at all times. They can do this because they’re made with a top quality mercerized cotton yarn, feature AquaFX tech for keeping your feet from sweating, and a mix of nylon for a close but un restrictive fit. You can pick these up in either navy, brown, or black.
Paul Smith Fair Isle Knitted Socks
Paul Smith has never been one to shy away from eye-catching colors and patterns. So it should come as no surprise that, when making a pair of socks, the British fashion designer chose to go with a unique look. These socks – made from a cotton, nylon, wool and elastane blend fabric – boast a fair isle pattern with a darker colorway that matches well with darker slacks.
Corgi Lightweight Wool Fox Socks
Not content with a simple pair of socks? These Corgi Lightweight wool socks with a fox pattern are worth your while. Not only will the combination wool and nylon fabric keep you warm and comfortable, but the playful fox motif will add a bit of levity to both formal and casual outfits.
Kingsman Corgi Polka-Dot Cotton Blend Socks
Part of the exclusive Kingsman (yes, like the spy movie) collection available on Mr Porter, these socks from Corgi take a much more traditional route. Rather than going for something as fun a fox motif, it features a polka-dot pattern on a high quality soft cotton fabric. For a secure fit, the top features ribbed top bands.
Pantherella Plaid Wool Blend Socks
These dress socks from Pantherella feature a dense wool and nylon fabric with a houndstooth plaid pattern. They’re subtle enough not to scream for attention, but sophisticated enough to hold the eye a beat longer than their peers. An all around great pick for those on the hunt for a more traditional pair of dress socks.
Kapital Smilie Cotton-Blend Socks
For those who prefer thicker, old-school socks, this pair from Kapital are worth a second look. Made from a mix of cotton, acrylic, hemp, wool, and nylon in the Japanese town of Kojima Kurashiki, they have a comfortable feel and a playful design. The heels of the socks are yellow and boast a little printed smiley face – making them ideal for wearing with slides or Birkenstocks.
Anderson & Sheppard Ribbed-Knit Wool Blend Socks
Adding a pop of color to an outfit is one thing, but adding a splash of deep red is something else altogether. For those looking to make a serious impression with their socks, this pair from Anderson and Sheppard is perfect. Ribbed-knit in Italy from a blend of cashmere and wool, they’re both incredibly soft and long lasting, making them ideal for pairing with denim, chinos, or a more formal outfit.
Sunspel Ribbed Cashmere Bed Socks
If it is true what they say, that you’re only as comfortable as your feet, then those who wear Sunspel’s ribbed cashmere socks must be the most relaxed people on earth. Made from a thick Italian cashmere and ribbed for a solid fit, these pairs of socks are both incredibly comfortable and good looking.
Thom Browne Argyle Intarsia Cotton-Blend Socks
These British-made intarsia-knitted socks from Thom Brown are designed to rest just above the calf to provide a smooth, clean look for those who prefer wearing more fitted trousers. Made from a breathable and soft cotton, they’re incredibly comfortable to wear and are long-lasting enough to stay in your wardrobe for years. An all around classic pick.
30 Best Business Wardrobe Essentials
So you have an idea of what kind of dress socks are out there. But when was the last time you took a look at the rest of your formal wardrobe? Scroll through our list of the best business wardrobe essentials and see what you are missing.
HiConsumption is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more