The sockless look is becoming more and more acceptable - even outside the hallowed circles of the most fashion forward.
Going out without a sock is especially practical in summers - when a number of gentlemen develop sweaty feet. Also, when out on a hot day, or on a beach, allowing your feet a healthy dose of air and sunshine may do good to your well-being and sanity.
But before you chuck those socks and step out, here are a few quick tips to help you put your best feet forward - even when sockless:
1) Mind Your Ensemble
Whether you are able to pull off a sockless look successfully depends on what else you are wearing - the dress level of your ensemble. You will obviously not want to shun the socks when you are wearing a charcoal gray wool suit - perish the thought!
However, you can safely ditch the socks with a seersucker suit - look at this gentleman, how he does it so well!
A chino worn with a rolled up cuff can work as a sounding board if you have never worn your shoes without socks - if you feel comfortable, you can try moving up the next level.
Shorts are also very amenable to the sockless look. Indeed, you should avoid wearing socks with shorts, unless you are dressed up for a tennis match.
Gentlemen would usually wear socks with denim, though I have personally seen gents wearing some variation of a sandals sans socks and paired with denim on one of my visits to India - it looked totally cool. But maybe there is a context to it - India is a tropical country, and summers can get extremely hot. Wearing sandals without socks can be very practical in those conditions.
2) Mind Your Feet
Gentlemen would never expose feet that are unpleasant to look and smell. You don’t really need to invest in a pedicure to achieve this - a few simple precautions will keep your feet good looking, and healthy too.
- Keep your feet well-washed and clean
- Trim the toenails, really.
- If your feet are susceptible to sweating, generous sprinkling of baby powder has been known to work wonders.
Presentable feet are not merely for the benefit of onlookers, you will also feel good about it, and your shoes will thank you for not inflicting them with sweat and odor.
3) Mind Your Footwear
Since the sockless look is a casual look, casual shoes work best. Though I have seen a few attempts to wear extremely formal oxford shoes or monk straps without socks - it does not come across well and convincing.
Loafers, slip-on dress shoes, moccasins and boat shoes are the best shoes that can be worn without socks.
Boots and socks have to stay together - do not try the sockless look with boots of any kind.
Sports and specialty shoes are also not worn without socks. In fact, they should not be worn at any occasion other than a sporting event, and only when the wearer is personally participating.
Conversely, sandals and socks DON’T mix well together, at all. Sandals are always worn without socks.
4) Invest in a Few Accessories
- Terry cloth insoles
- Invisible/no-show socks