ask randy: it's all in the details

Dear Randy,

Getting ready for work this morning, as I was picking out my socks, it struck me... When is it acceptable to wear white socks (if ever) with your "nice" clothes? I was told long ago the basic rule that your watch match your belt match your socks match your shoes. And with "nice" clothes I have always used black socks. But is that always true? Let's say you're wearing some kind of white dress shirt with grey dress chinos and black dress shoes... Is it OK to wear white socks (or any other color for that matter)? Are there rules to all this, or some form of guidelines for the hopelessly lost?


Ok, I'll throw out a hard and fast rule...white socks should never be worn with black dress shoes, period....) White socks should be reserved for the gym, when you're wearing your sneakers, and possibly when you're wearing casual athletic inspired shoes (i.e. puma kicks).

A few other guidelines on choosing your socks:
- Match your socks with your pants. It is all about creating a flow between your pants, socks and shoes. Wearing a pair of socks that are in the same tones as your pants will create a streamlined look.
- Patterns are great. But remember, unless it's Christmas, try and go for colour and patterns that compliment the colours in your pants and the rest of your outfit.
- The weight and fabrication of your pants, and the type of shoes you are wearing give you clues as to the type of socks you should wear. If you're wearing a pair of grey dress pants, don't wear your thick wool socks that you wear for skiing even if they are grey. If you're wearing a pair of converse shoes, don't throw on a pair of gold toe nylon dress socks. And finally people, if you're wearing sandals, and I do not care how comfortable they are, and how cold your feet get, do not, and i repeat, do not wear any socks at all.

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