I’m fairly comfortable in pairing my socks and my trousers, but I’m never sure what to do with my socks. Should they be the same colour as my trouser legs, or my shoes?

Marcus via contact form

There are a few options, Marcus, but one big no: don’t match your socks just to your shoes. You’ll look like you’re wearing Uggs. And being mistakenly tarred as a man who wears Uggs is only a fraction better than being a man who wear Uggs.

The only exception to this is if you’re doing top-to-toe monochrome. (That’s an exception to the socks-and-shoes rule, by the way. Not the Uggs rule. There’s never an exception to the Uggs rule). And even then, a slight shift in shade between ankle and foot is no bad thing.

Better, then, to match socks and trousers. Particularly if you struggle to reach into high cupboards. An unbroken line from waist to shoe lengthens your legs, to make up some of those extra inches that genetics withheld. But for those with no need of optical illusions, it can look a little uninspired.

Best to match your socks to neither. Instead, introduce a breakwater between fabric and leather that echoes another shade higher up. Debuting a crimson pocket square? Then pull top and bottom together with red-and-navy polka dots. Doing the split suit thing? Try a pair in the same spectrum as your jacket.

Even if you’re dressing tonal, your socks can differ in shade or fabric, to give depth to looks that can be as flat as a putting green. Although, please, no golf socks. An ankle is no place for novelty.

Tom Banham, Associate Editor