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What goes with what

How to: Wear socks with shorts

How to: Wear socks with shorts

"Your concern here, I'm guessing, is being mistaken for a lost tourist or looking as if you've escaped a school trip," says Thread stylist Alice Watt. "The first thing I'll say is that you must wear socks, even if they're invisible, with closed shoes; otherwise your feet will feel sweaty and uncomfortable, and your shoes won't last very well."

Another thing to note: the best shoes to wear with shorts are minimal or sporty trainers (as shown here); if you're wearing loafers, desert shoes or suede shoes with shorts, you're best off sticking with invisible socks.

With that in mind, here are the pros and cons of four different shorts-and-socks options.

The easiest option: Invisible socks

"Long story short, your safest bet is to wear invisible socks because nothing can go wrong! Other types of socks can show you've made a bit more of an effort, but these are the easiest option for sure. Go for a pair with bits of rubber on the back of the heel so they won't slide down your foot."

Photographed: Gant navy chino shorts (£80), Topman no-show socks (£14), Pointer trainers (£99)

If you don't like invisible socks: Pastel socks

"Some guys prefer this style to invisible socks because it can be more comfortable—and show you've made an effort. Soft pastel shades are good for summer (and therefore for shorts), plus they work with most skin tones. Pull them all the way up and they'll have a bit of a mod or skater feel; bunch them a little to go more nonchalant. Pull them down by an inch or so at most; otherwise they'll look bulky around the ankle." 

Photographed: Gant navy chino shorts (£80), Topman pink socks (£12), Pointer trainers (£99)

The trendy option: Athletic socks

"This is a real look. If you pay attention, you'll see fairly fashiony guys on the street and the catwalks wearing sporty 1970s-style socks with shorts. If you're minimalist, sporty or not shy of a trend—such as oversized clothing—give this a try."

Photographed: Gant navy chino shorts (£80), Marks & Spencer trainer socks (£5), Pointer trainers (£99)

The option we don't love: Ankle socks

"This should only be worn to the gym. It looks weird having the little bit of sock poking out of the trainer—these socks only look right with the sporty trainers you'd wear to work out."

Photographed: Gant navy chino shorts (£80), Marks & Spencer trainer socks (£5), Pointer trainers (£99)