How To Wear White Socks With Black Shoes (7 Tips) • Ready Sleek (2022)

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Certain combinations are pretty easy to wrong with. They often seem like a faux pas waiting to happen. The question is, can you wear white socks with black shoes?

While white socks should never be worn with black dress shoes, they can be worn with black sneakers in casual and athletic settings. Stick to subtle ankle socks to prevent the contrast between the shoes and the socks from looking too obvious.

Ultimately, black socks would always look better than white socks when wearing black shoes of any sort.

That’s the short answer, but there’s a lot more to it.

After going through some essential tips for wearing white socks with black shoes in a way that actually works, I’ll round things up with a couple of FAQs.

Let’s get to it.

7 Tips For Wearing White Socks With Black Shoes

As always, consider all of these tips before putting your outfit together. The risks run pretty deep when it comes to this combination.

Only Wear Them In Casual Settings

White socks should only be worn with black shoes in truly casual settings. Avoid wearing them in anything more formal than that.

It’s why black sneakers are really the only option here – we’ll be going into more detail on that in the next tip.

But the combination shouldn’t be worn in smart-casual, business-casual, formal, or black-tie settings.

A common mistake people make is wearing black dress shoes with white socks while wearing a suit in formal settings.

(Video) How To Style Socks With Air Jordan 1 Sneakers

How To Wear White Socks With Black Shoes (7 Tips) • Ready Sleek (1)

No matter what color the suit is, this generally looks terrible. While it may not be visible when walking, the suit pants ride up when you sit down, revealing the white socks underneath them.

The contrast between the white socks and the black shoes is just as attention-grabbing as the contrast between the white socks and the (likely dark-colored) suit.

In general, the flash from a pair of white socks can ruin an otherwise formal-looking suit.

In addition, white socks are traditionally worn in athletic settings. Trying to wear them with a pair of black dress shoes in formal settings will almost always lead to a formality mismatch.

Stick To Black Sneakers

If you’re keen on wearing white socks with black shoes, stick to black sneakers. Most other black shoe styles generally don’t pair well with white socks.

It’s tough to know exactly what the reason behind this is. Decades ago, smart black shoes and white socks often formed part of a school uniform.

These days it’s tough to get away with the color combination outside of casual and athletic settings.

It’s important to note that even with black sneakers, white socks won’t be the best option.

In much the same way as black dress shoes, the contrast between black sneakers and white socks can be jarring.

It just looks a whole lot better than more formal black shoe styles would.

But it’s hard to deny that black sneakers would look a lot more stylish with black socks instead of white ones.

Stick To White Ankle Socks

White ankle socks look better with black sneakers than longer socks do.

Put simply, black sneakers don’t look all that great with white socks. They don’t look terrible, but they don’t look great. There are better options.

(Video) Easy Socks Hacks For You

But if you were going to wear the combination, try to make the socks as subtle as possible.

The main way of doing this would be to choose a short sock length.

Ankle socks are great because, as the name would suggest, they stop before the ankles.

Here’s an example of ankle socks on Amazon:

How To Wear White Socks With Black Shoes (7 Tips) • Ready Sleek (3)How To Wear White Socks With Black Shoes (7 Tips) • Ready Sleek (4)

They’re clearly visible above the black shoe. However, they’re short, subtle, and don’t draw much attention.

The contrast between the black sneakers and the white ankle socks will be eye-catching, but won’t look as distracting as longer socks such as mini-crew or crew socks.

The subtle contrast and the athletic look and feel of white ankle socks produce a much more stylish end result when wearing black sneakers.

You can’t really get much shorter than ankle socks without going for no-shows. Overall, they’re your best option.

Common Streetwear Brands Are Ideal

When it comes to both the socks and the shoes, going for well-known streetwear brands is a good option.

Go for white socks and black sneakers with visible and obvious branding.

The main reason for this is that high-contrast sock and shoe combinations tend to work better when it’s clear to everyone that you’re going for a streetwear aesthetic.

Whether it’s Nike, Adidas, Vans, Reebok, Converse, or anything else.

It’s often the best way to go.

(Video) The Rules On Matching Color & Pattern When It Comes To Socks - How To Match Men's Socks

To take things a step further, try to choose socks and shoes made from the same brand.

A matching sneaker and sock combination is a classic feature of a well-coordinated streetwear outfit.

Taking an extra step such as this makes it less likely that the white sock and black shoe combination looks awkward.

While it may seem like a hassle, all you really need to do is be sure to buy a couple of pairs of socks from the same brand when you buy new sneakers.

Try To Wear Shorts

The main reason wearing shorts works well with white socks and black sneakers is that it’s in line with the athletic look and feel.

Once again, going for an obvious streetwear or athletic brand would make the whole outfit look more stylish.

But another benefit of wearing shorts here would be that it makes it even more clear that the white sock and black shoe combination was an intentional style decision and not a mistake.

When the socks and shoes are on full display, people around are less likely to think it was just a mistake.

That’s one reason why wearing black shoes and white socks with a suit just never works well.

The flash of a white sock peeking out from under a pair of suit pants just looks so much like a rushed morning mistake than an intentional decision.

So, where possible, try to wear shorts when wearing white socks and black sneakers. You’ve made the decision to go for it – it’s better to make it known.

The White Can Add A Pop Of Contrast

One way to use the white socks to your advantage is to make them the pop of contrast in an otherwise dark outfit.

How To Wear White Socks With Black Shoes (7 Tips) • Ready Sleek (5)

In other words, a dark top, a dark pair of pants or shorts, black shoes, and a pop of contrast with white socks.

(Video) Decided to wear an ALL BLACK Outfit Today | GRWM #shorts

Having a single pop of contrast in an outfit is a great stylistic device to use – but it’s important to do it the right way.

A “pop” should be subtle, but eye-catching. It shouldn’t take up much space in your outfit at all but should be large enough to actually draw a bit of attention.

A pair of white ankle socks is ideal for this.

Consider The Sock Fabric

This has more to do with comfort than it does with style. However, it’s still important to consider what those white socks are going to be made of.

Consider the temperature, as well as what activity you’re going to be doing when making your decision.

Here are the main sock fabrics you should know about:

  • Cotton – Stretchy, durable, and soft. Great for retaining heat.
  • Wool – Wrinkle-resistant, durable, and moisture-absorbing.
  • Polyester – Not very breathable, but dry quickly and retain color.
  • Modal – Expensive, but soft and strong.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to a couple of FAQs on the topic to really finish up nicely.

Should You Wear White Socks With Black Shoes To The Gym?

White socks and black shoes can be worn to the gym, assuming you’re wearing black sneakers. It’s a casual setting where the contrast between the black and white won’t come across as too awkward. White ankle socks will always look better than longer socks, however.

In addition, try to wear shorts to make it clear your black shoe and white sock combo was an intentional choice.

Overall, in the gym, most people aren’t going to be paying attention to your footwear in any case. You’ve got the flexibility to choose from a variety of sock colors without fear.

It’s hard to deny, however, that a pair of black sneakers would look better with black socks than they would with white socks. This would be the case whether you were in a gym or not.

Can You Wear White Socks With Black Dress Shoes?

White socks should never be worn with black dress shoes. The contrast between the socks and shoes would be too attention-grabbing to be worn in formal settings. White socks are generally worn in athletic settings and the combination would lead to a formality mismatch.

It’s hard to emphasize this point enough. There are rarely any situations where the combo wouldn’t be considered a faux pas.

Conclusion

While wearing white socks with black shoes is generally frowned upon, black sneakers can be worn with white ankle socks in casual and athletic settings without looking too awkward.

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Sticking to the tips listed above should make sure you pull off the combination without any trouble.

Enjoy.

FAQs

Is it okay to wear white socks with black shoes? ›

Generally, match the color of your socks to that of your shoes. Avoid light-colored socks with dark shoes. In particular, avoid wearing white socks with black shoes.

What color socks do you wear with black shoes? ›

Black shoes go well with almost all solid-colored socks; this even includes light colored socks! If you're going for clean and crisp, try pairing light colored socks with light-colored pants or trousers. Slightly rolled up khakis are a great option here.

Do black or white socks look better? ›

A general rule of thumb is that white socks are for casual settings and darker socks are more formal. When it comes to deciding between white or black socks with your sneakers though, it really just comes down to personal preference. If the fit is darker tones, maybe go black so the socks don't stand out.

Can you wear white socks with dress shoes? ›

Never wear white socks with dress shoes

“But what about if – ” No. Don't do it. White socks just don't look good with dress shoes of any color. Even light brown dress shoes, which you might be tempted to wear with white socks, are cheapened by the presence of plain white socks.

What should be the Colour of socks? ›

The ideal sock colour

The general rule is: The socks should always be a few shades darker than the trousers. For example, dark blue socks go with a navy suit. You should wear black or dark grey socks with a grey suit.

Should your socks match your pants or shoes? ›

As a general rule, socks should be worn the following way: You should coordinate your socks with your pants, not your shoes. Although it appears to be a simple guideline, it is quite difficult to implement. The most popular socks are black, navy, or charcoal.

Is it OK to wear white socks? ›

If you partake in any sports, then white socks are entirely okay. They work well with most tracksuit pants or shorts and are often the right fabric to wear inside hot shoes as well. Both mid-calf and ankle white socks are fine for sports events and activities.

How do you match your socks to your outfit? ›

How To MATCH Socks With Your Outfit! - YouTube

What socks should you wear with vans? ›

Plain Socks

A pair of plain White or Black socks with your Vans works perfectly well as well, and in fact, this is probably what most actually opt for. You can pair them and wear them however you want to as well.

What do white socks symbolize? ›

Plain White Socks

Wearing white socks shows that you are ready to hit the trail, gym, court, or field.

Can I wear white socks with jeans? ›

If you're wearing dark jeans and dark shoes, avoid white socks. While many guys default to white socks, it looks sloppy. Wear either dark socks that will blend in or novelty socks to make it look intentional and leave the white socks for the gym.

Are white socks unprofessional? ›

Don't Wear White Socks

White socks are too casual and athletic to play at the office, even a casual office. It just looks like you're on the way to the gym. Additionally, they create glaring contrast with darker and earth-toned workplace attire, drawing all the wrong kinds of attention.

Why are white socks better for your feet? ›

Most of us were taught by our mothers, and grandmothers, to always wear white cotton socks. White cotton socks were considered to be the gold standard for protecting our feet from moisture, infection and blisters.

Do white socks go with brown dress shoes? ›

Now, let's get into the meat and potatoes of this 'what color socks with brown shoes' guide. If you're looking for the safest option, there's nothing particularly wrong with wearing white or black socks.

How do you style socks? ›

A Guide To Socks & How To Style Them - YouTube

Do you match your socks to your shirt? ›

Although you don't need to match your dress socks directly to your shirt, you want to avoid pairings that actively clash. For example, brown socks with a black shirt or mustard yellow socks with an olive green shirt could be off-putting simply because the colors look odd together. There's also the matter of patterns.

Why are dress socks so thin? ›

Why are dress socks so thin? Dress shoes are designed to fit snuggly, necessitating a thinner sock. Cramming a bulky sock into a dress shoe will not only be uncomfortable but may cause rubbing and lead to blisters.

Can you wear ankle socks with dress shoes? ›

DON'T wear ankle socks with dress shoes.

If you're wearing dress shoes and slacks, don't pair them with ankle socks. Opt instead for dark-colored trouser socks so no one can see the skin on your legs when you sit down.

What goes with brown pants? ›

The simple answer is that you can never go wrong with another shade of brown. That being said, deep shades of purple such as aubergine, or dark blues, greens, and turquoises look great. But, light pinks, blues, and earthy tones will be pretty stylish too.

Can you wear brown shoes with grey pants? ›

Generally speaking, all shades of grey, from charcoal grey to stone grey, pair well with brown shoes. If you're opting for charcoal pants with brown shoes, choose a pair of shoes in a dark brown shade – this color combination works well for more formal events.

When should you not wear white socks? ›

Outside of participating in physical activities, there is no place for gym socks. To be a stylish sock-wearer, you probably shouldn't be wearing plain white socks even when you are dressed casually in jeans and you NEVER want to wear white socks in formal attire like a suit.

Why should diabetics wear white socks? ›

If you notice a wound or feel a tingling sensation or numbness in your foot, it definitely needs attention,” says Dr. Gremillion. “Diabetics should wear white socks so that if you have an infection, you will see the drainage on your socks.”

Can you wear white socks to a wedding? ›

The only rule is to avoid white socks, as white socks are unprofessional and are closely associated with gym socks. The easiest way to pick out a pair of socks for your wedding outfit is to think of either contrasting or complementary colors.

Should socks match suit or shirt? ›

If you want to play it safe, match your socks to your suit color to blend in with the rest of your outfit. It is also appropriate to experiment with subtle patterns, prints, or various dark colors—extra points if your socks bring together colors from your shirt or tie.

Do you have to wear dress socks with dress shoes? ›

Dress Shoes should always be worn with dress socks. It is not OK to wear sports socks of any colour, even black, with business shoes. Sports socks are usually ribbed and made of a heavier cotton material and the bulkiness of the heavier fabric tends to make it bunch over the dress shoe.

What colour socks do you wear with a suit? ›

For a firmly professional look, grey socks are a foolproof choice when worn with a matching suit.

Can I wear Vans with ankle socks? ›

Choosing socks to wear with Vans

If you're going for a classic pairing with shorts, you'll probably want to minimise the look of your socks. Therefore, if you're wearing high-tops, opt for a pair of ankle socks and they'll be hidden, yet functional.

Do people wear socks with Vans? ›

You're probably wondering, “Do you wear socks with Vans Slip-ons”? Absolutely. For the contemporary barefoot look, go with no show socks. However Vans are all about personal style, so don't be afraid to rock some bold patterned socks with these as well.

Do you wear slip ons with socks? ›

Going sockless in slip-on shoes could lead to blisters, chafing, and discoloration in the footbeds, not to mention smelly odors. A good pair of socks will help absorb moisture and prevent your toes, heels, and ankles from rubbing against the material.

What does wearing mismatched socks mean? ›

World Youth Alliance Wears Mismatched Socks for World Down Syndrome Day. The World Youth Alliance wore mismatched socks to show its support for World Down Syndrome Day on March 21, and to celebrate the dignity, resilience, and the wonderfulness of every individual with Down Syndrome (DS).

What do yellow socks mean? ›

The trust already uses red socks which are given to all patients who need a pair of socks – while yellow ones are given to those who are vulnerable to falling. Carol Bowler, senior clinical practitioner, said: “Evidence has shown that socks reduce the incidence of falls.

What do purple socks mean? ›

But at hospitals, socks rock. Red socks indicate allergies; orange means the patient is a potential flight risk, and purple signals “do not resuscitate.” Like a neon sign, the socks are bright cues to all hospital staff.

Are Crazy socks still in style? ›

Fads come and go, but are novelty socks for men still in style? The answer is yes! Just ask politicians, fashion models, businessmen, doctors and all the other professional men who are wearing fun socks every day and looking great doing it.

Do I have to wear socks? ›

Socks reduce moisture on the feet especially if they have moisture-wicking fabrics or properties. Socks provide necessary cushioning and support for everyday activities. Socks also act as a barrier against friction between your shoes and your feet.

Do you wear sneakers with socks? ›

Do not wear your sneakers without socks! As much as you may think your feet are clean, that won't be the case if you stop wearing socks. Your feet can produce 500 ml of sweat every day.

Why do girls wear ankle socks? ›

Ankle socks fall right at your ankle bone, so often they're visible when wearing low top shoes. They're preferred over crew length and longer socks during summer months because they trap less heat on your lower leg. When you think of them, boring black or white options probably come to mind.

Where do you put your socks? ›

How to Put On Socks - YouTube

When did black socks become popular? ›

Hundreds of Thousands of Colorful Socks

In 1999, the name said it all: BLACKSOCKS sold nothing but black socks until 2008. Now things are different. Our plain, patterned, and brightly colored socks are becoming more popular every year.

Why should we not wear socks while sleeping? ›

If they are too hot they can not only burn the skin but also pose a fire hazard. Despite what is often said, wearing socks in bed is not unhygienic. However, it is important to choose a pair of socks that are not too tight, as this can reduce circulation.

What color socks should diabetics wear? ›

If you've lost feeling in your toes and feet due to neuropathy, it can be easy for even the smallest cuts or blisters to go completely unnoticed until they've become infected. By wearing white socks — the color of most diabetic socks — you are far more likely to notice a bleeding cut or blister.

What are the best socks for standing all day? ›

Reviewed & Approved. Made of soft, durable fibers, BOMBAS Women's Marls Ankle Socks are our top pick because they support your arch and are comfortable to wear. For a budget-friendly, odor-fighting option, we recommend Under Armour Women's Essential No Show Socks.

What Colour socks should you wear with brown shoes? ›

When wearing brown shoes, avoid wearing brown, or black socks. Trying to pair browns will be difficult and may look mismatched. Instead, consider a navy blue sock, either solid colored or patterned.

What shoes can you wear socks with? ›

So shoes such as loafers, brogues and Derbies and Oxfords are great choices if you want to wear socks. (Obviously you can wear socks with boots.

Can you wear white socks with brown loafers? ›

Spice up your outfit by wearing a pair of brown suede loafers. We say a resounding yes to this contemporary combination of a beige trenchcoat and white socks! A pair of brown suede loafers will add an elegant twist to your outfit.

Can you wear white socks with black shoes? ›

Generally, match the color of your socks to that of your shoes. Avoid light-colored socks with dark shoes. In particular, avoid wearing white socks with black shoes. Men should also avoid pastel and flesh-toned socks.

How do you hide socks with shoes? ›

Pretty much all you need to do is pull down the sock over your toes so only the tip is still attached to your foot. Next, wrap the top of the sock under your foot and secure it over your heel. And that's pretty much it! Hidden pop socks that can't be seen under shoes.

How do you wear socks with shoes? ›

How to Wear Socks with Almost Any Type of Shoe - YouTube

What color socks go well with white shoes? ›

Sock Color

The great thing about white socks is that they go with pretty much any shoes, so they're the perfect option for your white shoes as well. I often wear a combination of white ankle socks with white Keds.

Should men wear white socks? ›

Fashion dictates

It is an unwritten fashion rule: men do not wear white socks. This is a timeless rule that has been around for along while and will be around too. It is a timeless rule that is as incontrovertible as matching your belt with your shoes.

Do people wear white socks? ›

Plain white socks have their place in the sock world. These types of socks, whether they are tube socks, 3/4 length socks, or ankle socks, are great when you are working out at the gym, running, biking, hiking, or participating in some other sort of athletic endeavor. White socks are comfortable and functional.

Can you wear white socks with loafers? ›

You can't ever go wrong with a classic sock paired with a classic shoe. White socks are ideal for loafers because they are clean and simple, and they don't add any unnecessary bulk. White socks are also the most popular choice to wear with classic black loafers, either for a casual outfit or a dressier one.

Why are they called tube socks? ›

A true tube sock is shaped like a tube rather than, say, a human foot—a configuration so novel that the sock took its name from it. It has no heel, and, instead of a reciprocated (reinforced) toe, the end is closed with a simple seam.

Is it OK to wear black socks with shorts? ›

Yes, it's O.K. to wear socks — even high socks — with shorts.

What do they say about people with white socks? ›

Plain white socks are sporty and athletic. Wearing white socks shows that you are ready to hit the trail, gym, court, or field. They pair well with sneakers and casual shorts.

Is it OK to wear white socks with jeans? ›

If you're wearing dark jeans and dark shoes, avoid white socks. While many guys default to white socks, it looks sloppy. Wear either dark socks that will blend in or novelty socks to make it look intentional and leave the white socks for the gym.

What goes with white socks? ›

If you partake in any sports, then white socks are entirely okay. They work well with most tracksuit pants or shorts and are often the right fabric to wear inside hot shoes as well. Both mid-calf and ankle white socks are fine for sports events and activities.

Are white socks unprofessional? ›

Don't Wear White Socks

White socks are too casual and athletic to play at the office, even a casual office. It just looks like you're on the way to the gym. Additionally, they create glaring contrast with darker and earth-toned workplace attire, drawing all the wrong kinds of attention.

Why should diabetics wear white socks? ›

If you notice a wound or feel a tingling sensation or numbness in your foot, it definitely needs attention,” says Dr. Gremillion. “Diabetics should wear white socks so that if you have an infection, you will see the drainage on your socks.”

How do you style socks? ›

A Guide To Socks & How To Style Them - YouTube

Can you wear white socks to a wedding? ›

The only rule is to avoid white socks, as white socks are unprofessional and are closely associated with gym socks. The easiest way to pick out a pair of socks for your wedding outfit is to think of either contrasting or complementary colors.

What type of socks do you wear with loafers? ›

Ankle socks

They're a more hygienic option than going full sock commando, and most people won't even spot you're wearing them. These socks should, ideally, end below the heel of the loafer.

Can you wear white socks with brown loafers? ›

Spice up your outfit by wearing a pair of brown suede loafers. We say a resounding yes to this contemporary combination of a beige trenchcoat and white socks! A pair of brown suede loafers will add an elegant twist to your outfit.

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