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Fashionable socks, with unique design and exciting colour, are a useful fashion accessory for men. Although not always on show, a subtle hint of colour and pattern when visible really catches the eye. Because most men wear a plain pair of socks, a fresh and funky pair demonstrates an unparalleled attention to detail. Fashionable socks are suitable for both casual and formal wear, but are perhaps most useful to liven up a suit and tie. In this article I will look at the different patterns and styles such as stripes, spots, paisley, argyle and floral.
Striped socks are the most popular style of fashionable men’s socks, a pattern which is used extensively in contemporary fashion. The stripes can vary from very subtle to the big and bold, making it a very versatile pattern. Every designer brand has a range of striped socks, but none are more iconic than the Paul Smith. All his products feature the branded stripe ‘strip’, which is made up of thin stripes of subtle browns mixed in with vibrant colours. The stripe has become unique to Paul Smith, and thus makes a particular design statement when it is featured all over the sock.
Duchamp-London, a premium men’s accessories brand, has a range of striking striped socks that pull no punches when it comes to color. They have developed a particular color palette unique to the brand which presents an image of confidence, luxury, and success. They are particularly well known for their harlequin sock which has a chequered effect. Wearing a boldly patterned sock with a suit is a great way to inject some color and detail into an otherwise plain look. Richard James, the Saville Row Tailor, understands how striped socks can work brilliantly with a suit. He uses bright yellows and greens to give formal wear a real boost. Ted Baker, the uniquely British fashion brand, show off their sense of humor with a range of men’s socks that play with the stripe, mixing up different weights of line.
The argyle sock has benefitted from a return to popularity over the past twenty years with fashion brands such as Pringle using it in their knitwear. It has a distinctively British look which combines English heritage with contemporary British cool. Originating from the tartan of the Scottish Campbell Clan lead by the “Duke of Argyll”, the Argyle pattern has a diamond-shaped checkerboard pattern. The classic argyle has diagonal lines that cut through the diamonds for a 3-dimensional effect. The argyle sock has a casual and sports-country look that is very much in fashion at the moment. Despite its inherent laid-back quality, the argyle sock can be worn with formal wear in muted colors such as charcoal and navy. The argyle sock though really comes into its own in whacky and vibrant colours, making it ideal for casual wear. There are several designer brands that are synonymous with argyle socks, most notably Burlington and Pringle.
The spotted sock is much less common than the striped sock and is best suited to formal wear. It has a traditional look of old-fashioned elegance and is an excellent way of complementing a very smart and slick suit and tie. The classic style makes use of small dots, whilst a more modern approach uses larger spots or bubbles. For formal wear, choose a neutral base color such as black or dark grey that is decorated with brightly colored spots (such as red). For men who like to express their individuality, floral and paisley socks will appeal. Again suited to formal wear, they are ideally suited to occasions such as black tie and weddings. Paul Smith and Duchamp-London have a great collection of floral socks.
Fashionable men’s socks are not for every gentleman, but those who choose to wear them show off a unique look and daring personality. As most menswear is quite plain and classic, make use of the sock to inject color and pattern.