It’s easy to reach for gray, brown, or black wool socks each morning, especially during the coldest (and, yes, grayest) months of the year. But it means you’re missing out on one of the simplest ways to brighten up these short days—namely, by opting for a wider color palette when it comes to your ankles. Yes, gray socks look great with brown or burgundy brogues; but so do pink, red, and a rainbow of stripes. Feeling reluctant to renounce your tonal side? Look to the Italians (Tommy Ton’s series for GQ.com is a great place to start), who historically have no qualms with clashing (with panache, even).
Red is a great entry point for the uninitiated. Above, I’m pairing bright red socks with brown suede shoes and rolled indigo jeans. As long as you aren’t wearing any matching red in the rest of your outfit, this is a simple way to flash a bit of casual style. (Emphasis on not matching here.)
Below, Gilt MANual executive editor Andy Comer presents a more dressed-up approach. Sporting a gray flannel three-button suit doesn’t mean you have to rein in the color palette. In fact, and especially with gray, bright colors work best. It’s a hint of irreverence without resorting to the all-out “casual suit” look. First, we see Mr. Comer going gray, a classic look we’d fully endorse. Timeless. The second look adds a preppy flair with navy-and-green-striped socks, while the last look gets a little loud with a pair of pink-and-orange stockings. A wide variety of tones that really exhibit the versatility of a gray suit, and the perfect pair of wingtips.
All photos by Rose Callahan.