The Rules of Men’s Dress Socks

By Heather Johnston

In the world of menswear, there are tons of guidelines to follow when selecting the perfect combination of undergarments and accessories for a particular outfit, especially a suit. Though these un-spoken rules are often overlooked by guys in more casual contexts, there is a certain etiquette that goes into dressing up that should be acknowledged to give the right impression with the right outfit.

With the strategic thought that is placed on the perfect belt, shoes, and even undershirt when coordinating a suit, the most forgotten accessory tends to be socks. However, socks are very important, because they are very visible to those around you. Chances are, if you are going to the trouble to put on a suit, you are trying to make a good impression, so we have prepared some general rules to follow to make sure your dress socks stay tactful, not tacky.

Just to make sure we are starting on the same page, let’s go ahead and state the obvious: No white socks with a suit! White socks are either in the medical or athletic genres of footwear, so don’t ruin your business or formal wear by breaking this simple rule. It is distracting and unattractive for many reasons, so simply avoid this faux pas.

Selecting your sock color is a bit trickier, because the ideal shade is based on the color of your suit. You want the dress socks you wear to be a shade darker than your suit pants, but in the same color family to create continuity all the way down to the floor. A common misconception is that socks should match your shoes, but in truth, you could be creating a line at your ankle where the socks are visible, which shortens your frame. Therefore, socks that blend with your suit pants are a much better fit, because they are subtle and elongate your legs.

If you, however, are someone who is daring in his fashion statements and enjoy combining heavily patterned socks with your suits, there is an aesthetically pleasing way to approach this issue as well. If you are wearing a suit that is patterned, you should wear solid color socks. But if you have a suit that is uniform in color and would like to add a bit of flair, choose socks with an unobtrusive pattern that have a hint of another color your are wearing—perhaps that of your tie. The patterned socks should still blend with the leg of the suit, but the added touch of a matching color can be very chic.

As far as sock length and thickness are concerned, you should make sure the socks are a thin cotton/nylon or cashmere blend for wear with leather shoes and extend over the calf. You truly want to avoid ever having your bare leg exposed when in a suit and sitting down, as well as wearing thick socks that are meant to be paired with chinos or jeans, because both show that you are unaware of the difference between casual and dress socks. A great rule of thumb is to match the thickness of your socks to the thickness of your suit or slacks.

In summary, socks are an important detail associated with men’s suits and should be acknowledged to avoid any embarrassing fashion mistakes. Hopefully, these basic dress sock guidelines will help you make the right footwear decisions and keep you looking sharp!

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Four Things to Consider When Buying Athletic Socks

In our continuous search for excellent footwear, we are drawn to the topic of athletic socks all too often. This may be because, when wearing socks that serve a greater purpose than style or statement and tread the territory of functionality, we want to make sure we are choosing the right product for the right reasons. When searching for athletic socks, the average consumer normally trusts products from a brand that is renowned for sports-wear savvy, such as an athletic shoe company, but what makes one type of athletic socks better than the next? What points should we keep in mind when making our purchase?
Here are four key points you should remember when deciding which athletic socks will be best for enduring wear from exercise and sports, as well as keeping your mind off your feet and potential discomfort during these rigorous activities.

1. Avoid 100% cotton socks. They lose form and hold moisture, which can introduce a host of other uncomfortable problems, such as blisters and athlete’s foot. Instead, find socks made of synthetic materials that are designed to pull moisture away from your feet.

2. Consider your climate. It is as simple as asking yourself “is my workout or sports environment hot or cold?” Your answer will determine what type of athletic sock you should purchase. Though most basic athletic socks are focused on warmer environments (like cotton/synthetic blends), if it is cold, go for socks made of a wool/synthetic blend to hold in heat, but draw out moisture.

3. Get socks designed for your gender. There are subtle differences between the foot shape of men and women that can affect the fit of athletic socks. Therefore, if you are female, buy a sock made for women specifically.

4. Find cushioning that is right for you. This point is based mostly on preference, but the presence of some cushioning is definitely better than none at all. In a large portion of athletic socks on the market, cushioning not only assists in wicking moisture from your feet, it also helps in enhancing your individual fit and overall comfort of the ball and heel of your foot.

In summary, be critical of your athletic footwear! Something as simple as the socks you choose can assist in promoting your overall comfort and foot health. In keeping these four points in mind the next time you are faced with the enormous amount of athletic sock choices, you can help in making the best decision for your personal needs.

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Welcome Back! The Slouch Sock Returns

By Heather Johnston

In fashion, there has always been room for nostalgia…and it usually runs about 20 to 30 years behind. As we see more late 80s and early 90s fashion re-emerging, it is strangely wonderful to see the slouch sock coming back for round two, just with more of an edge!

In the 1980s, aerobics fashion was the craze, and to a huge extent. Even if you were not working out at that particular moment, you had to have your huge t-shirt, leggings, and either leg warmers or slouch socks on and ready to go. As a fashionable, hip girl in the 80s, it was a must to look like you just stepped out of Flashdance, and now, after a long hiatus, our favorite footwear is totally coming back in a fresh, new way.

Work-out fashion is alive and well. Just look at any American Apparel catalog and your local variety of hipsters, and you will see a colorful, vibrant assortment of sweat bands, oversized vintage 80s sweaters, Member’s Only Jackets, and of course, leggings. With leggings and tights being a major part of 2010’s consumer fashion repertoire, more and more chic ladies are turning to bulky footwear, like boots and slouch socks, to keep their feet warm, add color, and balance their look.

However, slouch socks are now not only for the ladies, but also for guys. In Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2010 collection, male models were seen sporting the retro footwear with plain oxford style shoes. Remember though, if you are a guy going after the slouch socks, do so tastefully, unlike the 80s; think of combining light-weight, solid white, black, or grey slouch socks with loafers or oxfords.

As for the ladies venturing out into the world of slouch socks, you have way more color and texture options. Thin, 100% cotton slouch socks are great for summer and aren’t too bulky at the ankle, so the thin variety can be easily paired with stylish sandals or ankle boots. In the winter, though, try the extra heavy, thick variety of slouch socks in a bold color with leggings, a huge sweater, and your favorite 80s mix-tape, knowing that your retro footwear is now the cutting edge.

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Are You a Non-Diabetic Who Needs Diabetic Socks?

By Heather Johnston

In working with a leading online retailer of diabetic socks for a couple of years, I encountered a recurring question from various customers in need of specialized footwear: “I am not diabetic, but do you think that diabetic socks would be good for me?” Most of the time, my answer was “yes,” because customers who were looking at the product points of our diabetic socks were in need of non-binding, non-irritating, moisture and friction reducing socks, but were skeptical as to whether this particular type of sock would meet their needs, because they were not diabetic. However, after giving the diabetic socks a chance, most non-diabetic customers were very pleased with the results from their new found favorite footwear.

Diabetic socks are specially designed to stretch more than other types of socks for the accommodation of lower leg swelling experienced by many diabetics, due to neuropathy and edema. A regular athletic or dress sock is too constricting when swelling is present, so many varieties of diabetic socks feature a loose top design that allows circulation and a non-binding fit. Also, due to the tendency of those with diabetes to suffer with foot ulcers, diabetic socks are often seamless and have moisture and friction reducing functionality to prevent further irritation.

So who are the non-diabetic customers who could benefit from the strategic, medically informed design of a diabetic sock? Anyone who has lower leg swelling that makes wearing athletic or dress socks uncomfortable, as customers experiencing indentations from their current, binding footwear strongly benefit from a sock featuring a loose top elastic.
Also, fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot, require a moisture-wicking design to keep feet dry and allow healing. Even as a precautionary measure, diabetic socks are great for hiking and long wear, because they prevent blisters from friction and moisture over a long period of time. For those prone to in-grown toenails or other related maladies, the seamless toe design prevents friction at the top of the foot where a seam would normally rub against an irritated area.

Diabetic socks are not just for those with diabetes, as they are designed with special consideration for their friction and moisture reduction properties, as well as a non-binding design. Therefore, customers with conditions such as athlete’s foot, in-grown toenails, lower leg swelling, etc., can benefit from the thoughtful, medically beneficial aspects of diabetic socks that make them so comfortable to feet in need of extra care.

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Why Boot Socks Matter

By Heather Johnston

In the grand scheme of footwear, we are faced with a multitude of choices when it comes to socks. There is a different type of sock for almost every imaginable purpose or situation, but how do you know which type will best suits your needs? One very familiar type of sock is notorious for the number of different variations available, and with a little insight, we as consumers can better understand which version is best for us—the boot sock.

With choices like Steel Toe Boot Socks, Army Boot Socks, Western Dress Style Boot Socks, Flight Boot Socks, Hunter’s Socks, and many others, you are able to find the exact variety of sock that suits the type of boots you wear.

Army Boot Socks
For example, Army Boot Socks are designed to keep feet dry and warm, depending on the environmental situation at hand, as well as reduce friction so that blisters are less likely to occur. When we think of the conditions that someone wearing combat boots would face, we have to take into consideration a wide range of climates as well as the fact that the wearer will probably have the boots on for a considerable amount of time.

For this reason, these socks are made so that whether you are in the desert or snow, all comfort factors are covered; the way in which the socks are woven is specific to moisture reduction for hot and cold climates, and they are adaptable warmth-wise, as Army Boot Socks have a synthetic blend fiber content. These socks are both durable and comfortable to wear for long periods of time, because they also have padding that strengthens the socks and helps with boot pressure.

Moisture reduction is a strong, common element in the construction of boot socks, as boots extend over the ankle and lock heat in close to the foot, which can cause blisters due to friction. This is why most boot socks are a synthetic or cotton blend, so that they do not move and slide around inside the boot, but can still breathe.

Flight Socks & Hunter Socks
However, varieties of boot socks like Flight Socks or Hunter’s Socks have even more specialized features that suit their respective purposes more specifically than other products. The Flight Boot Sock has compression that offers support and circulation benefits, thus warding off the negative effects of cabin pressure and high altitude. In contrast, Hunter Boot Socks are made of fleece or wool, and do not have compression, generally speaking. They are also loose and, in certain brands, in the shape of a rubber boot to provide comfort and warmth.

Steel Toe Boot Socks
In some cases, you can even find socks for the exact type of boot you are wearing, such as Steel Toe Boot Socks or Western Dress Style Boot Socks. The benefits of Steel Toe Boot Socks include a layer of heavy padding that extends across the bottom of the sock all the way from over the toe to the heel, so that comfort is added to the rigid, stiff areas of this type of boot, especially the toe.

Western Dress Style Boot Socks
In contrast, the Western Dress Style Boot Sock is designed to wear with cowboy boots and is much thinner than other varieties of boot socks to accommodate the pointed toe. If you were to wear a sock that is too thick with this type of boot, you would most likely not get the best fit, and may experience discomfort due to the narrow fit of cowboy style boots.

Two varieties of boot socks that fit a wide range of purposes are the aforementioned Heavy Duty Steel Toe Boot Socks and Thermal Boot Socks.

Thermal Socks
Also, Thermal Boot Socks are great for cold weather situations and fit many of the same uses as Heavy Duty Steel Toe Boot Socks, as far as outdoor activities are concerned. Both products are composed of a Cotton/Synthetic blend to provide moisture reduction while maintaining warmth and friction reduction.

In Summary
Boot socks are available with a multitude of variations that are designed to optimize the comfort and fit of different styles of boots, though some types of boot socks are more flexible than others. Common factors that are considered in the construction of boot socks are moisture reduction, friction reduction, and insulation or padding.

If you are currently experiencing an ill fit with your boots or general discomfort, it may be time to look into a type of boot socks that better suits your specific footwear needs. Though not all of the styles of boot socks mentioned are available at, this is a great online store to visit to purchase a flexible boot sock that is sure to cover a wide range of use.

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