When is it appropriate to sport the “no sock” look? You know the one I’m talking about, the guys wearing loafers, suits, and pants that are a little higher up so you can see their ankles….and the fact that they’re not wearing socks.
You commonly see this around fashion shows, but when else is it appropriate to be forgoing socks when wearing a suit?
The “Stop wearing dress shoes with no socks” argument
Over at Made Man, Joshua Fruhlinger remarks his disdain for men “rolling up their trousers, slipping on leather dress shoes, and leaving their socks at home.” He equates the look to when people decided that wearing a blazer with jeans was ok.
Here’s his argument:
“When you wear dress shoes without socks, you look unfinished. You look like a man-boy in a short suit. You look like a guy named ‘Blake’ who wants to tell you about his yacht that never leaves the slip.”
– Joshua, Made Man
I totally get it. It’s someone wearing a very formal outfit but still attempting to appear casual and fun. Suits were made to be formal. They’re meant for business meetings, weddings, and other important events.
Another argument against the “no socks” look is the fact that it can bread bacteria. When your feet sweat into your shoes it turns them into a sauna. This is a breeding ground for bacteria that thrive in moisture. It can make your shoes start to smell as well.
The “No socks” look is cool argument
Over at He Spoke Style, Brian mentions that there are 3 divisive things in the entire world: politics, sports, and the age-old socks or no socks debate. He says the issues is “so incredibly polarizing”.
He argues for and against the no socks debate.
His “no socks” pro argument is that it makes you stay cool on warm days. Another point is that for some shoes, like boat shoes, you aren’t supposed to wear socks with them.
Over at The Shoe Snob Blog, the author Justin argues that it’s really based on the outfit. He says an outfit like tan shoes, loafers, khaki jeans, a casual button up, and a sportcoat can allow for the no socks look.
“For me, the lighter your clothes (in color and it cloth weight) the easier it is to go sockless, as the contrast between skin and clothing is not so strong (hence why it is considered sartorial blasphemy to wear white socks with dress clothes).”
– Justin, The Shoe Snob Blog
Will this question ever have a clear answer?
No, I don’t see one. From what I’ve heard and read, there are people who embrace the no-socks look, and those that despise it. There are also many people in the middle who don’t care much either way.
If you do plan to try out a no socks look, get a second opinion from a trusted friend who will give you honest feedback. Also, try not to forgo socks if you plan to be wearing the outfit for more than a few hours. The last thing you need is to come home with shoes that stink.