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Fashion Faux Pas: Socks to Formal Wear

August 18, 2009
Students (not Joseph) dressed up. The get effort marks.

Students (not Joseph) dressed up. They get marks for effort.

Over the weekend, some high school friends and I took a stroll down memory lane.  Inevitably, the discussion ended up covering our most brutal fashion crimes.

During high school I had to wear a uniform, specifically grey trousers, a navy blazer, a dress shirt and a tie. Unlike my brother, who refused to wear an off-the-rack school uniform and worked through high school to finance his bespoke wardrobe, we were all a little ignorant of fashion and exercised very poor judgment when choosing attire. My friends and I agreed that the most common and most offensive wardrobe choice was the use of white sport socks with the school uniform…let me just clarify that I was innocent of this crime.


White socks with black shoes and trousers... the fashion equivilant of genocide

White socks with black shoes and trousers... the fashion equivalent of genocide

Well, not much has changed since those days. My brother is still the fashion and clothing expert. I defer to his better judgment on what is acceptable in today’s style conscious world and what will be laughed at by friends in years to come.

This list is a good set of rules that should keep you from being the topic of fashion jokes in years to come, so please keep them in mind when picking out your next outfit:

1. Always wear a belt if your trousers have belt loops. Belts should match your shoes.

2. Always keep your shoes polished.

3. Avoid wearing excessive jewelry.

4. NO sport socks unless you’re at the gym… and if you’re at the gym, please don’t wear short shorts.

5. Not matter how humid or hot the weather, short sleeve shirts should never be worn with a tie, suit, blazer or sport jacket.

6. French cuffs do not belong on a shirt with a button down collar.

7. Jeans are casual and so should the shoes that accompany them.

8. If invited to a formal function, avoid wearing jeans with a blazer.

9. Do not wear white dress shirts with jeans or any earth tones.

10. If invited to a black tie event, wear a tuxedo not a black suit. Also, formal shirts should only be worn with tuxedos not black suits.


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