In today’s fashion-forward world, going sockless is a cool statement. Gents who dare to don their shoes without socks are rewarded with a stylishly modern appearance that oozes confidence. Whether you partner your sockless feet with a casual and relaxed outfit or a sharp and sophisticated style, the edgy look can work. If that’s not enough to convince you to try this dominating menswear trend, think about the practicality. Exposing your ankles is a multi-purpose way of dressing. It both helps you to stay you cool in summer and keeps your appearance more polished than sandals or flip flops. All you need to know is how to wear shoes without socks in style, so you end up looking suave not silly.
When to Wear Shoes Without Socks
You can go sans socks just about anywhere. Whether you’re off to a dinner, a cocktail party, or getting a coffee, it’s more acceptable than ever to leave your socks at home. The style can easily work for many dress codes including smart casual, and semi-formal. Of course, there are some occasions when socks are still a mandatory item. Business casual and formal attire should always be worn with socks whether it’s to the office, a conference, a meeting or lunch. The look of going without socks is too casual for these occasions and may appear disrespectful.
Smart Casual Attire
Events and occasions that call for smart casual attire are a great opportunity to forget about wearing socks. To make the style work, you just need to find the right balance between polished and relaxed. Loafers, slip-ons, sneakers, boat shoes and monks are fantastic shoe choices for smart casual occasions.
While wearing shoes without socks is never ok for formal occasions, it can work for semi-formal events. The key is to make the rest of your outfit, including your shoes, sharp and polished. Oxford, brogues, derby and loafers will work the best. Avoid sneakers and boat shoes. They will knock your outfit out of the semi-formal dress code when worn without socks.
Loafers Without Socks
Loafers are the easiest type of shoes to wear without socks and the best choice for those who are inexperienced in going sockless. They’re also versatile and can pair well with outfits ranging from casual through to semi-formal. If you’re aiming for a sharp, semi-formal style without socks, choose a classic Penny or Gucci loafer. For a more casual look, opt for a tassel loafer in leather or suede.
Related: A Dapper Man’s Guide on How to Wear Loafers
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Brogues Without Socks
Brogues may be more challenging than loafers to wear without socks, but they can still make a stylish option. The lace-up style of brogues appears more polished and sophisticated than slip-on shoes. This means they’re an ideal type of footwear to pair with smart casual attire. As brogues already create a statement with their perforated designs, wearing them without socks will create a standout feature. You can choose whether you want to play up this uniqueness or play it down with the rest of your outfit. By pairing sockless brogues with neutral colours and designs, you’ll create a sharp and stylish appearance. By pairing them with patterns and bold colours, you’ll create a distinct and eccentric style.
Related: Men’s Guide to Wearing Brogue Shoes
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Boat Shoes Without Socks
Boat shoes are a common footwear choice for summer and appear naturally stylish without socks. Whether you’re headed out for a day of sailing on a yacht or simply grabbing some Sunday brunch, boat shoes and bare ankles make a great choice. To make the most of this preppy look, pair your boat shoes with some Southern California style. Cropped chinos and a button-up shirt or polo is a fool-proof outfit. Just add a blazer for more formal occasions and settings.
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Monks Without Socks
Monk-strap shoes can appear edgy and contemporary when donned without socks. The formal shoe just demands a more polished outfit. While the flash of your ankle will add a relaxed touch to your outfit, it should stand alone as a statement. Keep the rest of your look semi-formal and sleek or you’ll risk appearing awkward and uncoordinated. As most gents tend to go sans socks in summer, you can opt for a suit that’s seasonally appropriate with lightweight fabric and a relaxed shape. The design, on the other hand, should be sharp and classic.
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Slip-Ons Without Socks
Slip-on shoes are an easy style of footwear to wear without socks. As they’re casual in appearance, they tend to work best for relaxed and informal occasions. This is especially true for slip-on sneakers and espadrilles. While sneakers are a great way to wear this trend in the colder months, espadrilles worn without socks is a quintessential summer look. Other types of slip-on shoes, including slippers, can also be worn on their own. A modern alternative to loafers, slippers and their quirky style appear unique and trendy when paired with smart-casual and semi-formal styles.
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Sneakers Without Socks
Sneakers have become a stylish streetwear option and are no longer just for the gym. Today, they can also easily be worn without socks. All you need to do is choose the right type of sneaker and pair it with the right outfit. Low-cut sneakers are the best option. They’ll show off your ankle and allow you to make the most of this trend. As for colour, white is currently the epitome of sharp and simple dressing. The minimal style of white sneakers makes them the best and easiest option for sockless, smart casual looks.
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How to Wear Shoes Without Socks
- Only wear socks without shoes on suitable occasions.
- Without socks, your shoes will stand out, so make sure they’re stylish, clean, and un-scuffed.
- If you like the appearance of going sockless but not the feel, invest in some invisible socks that can be hidden underneath enclosed shoes.
- Ensure the hems of your pants sit (or are cuffed to) two inches above your shoes and that they are slim-cut but not tight.
- Going sockless can mean sweaty feet and smelly shoes. Invest in items such as a cedar shoe tree, insoles, and shoe deodorizer to help keep your footwear fresh.
- Jeans, trousers, and shorts can all work without socks, but slim-fit chinos tend to look best.