Abandon white socks.
Unless you are headed to the gym to play a pickup basketball game, ditch the white socks. Few people wear all-white outfits, which would be the only other time white socks would be appropriate, so they’re going to stick out like a sore thumb. Having white socks exposed while you’re sitting down instantly takes your outfit down a peg or two, especially if you are wearing dress pants or a suit.
Invest in dress socks.
Many people make the mistake of just throwing on their regular, cotton athletic socks with their dress shoes for nice occasions. Dress socks are made for a reason. They’re sleeker, higher quality, and will make your shoes feel less cramped. Athletic socks will also bunch up at the ankle because they’re made of thicker material, so you’ll be constantly adjusting them.
Avoid socks and sandals.
I don’t care what the fashion industry is trying to push: Socks and sandals (Birkenstocks in particular) are NOT in. Wearing this ridiculous trend makes you look like your creepy uncle who always wears cargo shorts and has a PBR in his hand. Birkenstocks are not cool. Socks with Birkenstocks (or any other sandal) are even less cool. Got it?
Rock socks and heels.
While pairing socks and flat sandals is a huge fashion faux pas, some people can make elegant socks and heels work. 3- to 4-inch pumps work best for this look, especially in solid colors, like black or red. When pairing socks with heels, look for a knee-high pair or a mid-calf pair that is either solid or has a subtle pattern and is made of a dressier material. If in doubt, choose tights instead.
Wear colorful socks sparingly.
Bright, patterned socks can really add some excitement to an outfit, but you need to consider your environment before wearing rainbow-striped socks with your suit. Funeral? Probably not a good idea. Meeting with some fellow creatives at a local coffee shop? Go for it. Make wearing these socks a special occasion and try to not overdo it, otherwise you completely lose the electrifying effect.
Coordinate socks with pants.
The outdated rule was that you should coordinate your socks with your shoes, but it’s actually a lot more helpful to coordinate your socks with your pants. When you sit down, your socks will be exposed, and matching socks will make your entire outfit look put together. If you can’t match the colors exactly, you can’t go wrong with a darker shade or simple black. Feel free to wear more playful patterns if you'll be wearing boots or other concealing shoes!
Don’t roll or fold.
Folding your socks is terrible and childish, and rolling them down is even worse. If you feel the need to do this with your socks, just go out and buy shorter socks! They’re not expensive, and they will look 10 times better. The only exception is if you are wearing thick boot socks with booties, in which case you can scrunch them down to make them shorter.
Replenish your collection biannually.
Unless you are buying designer socks, chances are that your socks aren’t constructed out of the highest quality material. If you wear them regularly, your socks will start to wear out within six months to year. You don’t have to replace the entire collection, but at least buy three or four pairs twice a year so you you'll always have hole-free socks.