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Style SOS: How do you match underwear and socks?

Style SOS: How do you match underwear and socks?

“Do I need to worry about whether my underwear matches my socks?” – Hasim, via Instagram


To misquote Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park, “They were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.” He was talking about dinosaurs, but it’s as pertinent when we’re talking pants.

Unless you’re a Calvin Klein model, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll spend much time showcasing what’s under your trousers. And for those times when you do disrobe in front of someone else, you should be spending as little time as possible in only underwear and socks. A man in just underwear can be sexy. A man in underwear and socks is not.

So think about avoiding negative impressions, rather than aiming to impress. That means all you really need to worry about is whether your underwear is clean and well-presented (this also counts when no one but you will see them). No holes or tears, obviously, but sagging elastic and stains also mean it’s time they were subbed out for something new.

That said, we’d recommend that your underwear and socks do match, but only because we also recommend that you stick to underwear in shades like black, grey and white. Neutrals always go together, but no one will ever think that you did it deliberately. They absolutely will if your boxers and socks are both paisley.

The other benefit to neutrals is that, just like in the bits of your wardrobe that people do see they’ll provide a good base – which after all is what underwear is – and can be worn with (or under) anything without too much thought.

With socks, of course, you’ve got a bit more leeway. That doesn’t mean you should go novelty, but there’s nothing wrong with some colour or pattern peeking out from below your trousers, so long as it doesn’t distract from the rest of what you’re wearing. Or, what you’re not wearing. Because when you do take almost all your clothes off in front of someone else, they shouldn’t be looking at your socks.

Words: Tom Banham
Illustration: Ryan Gillett