Men’s Style Tips: Socks & Sandals

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

Here at the London Sock Company, we are built on the belief that good socks can inspire confidence.

It is for this reason that we approach the subject of sandals and socks with trepidation. It has long been a consensus that this look is reserved for the sartorially-challenged. However, over the past year many menswear fashion shows have featured this look on the catwalk, which means it’s only a matter of time before this style is embraced by the everyday man. So, if our socks inspire you to rock this trend, then we have the following advice..

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

Don’t panic, we have you covered when it comes to the socks, but this is only half of the outfit. When it comes to the sandals, we would advocate wearing leather sandals or ‘slides’ rather than Birkenstocks (and never flip flops, or anything with Velco).

Here are a few of our favourites available on Mr Porter…


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

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…

Go bold or go home

If you are wearing your socks on full display, we say that fortune favours the bold, so why not choose a pattern? If you are adhering to our advice and staying in the dark brown or black zone of sandals, blue patterns are a great option.

Athletic vs casual

Wearing socks and sandals should be kept for casual events, but that doesn’t mean that you can’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, or Justin Bieber. Elevate your look with some of our most refined styles…

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.

To get the inside scoop, we spoke to former GQ Style Director Robert Johnston and asked “Is it OK to wear socks with slide sandals – or is that just a step too far?”

“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 Co. styles for wearing with those trainers (and slides) are the block colours from Simply Sartorial.

Image courtesy of

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