Trust me when I say socks are going to be big news this year in men’s fashion. With men looking to separate themselves from the endless crowd of drones walking around, it is necessary for those who REALLY care about fashion to focus on the details. No part of the outfit is overlooked, from your underwear to your socks to your accessories. It is always the little details that make or break an outfit. Does your tie contrast with your shirt, or does it look like you got dressed in the dark? Have you got on a beautiful tie clip when walking into that important business meeting? When you sit down in your amazing new trousers or chinos this Spring, are people going to get an eyeful of that 50 pence holey sock you bought from Primark or a beautiful bold coloured Falke sock which adds some flair to your outfit?
Last Spring/Summer we saw the rise in the fashion elite rocking trousers or jeans rolled up by the bottom hem. This added a real nautical/French Riviera vibe to our outfits and looked great when paired with deck shoes or loafers. A true relaxed Spring style which a lot of our readers got on board with. It also saw the introduction of the sock as an important accessory to your outfit. Some of the best outfits I saw last year incorporated bright, bold pattern socks with rolled up dark denim or trousers. The burst of colour between the footwear and the rolled trouser hem really added a focal point that I had not seen a lot of males experiment with before.
This doesn’t just apply to casual outfits either. If your workwear is tailored properly you will find that when you sit down, your trouser hem will rise naturally and expose your socks. By adding a bold contrasting colour or stripe you have that ‘hidden’ bit of flair incorporated in your outfit and it just makes you LOOK like you know what you are doing. Your suit maybe standard colouring and business like, but the details that set you apart do not have to be. Invest in some quality socks this season for your wardrobe and you will notice the difference. It is time to upgrade gentleman.
On that note we have a small interview today that one of my women’s writing team did with a guy who has really embraced the whole new sock trend. So Renuka take it away…
Rob Valsler: Sock Style Sage
When I came across the opportunity to sit down with Rob Valsler, sock aficionado and man-about-town I almost didn’t know where to start…
When did you first begin your love affair with the humble foot sock?
About 18 months ago, before then I’d say I was a standard black socks from M&S kind of guy.
What makes a good sock?
Quality – no one wants to see a hole for your big toe. The other thing is uniqueness – when you’re wearing statement socks the last thing you want is someone else to be saying the same thing.
Why should people care about their socks?
It’s the small things, attention to detail, it just shows that you’re moving passed caring about just which jeans or shoes to wear.
What’s the point of investing in socks if no one will see them?
Make sure people see them! Buy the right length trousers and when you sit down don’t be afraid to rest one ankle across the other knee and cash in on that investment in style.
What do your socks say about you?
That past the ‘country-prep-grandad’ vibe there’s a bit of ‘funky-soon-to-be-CEO’ going on too.
Do you have any personal sock-etiquette rules?
No wrinkles, which is why I wear sock suspenders.
Tell me a little about your favourite sock-related incident.
I once got a friend to ask in a branch of Tabio if they’d sell their ‘sale’ sign socks, which were fantastic bright red calf-highs with ‘sale’ printed in white all over. Alas they said no but I still see them in there from time to time so I’m holding out hope.
Where do you buy your socks and which are your favourite brands?
Selfridges has a get department or any branch of Tabio (where The Joker buys his).
I love most of what Paul Smith do in the field especially their floral numbers, Duchamp are also a great specialist brand. As long as you steer clear of your standard 100% cotton ‘footbags’ and opt for a silk mix in summer or pure wool in winter and you like the design you can’t go wrong.
What do you think will be the emerging sock trends of Spring/Summer 2010?
Hopefully suspenders, I really think they’re a great accessory, far superior to countless others that seem more widely available: tie clips, braces, money clips even cuff links I’ve no time for any of them.
Rob Brydon was on QI talking about knee high socks and I’m definitely going to add a pair to the repertoire off the back of that, though long term suspenders are a better solution; you don’t want to feel like you’ve got you football kit on underneath your clothes all day.
If you have any questions for Mr. Valsler, sock-style-sage, feel free to drop them below, and if he has a spare minute between his trips to Tabio, he might just rest one ankle across the other knee and answer a few.
Quality Investment Socks
Editor Edition: Happy Socks
Yes you all reminded me in the comments that there is an amazing specialist brand available out there called Happy Socks. At first I was not going to put a low cost shop in the picks because I though the likes of Topman etc did not do this article justice. However Happy Socks are completely different to the high street as they produce beautiful socks in amazing colour ways, and at an amazing price. I can’t believe I forgot them when they sent me some sample pairs only a few months ago! Anyway enjoy these below because for around £6 you can pick up some AMAZING patterns for spring, that will have your feet looking stylish all year: