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Men’s Style Tips: Socks and sandals

Blog, Men’s Style Tips • 21 August 2021

Socks and Sandals: Fashion-forward or fashion faux-pas?

Socks and sandals. Summer’s biggest fashion nope or a stylish warm weather option? To be honest, this is a subject that we at LSC naturally approach with trepidation. We love socks, and we firmly believe in confidently channeling your personal sock style however you want. But, socks and sandals … after years of being told this is a look for the sartorial challenged – awkward teachers, lazy dads – is this ever a style choice we can condone?

The time has come for us to say yes.

With this once controversial combo appearing on catwalks and cool celebrities for a while now, it’s time to embrace the mighty duo of sandals and socks, and learn how to effortlessly rock this trend.

Here are our tips for wearing your LSC socks with sandals this summer.

Bold looks deserve stylish socks

If you are going to attempt this look, it is vital that your socks look bright, bold and stylish. No faded old back-of-drawer pairs here, please. Thankfully, your LSCs are made to be seen and make a confident statement. When it comes to socks and sandals, you can stick to classic muted tones – Simply Sartorial in Skye Blue, Cream, Cotswolds Stone for example. Or, fortune favours the bold, so go for brighter colours or patterns.

It’s as much about the sandal as the sock…

We obviously have you covered when it comes to the socks at London Sock Company, but this is only half of the outfit. For the sandals part, we would advocate wearing leather sandals or  grown up slides. Birkenstocks can work but stick to leather and elevate them with a clean, bright sock choice like Silver Fox or even Aqua. Avoid flip flops and anything with Velcro as it looks scruffy.

Here are a few of our favourites from Mr Porter…

(L-R) Cross-grain leather slides from Dunhill, Striped leather slides from Gucci, Cross leather sandals from John Lobb

Athletic vs casual

Wearing socks and sandals should definitely be kept for casual events. This isn’t an everyday look. But remember that ‘casual’ doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t stay sharp. Don’t fall into the trap of ‘Athleisure’ wear and pair the socks/sandals combo with tracksuits or gym gear. Leave this to professional basketball players and Justin Bieber. For summer, it’s all about smart shorts, which already go well with LSC socks (check out our style tips for socks and shorts here). Add sandals and you’re good to go.

Edmond Kamara on steps wearings yellow socks and sandals

Prepare yourself for the jokes

Be warned, this style is only for the bold. If you want to rock socks with sandals, you need to prepare yourself for those who aren’t quite so fashion-forward. Laugh along, and don’t be surprised if they are calling you for fashion advice next year.

Share your fashion game

We respect anyone who embraces the latest in footwear fashion. Share your London Sock Company looks with us by tagging us on Instagram, you never know, you may inspire confidence in someone else.

Still not convinced? Former GQ Style Director Robert Johnston once shared his thoughts on socks and slides with us…

“Sometimes you can surprise yourself. Which is what happened when I set off to Santorini recently, for a week in the sun. The surprise was that I checked into the flight at Heathrow wearing socks and sandals – the slip-on type some call ‘slides’. And this, until very recently, would have been my idea of a deadly sartorial sin.

Before you plan to have me roasted on a spit as mutton dressed as lamb, I will add that the slides in question were by Brunello Cucinelli in navy suede-look Alcantara, and the socks in cotton lisle in a complementary shade. If nothing else, the combination meant speedy boarding was even speedier than usual – and having kicked off the sandals mid-flight, I didn’t have the usual nightmare of stuffing my swollen feet into shoes at the other end. I’m a convert.

If you remain unconvinced, I’m sympathetic – summer and socks can be a problem. Indeed, summer and feet are troublesome altogether. As a culture, we Brits tend to be poor on pedicures.  Indeed, during the London menswear shows in June, a former colleague who’d stepped off the fashion treadmill turned up in Birkenstocks with bared feet. Bad move. The American press were literally gagging at the sight.

That said, I have my own shame around socks – or more specifically ‘secret socks’, the discreet demi-type only you know you’re wearing inside your trainers. Having spent my career advising men on the best brands, I have to admit that I don’t actually get on with them myself – they work themselves down my feet until they’re bunched up round my toes. Perhaps my soles are the only part of my body that lack fat, but I still require socks of normal dimensions. After my first foray into the socks and slides arena, I’ll not be looking back.”

Robert Johnston is the former style director of GQ, a fashion consultant and writer. His favourite London Sock Company styles for wearing with those trainers (and slides) are the block colours from Simply Sartorial.

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