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Finding the Perfect Pair of Socks

Men and women don’t find socks to be a luxury item, yet they remain an essential part of life. Although they aren’t the preferred gift of many at Christmas and birthdays, finding comfortable socks pleases many people. In fact, the right pair of socks affects how you look and feel as you go about your day. What should you consider when buying socks to get a magnificent pair you love and wish to wear every day?

Material

The sock material selected affects its comfort and performance. Sock manufacturers today make use of a variety of materials when creating these garments. This includes cotton, polyester, cashmere, wool, and more. Each material has its benefits and drawbacks. When you find comfortable socks, the material likely plays a role in your choice.

Cotton socks absorb water and sweat from the skin while keeping the wearer comfortable. This wetness lingers, however, rather than dissipating, and many users find this becomes a problem. Consider purchasing cotton socks for short periods of intense activity. For example, they serve you well during a workout class or exercise session with friends. Wearing them on an all-day hike, however, might not be a good idea. If the feet sweat, the moisture remains in the socks and builds up. This won’t make for a fun hike for the individual. 

Socks made from synthetic materials such as acrylic and polyester remain the choice of those who prefer thinner materials on their feet. In many cases, manufacturers combine these synthetic materials with a natural fiber to increase the sock’s wicking capabilities.

Silk socks work great for formal occasions. They feel amazing on the feet, but come with a higher price tag. In addition, silk socks lack longevity, when compared to their cotton and wool siblings.

Wool breathes easier than cotton and moisture evaporates more rapidly when socks made from this material are worn. Additionally, wool socks warm the feet when temperatures drop. Nevertheless, these socks are bulky, and some people find they avoid them for this reason.

Style

Men and women often have a preference with the socks they wear. One chooses athletic performance socks, and another only wears no-show versions. This remains a personal matter, but people should know all options when choosing new socks, as they may wish to try a new style.

Athletic performance socks range from low-cut running socks with moisture-wicking incorporated to cotton tube socks. Manufacturers even make socks designed for skiers that wick moisture while trapping heat.

No-show socks leave the ankle bare and hide all material within the shoe. Many people choose this option today as they like the look, and quite a few choose them when wearing shorts. Never wear these socks with sandals, boots, or high-tops, however. They don’t look right with sandals, and they aren’t comfortable when you wear shoes with a high upper section.

Ankle socks sit below the ankle which is how they differ from no-show socks. They protect the ankles and heels from chafing when shoes are worn.

Mid-calf crew socks remain the workhorse of socks for men today. Guys wear them with dress shoes, loafers, sneakers, or almost any closed toe shoe. Thanks to a range of colors and materials to choose from, finding the perfect sock is easy for males today, and quite a few women love them too.

Over-the-calf socks or knee socks cover the calf and extend up to the knee. They provide health and aesthetic benefits men and women must consider when purchasing socks. The socks won’t fall down when worn, and if the hem on the pants rises for any reason, no skin shows. Doctors often recommend socks of this type be worn when compression is needed on the lower part of the body to boost circulation.

Men need dress socks for wear with business suits, formal attire, and more. They come in many colors, although men usually stick to darker colors when wearing formal attire. Don’t wear dress socks with shorts, as this is considered a major fashion faux pax.

Fit

Choose the right size when purchasing socks. Most socks come in size ranges, unless you are putting down additional money to get socks that come in single sizes. For most brands, medium socks fit those with anything up to a size 12 shoe. Go with large socks if your shoe size is 13 or bigger. Men with long or wide feet need socks labeled big and tall.

The thickness of the sock plays a role in how it fits. Wool socks, for example, add bulk and need to be worn with shoes that are slightly big. In contrast, dress socks often come in thin materials and need a shoe that fits closely so the foot doesn’t slide. Formal socks do tend to be slimmer, so keep this in mind when purchasing dress shoes.

Color

When choosing socks, select colors that blend with the outfits worn. Strive to blend the sock and clothes for work and other professional events. Fashion experts say the easiest way to do this involves matching the socks to the pants. They don’t have to be identical in color as long as they are the same hue.

If you want to experiment with different colors or styles, do so on your free time. Coordinate the colors of the socks with colors in the outfit. Don’t go overboard with the colors, however. There is too much of a good thing, and the wrong socks could leave you looking like a clown.

When the socks have a busy pattern, a muted color is better. If the color is bright and bold, go for a tamer pattern. Moderation remains key with this fashion accessory. Make certain your outfit is on point, because vivid socks make the outfit more noticeable. Any mistake stands out in the eyes of the viewer.

Sock Rules

Regardless of which socks you select, they protect the feet from disease, injury, the elements, and more. In addition, they protect others from your smelly or sweaty feet. While stores and restaurants don’t require socks when you enter, certain rules apply for this garment.

When Socks Are Needed

Wear socks whenever the health department recommends you do so and anytime your doctor says wear them. People need to wear socks when using footwear worn by others, such as when they rent skates or bowling shoes. When walking long distances, men, women, and children need socks to protect the feet from chafing, blisters, and more. Furthermore, socks keep the feet warm and dry, so people should always wear them when temperatures might drop or already have.

Socks need to be worn when a person is taking part in an athletic event or at a wedding, a funeral, or a formal event. Certain people struggle with sweaty, smelly feet all year and need to wear socks whenever they put on enclosed shoes. Boots and lace-up shoes require socks, and a person should always put a pair on when it will complete their at leisure ensemble.

When to Leave the Socks at Home

Never wear socks with sandals, unless you want to draw attention to yourself for the wrong reasons. Casual shorts don’t require the wearing of socks, and people who wear boat shoes or loafers can forgo socks if they prefer during the summer months. Flip-flops don’t need socks either, but people wear this combination in certain parts of the country. If you live in one of these areas, put on socks when you’ll be donning flip-flops.

General Guidelines

When wearing dress shoes, put on dress socks. The socks were created for this shoe. If you wish to make your silhouette longer, match the socks to the pants rather than the shoes, and white socks don’t work with black pants. The only exception to this is when you are going to a 1950s party with friends.

If you are going for a casual look, avoid wearing black pants with black socks. However, reserve novelty socks for a casual occasion. They aren’t appropriate for work, a business function, or a formal event.

Invisible Socks

If you simply can’t bear the thought of wearing socks with an outfit, check out invisible socks. Yes, these items exist and work great in situations where socks are required, but you don’t want to wear them. Make use of these when wearing socks irritates you, so you get the best of both worlds.

Americans purchase large quantities of socks each year, with figures reaching into the billions. They do so because socks get lost in the washer and dryer or lose their shape with repeated wearing. Consumers must recognize the quality of the socks depends on the yarn, the label, and the construction. Value packs from the local big-box store are cheap but don’t hold up with time. Certain socks cost more but last a lifetime. Consumers must decide which type they prefer. Once you find a pair you love, you’ll wonder how you lived without it and want more of the same type. They are comfortable and stylish allowing you to look and feel great wherever you go.

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