Socks are frequently overlooked when it comes to getting dressed, but they play a significant role in completing your ensemble. Therefore it is essential to select the appropriate pair of dress socks for the occasion. In this Millennial Gentleman guide we’ll discuss men’s dress socks and the best ones to wear for any occasion you are in.

The History of Men’s Dress Socks

Dress socks have an extensive and fascinating history dating back centuries. Ancient Egyptians wore the earliest known socks to protect their feet and keep their feet warm. These wool socks were worn with sandals frequently. During the Middle Ages, men and women wore socks more frequently. They were typically crafted from wool or linen and adorned with intricate embroidery or patterns. Socks were frequently given as gifts to royalty and the wealthy during this time period, as they represented wealth and social standing. Socks were made from machine-knitted fabrics such as cotton and silk in the 19th century, making them more affordable and accessible. Around this time, socks began to be worn for their aesthetic value as well as their utility.

Dress socks are now available in a variety of materials, styles, and patterns, and are an essential component of any man’s wardrobe. They can be worn for both formal and informal occasions and are an excellent way to add personality and style to an ensemble.

Common Styles of Dress Socks for Men

Let’s take a look at some of the different types of dress socks for men.

Class Dress Socks

First, we have the classic dress sock. These socks are usually thin, smooth cotton or nylon in neutral hues like black, navy, and charcoal. They go with suits and jeans. Business meetings, interviews, weddings, and parties all call for classic dress socks.

Patterned Dress Socks

Next, we have patterned dress socks. These colorful socks may show off your style. They have stripes, argyle, and polka dots. Match colors and patterns to your attire and avoid loud or distracting patterns. Casual or semi-formal events suit patterned dress socks. Match the colors and patterns to your attire and avoid loud or distracting designs.

Over the Calf Socks

We also have over-the-calf socks, which are a little longer and come up to just below the knee. These socks are perfect for formal occasions, such as weddings or black tie events, and can add a touch of sophistication to your outfit.  

No Show Socks

No-show socks are another option. These socks are for loafers and other ankle-exposing shoes. They cushion and prevent blisters while showing off your shoes. No-show socks are great for hot weather or showing off your shoes.

Athletic Socks

Finally we have athletic socks. These are comfortable, moisture-wicking socks. They can be worn with sneakers or athletic shoes or a suit for a sporty, fashionable appeal. Athletic socks can be used with a suit for a sporty, fashionable image.

So there you have it, a guide to men’s dress socks. Whether you’re looking for a classic, patterned, over-the-calf, no-show, or athletic sock, there are plenty of options to choose from to complete your look.

Now that you know about how to choose dress socks you might be interested in some other men’s footwear guide articles we have published on Millennial Gentleman,


Carey Martell is Editor in Chief for The Millennial Gentleman. A thirty something modern man who is politically independent, non-religious but a firm believer in ideals of chivalry and traditional family values. Carey lives his life as a vagabond digital nomad traveling and living life to the fullest while managing his businesses remotely with a laptop and internet hotspot connection.