Thanks to the evolution and keen public interest in street style, it feels like every guy and his grandma are going sockless these days. And the reasons for doing so aren’t that hard to see. Sure, it adds a certain amount of sprezzatura to a look but it also allows bit more breathing room for your feet and ventilation for your ankles. However, just because you can go sockless, doesn’t necessarily mean you should.

The Art Of Going Sockless

As with most things when it comes to style, there are a few general guidelines that will help pull off the no-sock look without looking like a peacocking tw*t.

The first of these is to bear in mind your surroundings – i.e. the weather. If it’s blowing a gale and raining outside, perhaps skipping out on those Fair Isle pattern feet warmers isn’t such a good idea? Everyone knows wet ankles are not sexy.

The second is to be aware of where you are heading and is probably the most important of the two. A stylish gentleman always dresses appropriately for his intended arrival. For example, heading down the pub for a few drinks with a couple of friends? Sure, skip those socks you rebel! Heading off to a black tie event organised by your boss with a couple of investment banking firms? Might want to stick those good old navy’s mate. Knowing where and when to bust out your ankles is everything these days.

But other than those two points guys, why not go without? Personally, I have always had a bit of a pet peeve with socks since a very early age and have only really considered them practical for 5 months of the year. Not only do I find it more comfortable but it also helps me to feel more at ease, which in turn makes me feel more confident in whatever I’m wearing that day.

Regardless of whether it’s a navy pinstripe suit or some beat up blue jeans and t-shirt combo, going sockless adds a nice little relaxed nonchalant twist to any look. Besides, like Tom Browne said – “ankle is the new male cleavage”. And seriously, who doesn’t like cleavage?

Formal Sockless Lookbook

Seeing as I am trying to convince you to leave the socks at home more regularly this year, I have compiled some lookbook inspiration for you all. Although most would never consider going sockless as ‘formal’, here are a few outfits that include suiting and an overall smarter aesthetic:

Men's Formal Sockless Lookbook

Casual Sockless Lookbook

Now this is where going sockless comes into its own. Take a look at the wide variety of looks below and consider how you can go sockless with jeans, chinos, trousers or shorts this year:

Men's Casual Sockless Lookbook

Tips & Tricks

If you are new to this whole sockless game, here are a few tips I’ve picked up along the way: –

  • Wear in your shoes – regardless of what style of shoe you’ve got and the material they are made from. I usually wear them for 4 hours an evening for a few days and then give them a good polish after, which seems to do the trick.
  • Be Sneaky – If you know that you are going to be wearing a heavy wingtip for a good ten hours in the city, then maybe a sock of some kind might be wise? But why not invest in some low-profile loafer socks to keep your ankles free, but your feet blister free. You won’t regret it!
  • Get Pre-emptive – Although going without socks can be a great feeling, it can do horrible things to your feet. Think about bathing them in hot water regularly and using talcum powder if you have particularly sweaty feet. I actually think the general state of men’s feet is pretty appalling and am not ashamed to say I get a pedicure every 4-5 months to make sure they stay their best. Let’s be honest guys, we wouldn’t like it on a girl would we?
The Final Word

But as always, this isn’t just about my wandering meanderings, it’s about what you guys think too. So why not tell me your thoughts? Do you go sockless? Are you a little bit too attached to your socks to let them go just yet? Are you afraid of pedicures? Let me know.

Matt Allinson