The trend of sockless suits has finally crested, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t an appropriate way to make the look work for you.
In this article I break down the three key elements necessary to wear a suit without socks.
The primary element of being able to wear a suit with socks, is the cloth from which the suit is made.
While color and pattern can help make a finer suit look more appropriate without socks, the biggest factors are the material and the weave with which the suit is made.
Finely worsted wools – those that are traditionally associated with business and formal wear – should always be worn with socks.
The same goes for heavier winter-weight cloths like flannel and tweed – not because of a formal/casual contrast, but because these materials are worn in colder months – times when it’s inappropriate (and uncomfortable) to not have socks on.
Instead, focus on summer-weight cloths like linen and cotton and wools in thicker, more substantial weaves – such as hopsacks, basket weaves, and others.
When a suit has more texture, it appears more casual and is more appropriately worn without socks (or with the right kind of socks).
Not all shoes will work without socks. Just like with suiting, the focus needs to be on the casual end of the spectrum, along with styles that are more appropriately worn in summer. No one wants to throw their bare feet into a pair of alpine boots.
Loafers, drivers, and derbies are all great options. As are nearly anything with a low cut that’s made in suede.
What should be avoided are heavier or more formal shoes like wingtips and captoes. Even when they’re casual enough, they have a more Rugged and outdoor association that makes them look off when worn without socks.
The one exception to the formality rule is a pair of double monk-straps. While they do dress up more than a pair of longwings, their design and versatility makes them entirely appropriate when worn sockless. Don’t hesitate to thrown them on with a pair of chinos or jeans either. They’ll help dress up a more casual look.
Some men can just slide their feet in or apply a little bit of baby powder to the insole of their shoes. Doesn’t work for me those as my feet get sweaty and the top will often get stuck to the inside of the shoes’ tongue – not fun or comfortable.
I’ve also tried to use washable cotton insoles. While these do help remove odor and prevent my feet from sticking to the insole, they do nothing about the top.
The best solution is to wear a no-show sock like these from BlackSocks. They provide all the benefits of wearing a dress sock, while still allowing you to embrace the sockless aesthetic.
I love two things about this brand compared to others I’ve used. First, they come in a few different sizes. My feet are on the smaller side and no-shows that are too big will often slip off the back of my heel. It’s uncomfortable and frustrating to deal with.
Second, the material they use is so small and light that they feel like a pair of dress shoes. Other brand will use thicker materials that can make my shoes feel too small.
Seriously, these from BlackSocks are the best I’ve used, and I’ve tried this a ton of different ways over the years.
The one caveat I’ll give is to avoid using these if you’re constantly slipping in and out of your shoes. The appearance they give off is a bit dainty and effeminate. If you’re in and out of your shoes often, you’re probably better off sticking with the insole route.
With these three factors dialed in, it’s easier, more stylish, and more comfortable to ditch your socks in the summer months.
It’s a style I recommend for guys who lean towards the Rakish Archetype. Embrace the fact that it’s a polarizing aesthetic and tends to be one people will either compliment or criticize you for.
Oh, and if you want a hookup on those no-show socks, I have one for you. Use the code MS20 for 20% off any order over $50 from now until September 1st.
Don’t know what I mean by Rakish? Well go check these out.
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Skipping the socks while wearing a suit isn’t something the average Joe does. When you pull it off, you’re telling a story with your style.
Learn the how men throughout time and across all cultures have use their clothing to communicate specific, masculine virtues and tell stories that lead to more success, happiness, and fulfillment.