In today's world, dress socks are as important as ties, if not more important than ties as ties be being worn less as a new trend. More businesses are moving away from wearing suits to work towards more casual outfits such as the popular business casual dress code. According to a study, only one in 10 employees now wears a suit to work.
Socks have evolved from practical needs. Our feet sweat heavily and having a layer of fabric covering our feet to absorb the sweat can help them stay comfortable and fresh.
The sweat from our feet can also soak into our shoes, as sweat will build up over time and causing odor and damage. Wearing socks can help protect our expensive footwear and extend their lifespan. It is much easier to clean socks or replace them than shoes.
Good socks should not only absorb sweat but also distribute the moisture towards the outer surface so the moisture can evaporate. This process is called "wicking." No one likes wearing sweaty socks all day.
Dress socks need more than just sweat absorption and wicking.
Here are some essential qualities to look for in good dress socks aside from wicking:
Padding - The sock should act as a cushion for the foot and prevent it from rubbing against the shoe.
Snug Fit - A well fit sock should feel snug, but not too tight. A loose sock will bunch, rub, and may even cause blisters.
Slim Fit - A good dress sock should be slimmer than athletic socks as dress shoes tend to fit snugly. A slim dress sock can also avoid making your ankle look bulky.
Color - The default dress sock has and always be black, but there are several stylish dresser options. A good dress sock should fit neatly and unobtrusively into the outfit but sometimes stand out boldly and proudly to get noticed in certain cases where that's the goal. The bold color dress sock style has been a growing trend in recent years and popular in all age groups.
Comfort - The dress socks you want to wear are the ones you feel comfortable wearing all day. Good dress socks are made out of soft materials for next to skin comfort. Good dress socks should also stay up all day because saggy socks are uncomfortable, and you'd have to regularly fix them.
The Basics of Dress Socks: Length, Material, and Color
One of the most important functions of dress socks is to cover your skin because no one wants to see a scraggly bit of hair-covered ankle peeking out between the socks and the cuff of the pants.
A good dress sock should come up to at least the lower part of your calf, so your skin is covered even if you cross your leg while sitting.
Sock length and also affect how well the sock stays up. For traditional dress socks, over-the-calf or full-calf socks stay up better than shorter socks, such as crew or mid-calf lengths. Over-the-calf socks typically rest over the calf and below the knee, so the calf acts as an anchor to prevent sagging socks. However, these long socks can be overwhelming, irritating, and restrictive for many people.
With Straight Up's Anti-Sag technology, we created crew length dress socks that stay up all day without any of the discomforts associated with long socks. Our crew length dress socks are the only ones on the market that can guarantee to stay up all day. So you won't have to constantly adjust your socks and worry about exposing your skin during crucial moments.
Although black dress socks are the go-to choice for most, there is a wide range of color options for the stylish dresser, depending on how much contrast they want for their outfit.
The most basic rule for dress socks is to match the sock's color to the pant leg's dolor. This will help add some perceived height to your body by making your legs look longer.
The other basic rule for dress socks is to match the sock's color to the dress shoe's color. Most dress shoes are black, and that's where the default dress sock color came from.
Today's more trendy and stylish way is to create a contrast between the sock's color and the rest of the outfit. The color contrast has to look deliberate, or it might make your outfit look horrible.
You can also match your dress socks' color with other accessories such as your pocket square or tie.
The color contrast style is best suited for social events and more relaxed business events. It is recommended that you match the sock's color with either the pant leg or dress shoe for a traditional business outfit.
The material that the sock is made out of plays a significant role in its performance.
Here are some of the most common materials:
Cotton: Excellent for sweat-absorbent, but doesn't evaporate as quickly. Suitable for controlling sweat odor as long as you change your socks daily.
Synthetics: The most common materials for socks today consist of polyester, acrylic, olefin, and polyethylene. They can all be shaped into fibers that perform well with wicking, but not great with sweat absorption.
Wool: Better performance in sweat evaporation and breathability, but absorbs less sweat. Wool dress socks are usually thick but provide excellent warmth in cold conditions.
There is no right answer for the ideal sock material, but a good dress sock will consist of:
Primarily natural fabric: with cotton for warm-weather absorbency and lightweight
Built-in wicking fiber: socks with some synthetic fiber can help keep the foot dryer and fresher than all-natural fabric.
Stretchy elastic: a stretchy cuff made from quality elastic materials can help keep the sock snug on your leg and stay up.
Sock elastic will lose its stretchiness over time and cause the sock to sag. Our socks with Anti-Sag technology will stay up without relying on the snugness, extending the sock's lifetime.