There was a time, not so long ago, when the only wise choice for socks was your basic Earth tones. You know, blacks, greys, and browns. Those were the standard worn by all the smart dressers who put extra effort into matching the exact shade of brown socks with their footwear and tie. Well, it isn’t as if those days are over, but trends do tend to mix up what used to look good with what looks good now. Socks are one of those items that have come out from under the covers to become a fashion statement of their own. That doesn’t mean it’s time to ditch the brown or navy socks, you just have to slide them over to make room in your sock drawer for brightly-colorer and patterned socks.

Here’s a look at five different colored sock varieties and how to best wear them. These are just basic guidelines to get you started.

Blue Socks

Thanks to the fact that the blue color palette covers numerous shades of blue from the lightest hint to bold and bright, there is a lot to work with here. If you traditionally worked to match your socks with your pants, that is still a good idea to follow with blue socks. The goal here is to create a visual that will extend your legs and practically make you appear to be slightly taller than you are. This can work to your advantage in a board meeting or in a setting where you are attempting to set the ground rules. The key here is to not try to make an identical match with your blues. It’s always a good idea to skip a few shades on either side of the pants you intend to wear. As No Cold Feet notes here, blue socks run the gamut from more subtle tones like navy to pastels and a variety of brighter shades.

Green Socks

Green socks can be a little tricky to match. Sure, you could just go with the easy match and wear pants in khaki but you will only get away with that outfit for only so long. Some shades of green match very well with browns. That is because they are what would be considered as “natural matching” colors. For example, greens and browns are commonly seen together all around us. Think of gardens, yards, and any other green space you have been near. So, with this in mind, it should be an easy pairing of green and brown. The important thing to keep in mind is that this works with subdued shades of green. If you have a fluorescent shade of green that dominates your socks, you may be able to tone that down with brighter brown pants and matching shoes. Just don’t let the brightness take over.

Yellow Socks

Flashy socks do have their place in any wardrobe. It just depends on the look you are trying to achieve. Thankfully, you have a spectrum of shades to work with where toned down yellow socks create the right amount of flash to not clash with lighter shades of pants. Of course, there is the other side of the coin where you could wear dark pants and shoes and go all out with the loudest shade of yellow that registers on the visible light scale. If done right, these socks will not only get you noticed but you will also become unforgettable. Sometimes that is a very good thing if you are dressed in bright yellow socks at an event where you are trying to leave a vivid impression. The idea here is to work hard to not create such a clash of colors that it becomes offensive. Yellow socks with patterns or dots can help you here.

Red Socks

Going back to what we said earlier about natural matching colors, red is another one that tends to magically work well with several other colors. For example, socks in a brick red shade would go very well when worn along with faded denim jeans (or other light shades of blue) and various shades of tan brown footwear. Darker reds work well with darker tans that have a subtle red hue in them. In other words, it isn’t so difficult to make red socks fit into an outfit. Even bright red socks can work with darker blues and browns. Just be conscious of the fact that you are not trying to look like a novelty act, but the headliner and your look should work out just fine. Whatever you do, do not ever match red with green. Yes, they are holiday colors but combined they resemble the colors of your average ugly Christmas sweater.

Purple Socks

For most people, purple is just a different shade of red. Regardless of what side of that argument you sit on, the same basic guidelines for wearing red socks can be adopted for purple socks as well. Only there is one major exception. Purple socks work best with dark blues and dark tans. Oh, and don’t try to match purple with red. It just isn’t going to look very good no matter how you try to disguise one or the other. Also, it is important to point out that all those grey socks you moved out of the way to make room for these other ones will still have a function. They can work well with purples in case you add some purple shorts or shoes to your closets and get tired of wearing purple socks with them all the time. It also means that your grey dress slacks and grey shoes will get a sprucing up with purple socks.

In Conclusion

Socks are an important part of any wardrobe. That is why you should have many different colored pairs in your sock drawer. Remember, trends have changed and it is okay to wear color with your socks. Hopefully, we have been able to assist you in finding ways to wear many different colors of socks to enhance your outfit instead of just taking up space in your dresser drawer.