The FT Guide to: men’s striped socks
Sometimes, plain black socks (or white, if you’re rocking that Off the Wall-era MJ look) just aren’t going to cut it.We wear socks every day, and yet we very rarely recognise their true potential.And while they may just be a barrier between your shoes and your feet (and, on hot summer days, a sweat barrier to stop your shoes from becoming a biohazard), they’re also the perfect opportunity to throw a dash of extra personality into your outfit.

And there’s no better – or more versatile – sock than the men’s striped sock for doing this.

Not convinced?Let’s look at the alternatives, eh?Block colour socksBright red, mustard yellow or a flash of lime green. Nobody wants to walk along the street flashing some variant of the traffic light sequence from between their expensive suit and expensive shoes. You’ll look a fool. (Unless, of course, you are going for that eccentric vibe. If so, you do you, man.)A better alternative to men’s striped socks? No.Novelty socks.Let’s not even get started on this one. If you’re still wearing novelty socks over the age of 13, then we admire your confidence. However, you’re unlikely to be swayed by anything we say here – so shine on, you crazy diamond.For the rest of us, are they a better alternative to men’s striped socks? No way.Plain socks.Ever noticed your co-workers plain black socks and thought 'oh, nice socks'? Exactly. They're safe.Safe is good, in some situations. And safe is fine for work. But safe is not good for adding a touch of personality.No socks.Woah there. In the summer, with a pair of loafers and chinos, maybe. In the office? Remember what we said about biohazard? Nobody wants to be that guy. (No socks guy is worse than microwaves-his-tuna-for-lunch guy, trust us.)

Why are men's striped socks so great?

They’re great for scaling up the sense of personality in your outfit.Want to stand out a little, but keep it restrained? Go with a striped sock that has just a touch of colour, or sets of darker (think greys and blues) stripes. That way, you’ll keep the whole outfit looking uniform, but there’ll be a flash of personality every step you take.Want to dial it up? Ramp up the stripes. Add in bold colours, but keep them in check by making sure the main colour is still professional.Top tip: Make sure you match the main colour of the sock to the colour of your suit. That way, it looks like a conscious choice. (Otherwise, it looks like you just threw them on and undermines the whole thing.)