A man has come a long way when he shifts to proper socks – calf length and in navy, grey and charcoal to match the day’s suit. Too many remain stuck in the teenage mindset that short, black socks go with everything. They don’t; they go with nothing.
But that man, fresh from his trouser-matching success, will quickly want to experiment with colour. This could easily go far. He should begin by trying his navy suits with dark, forest green and deep, wine red.
These should be the default colours after plain navy has been rejected. Buy a plain pair of each, in tones that are not too strong.
Given the pattern on both the trousers and shoes pictured, for example, patterned socks would be likely to clash. As with combining a jacket, shirt and tie, the key is to keep similarly scaled patterns apart. (The ribbing on the socks is perhaps less pronounced than it appears in the photograph.)
By contrast, the colours work better when they are similar in strength. These socks are a rather muted green, but suit dark brown shoes and chalk-stripe flannel trousers. A bright green could easily have been too brash, and more appropriate for chocolate-brown leather.
Navy suit from Graham Browne, socks from Falke, crocodile shoes from Lodger.