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a fashion guide to different sock types

Fashionable people know this little secret. If you want to look good, everything you wear is important. This means from your head down to your toes. Every accessory and article of clothing must be on-point and well thought out to put together a truly fashionable outfit. This includes your socks.

If your sock drawer is full of only black and white socks, you are missing out on a whole world of amazing socks. Socks that can up your fashion games and make every outfit look like you spent a lot of time and effort putting it together. And all you need to know are a few handy tips about how to wear different types of socks and how to wear them in a fashionable way--and that’s  easy.

This guide is designed to help you navigate a fully stocked sock drawer and assist you in picking the right type of socks for the right outfit. We will cover several general types of fashionable socks including solid-colored, striped, polka dot, and of course, argyle. Here is a fashion guide to different types of socks.

Solid Colors 

Solid colored socks (meaning colors other than black or white!) are actually much more interesting and versatile than you may think. There are two basic ways to go with solid colored socks to help make a fashionable outfit. Match them with some aspect of your outfit for a smart, elevated look or use them as a bold statement by wearing them as a solitary pop of color with an otherwise more conservative outfit.

If you’re going with a pop of color to make your socks stand out, there are very few rules. As long as you are comfortable with the level that your colored socks stand out, you are all good. A nice way to stand out while still looking good and matching is to use complementary colors on a color wheel. When you look at the wheel, the color directly across from it is its complementary color. Use that and your pop will be perfect.

As for wearing solid color socks to match, deciding what color in your outfit to match is important. You can match with your pants or shoes for a simpler, monochromatic look or with your shirt or accessories for a look that shows a little more thought. If you have an accent color in your shirt or accessories, that is a great color with which to match your solid socks.


Stripes in fashion can be controversial but striped socks are a real winner. Striped socks generally come in one of two varieties. There are horizontal stripes and vertical stripes. The stripes can be thin (pinstriped) or thick and have a base and a stripe color or multiple stripe colors. Striped socks are more visually interesting than solid colored socks, and because they contain multiple colors, you can match them in all kinds of ways.

One great way to wear striped socks is to match the base color of the sock with your outfit and let the stripe color or colors act as your pop of color for the outfit. It is also a very sharp look when you are wearing a suit to find a tie or a shirt with a striped pattern and wear socks that have generally the same striped pattern or color combination. To take this idea to the next level, reverse your socks and your tie stripes. For example, let’s say your tie has a pink base and gray stripes. Gray socks with pink stripes would look very cool playing off that tie.

Polka dot

Many people associate polka-dotted fashion with clowns or other loud dressers but the right polka dot patterns are very on-trend these days. When thinking about polka dot socks, consider the size of the polka dot. The smaller the polka dot is, the more conservative that sock will be and the larger the polka dot, the more casual.

A polka dot pattern is already a stimulating pattern so you don’t need to go crazy color-wise. Stick to two color polka dot socks (unless you’re going for a specific rainbow look). When you wear these socks, like their striped cousins, you can match the base or the polka dot color to different parts of your outfit to change up the socks' visual effect.


Last, but certainly not least, are argyle socks. With their multi-colored, diamond-shaped patterns, argyles are the definition of classic. If you are going with argyles, there is no getting around the different colors--that’s why you are wearing them in the first place! If you can match multiple colors in the socks to different parts of your outfit, you’ll have a very cohesive look.

The best part about argyle is that it is so classic that you can do almost anything, and it won't be too much because of the historical trendiness of the argyle pattern. Don’t be afraid to really experiment with color choices for your argyle socks. No Cold Feet notes that bold argyle colors like purple and other colored argyle socks have a lot of fashion versatility. It is one of the best reasons that your sock drawer should be filled with a multitude of argyle.


Whether you are already a devotee of fun, interesting, trendy, and cool socks or you are just starting to venture out of your black and white rabbit hole, adding different colors and patterns to your sock wardrobe is always a great idea. You will be amazed how something as simple as the right pair of unique socks will make your whole outfit look exponentially better.

If you are trying to decide which colors and styles are right for you, the best thing to do is look at your wardrobe. What complementary colors to your base colors can you find, and what accent colors do you have in different outfits? Answer these questions and you can start to plan your future sock needs.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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