Black Socks With White Shoes: How To Rock It Properly

Do you want to know how to wear black socks with white shoes? You don’t unless you are a member of a K-Pop band, a comic book supervillain, or a model going down the London catwalk, sent by the designer in hope that the scandalous combo will trend on social media and provide them with free marketing.

Thank you for coming to my TEDtalk. Or maybe, just maybe, you could wear anything you want without caring for other people’s opinions?

Anyway, if you still care what people think, wearing black socks with white shoes can be tricky. And you probably can’t pull it off, unless you are a member of a K-Pop band, or unless your read these tips below.

How To Wear Black Socks With White Shoes (10 Tips)

A man wears a black sock.

1.     Pick Ankle Socks

Black ankle socks are easier to combine with white shoes than long ones. Unless the long ones go over your knees and you are a Japanese schoolgirl. But even they are more likely to stick to brown instead of white.

Ankle socks just barely peek from the inside of your shoes so they are not as noticeable. If the people do notice them, they work to outline the shoe itself. This works either when the sock is solid black or when it has a pop of color on the cuff.

If you are wearing light pants, this will surely draw attention to your footwear, so make sure that your shoes are very clean, and maybe even those trending everywhere but that you can’t get in stores since they are always sold out.

2.     Go Casual

There’s this terrible term – sporty elegant – but it fits here. It’s a less boujee synonym for leisurewear. What that term is supposed to represent is either sportswear-inspired designs or sportswear but not meant for physical activities of any kind. What people hear when some use those terms is that they can walk around in their gym clothes.

Wrong. They should be arrested by the fashion police and thrown into prison. Let them enjoy their vintage sporty striped jumpsuits there.

Do you want to know how to recognize what you need? Imagine buying a jacket or even a pair of sweatpants and cringing at the idea that you are supposed to sweat in them. And those white shoes? They are designer and/or limited edition that you would never use to run a marathon. You can choose either ankle or regular black socks based on your mood and the cut of the pants.

3.     Wear Black Jeans

Well, either black or dark wash. This tip goes out to anyone who searched this information when they realized they’re out of white socks and have no idea what to do.

One of the old-fashioned dressing rules says that you must wear the same colored socks with the same colored shoes. That’s nice at all, especially when you also wear a three-piece suit and you work as an accountant or something. It looks neat and professional.

But, we already chose to wear sneakers. And you most likely don’t have a pair of white dress shoes anyway. Unless they are black and white wingtips. In that case, what are you doing here? You’re already fired. Go do whatever you want.

For the rest of you mortals, turn this rule upside down. So, instead of matching your socks to the shoes, you’re matching them to your pants. Jeans will look the best, but if you want to wear some harem pants or something more dressy-casual, rock on.

4.     Practise Minimalism

Young fashionable men.

Minimalism can get boring sometimes. With the right shades and pieces, it will look expensive but still boring. This is why it can handle something as a combination of black socks and white shoes. But here’s the thing, the less distraction there is, the more some things come to the forefront.

The fit for example. It always matters to pick clothes that fit properly. Even going out of your way to tailor things in and adjust the hems is worth the investment. When going for the minimalistic look, it’s vital.

On a good day, a jacket that is a bit too big will look off. But in this case, it can look like you’ve lost a ton of weight and can’t afford to replace your wardrobe. There’s a way to go for the oversized look but this ain’t it.

So, make sure that is perfect. It takes time to master the difference between minimalism and the -l-have-no-idea-what-to-do-so-I’m-keeping-it- simple doctrine. But once you get there, you’ll have a capsule wardrobe that will never let you down.

5.     Or Embrace Maximalism

If you can handle it, go all out. After all what better footwear combo exists for a chunky stripe black and white suit? Maybe a bright color light emerald green, but how often will you wear those shoes again?

The point is, sometimes it’s fun to be a bit more daring with your wardrobe. If you have one of those outfits (and it doesn’t matter if you only wear it to fancy dress parties) and the white shoes fit the mood, wear them with black socks.

And here’s another thing. White dress shoes don’t always look great with white socks. It’s partly because most people wear the wrong type of white socks with white dress shoes. The other is because white shoes already do look a bit special and the old rule of the same color for shoes and socks looks a bit sterile.

Instead, try copying one of those looks you can see on the runway. Every season, you will find at least one show with a combo that features black socks with white shoes. These looks don’t have to always be wearable but can serve as an inspiration.

Even when you want to stay more conservative, you may get a good idea or should you pick a light or dark suit, and maybe what color tie will shake things up.

6.     Easy on the Branding

There is something about obvious logos that will not work great with this look. It has to do a lot with the fact the brands put those logos on you as a free walking billboard. Brilliant marketing strategy and brilliant sales strategy as well. You buy the product because the brand, the brand uses you to advertise itself.

They design white shoes to be worn with white socks so those logos stand out. Of course, this doesn’t apply to all companies but mostly to the ones that have built their business on pure brand recognition.

Person wearing branded white shoes.

Plus we are trying to be chic and/or fashion-forward. Decking yourself in brands only yells “fashion slave”. So either pick shoe models that don’t have prominent branding, or wear them with white socks and be a good free walking advertisement.

7.     Go Grunge or 80s Metal

Wearing black socks with white shoes has been around for decades, you just didn’t notice. White sneakers were the staple in 80s heavy metal fashion. Though Converse officially took over for the grunge movement, they came in white and cream. And in all of those cases, wearing black socks was perfectly fine.

In both cases, you have a simple template to go by. White shoes, black socks, black or dark wash jeans, a T-shirt, and a plaid shirt. A leather vest or jacket is also very welcome. The jeans can be ripped or not. Just go with what speaks to you more. For the shirt, either go plain black or white or pick a shade that matches the plaid.

Don’t wear band shirts if you don’t know the band though. The outfit will make some people believe you are a part of the tribe and you will only embarrass yourself if you can’t name all Judas Priest singles. There might be more on this topic later.

8.     Have a Pop of Color

For most people, following the black socks with more black in the rest of the outfit is the safest option. However, depending on your hair color and skin tone, it could wash you out.

This is where a pop of color comes in. The easiest way to do this is with a T-shirt. A black shirt with a print in the color that compliments your coloring is a great choice. In this case, you should pick something bold like blocky texts or intricate large graphics. Simple details are welcome as well. Kind of like the ones you can find on polo shirts or racing tops.

Band T-shirts are okay as well, but you have to know at least… No, you have to know all the songs by the band before you are allowed to wear one. Yes, Eddie is tots adorbs, but if you can’t tell me which singer did which album, you are not allowed to wear an Iron Maiden T-shirt. You are allowed to go to jail though. Not fashion jail, but the jail.

9.     Balance the Top With Gray

Going back to picking monochromatic outfits, if you don’t want to break all that black with other colors, do it with gray. Gray will still make everything look simple and chic, but not lazy or boring.

For example, you can pair a black top with a gray jacket or switch it around. It would look great if you can have about an inch of the gray top peaking under the hem of the black jacket though. It’s not mandatory, but it will create more interest in the outfit.

As for the shade of gray, pick something darker or mid-toned. Too light and you may need to balance it out with other additions.

Speaking of additions, some silver jewelry would not be a bad idea. A simple necklace or a wallet chain, or even an attractive belt buckle. If you think they look like a bit too much to you, go for gunmetal. However, avoid gold unless you want to go full DJ Khalid with it.

10.     Wear a White T-Shirt

Handsome young hipster in black pants and white t-shirt.

Putting your pants in a sandwich doesn’t have to be as weird as it sounds. A simple white T-shirt without print or with monochromatic print paired with black or charcoal pants will create a contemporary street fashion vibe.

The fit matters. This can’t be your favorite loose T-shirt you wear to work around the house or exercise. It has to be as snug as possible, and even skintight if you want to go there.

As for the graphic, keep it simple black and white, and avoid bold blocks of text. Something like line art will work the best. If you still want to make a statement, pick a T-shirt where the design is printed on the back.

This combination will make the eye constancy wander from your feet to your shoulders and back again. As long as the pants are not too baggy, it will even make you appear a bit taller due to the eye wandering.

Is It OK To Wear Black Socks With White Shoes?

It’s perfectly fine. The fashion police have more serious crimes to prosecute, like the people who wear leggings as pants or wasteful fast fashion.

Here’s the thing about so-called “fashion rules” – they don’t exist. There’s something about makings sure your clothes fit and the outfit is appropriate for the occasion. Other than that, it’s okay to experiment.

To go even further, it may be a great idea to pair black socks with white shoes when those shoes are supposed to be the focal point of the outfit. The contrast will draw attention to them as well as some design ideas that would otherwise be overlooked.

Still, in some cases, it can look like it’s laundry day and you ran out of socks. If your outfit doesn’t look like it’s put together on purpose will make any choice that is supposed to look chic and/or fashion-forward look silly.

To sum it up, don’t be lazy with your outfit choice, wear black socks with awesome-looking white shoes, and have fun with them, and adopt the right attitude. As long as you carry yourself with confidence, any look will be fire.

Is It OK To Wear White Socks With Black Boots?

The quick answer is yes, you can definitely wear white socks with black boots. In fact, this is a great way to add a little bit of contrast and visual interest to your outfit. White socks can also help to balance out the darker tones of your black boots, making them appear less imposing. This is assuming, of course, that the socks are taller than the height of the boots you’re wearing.

If your socks are shorter than your boot, you wouldn’t be able to see them at all. You could wear bright yellow socks, or socks with a pizza design and nobody would know the difference.

If you want to change your look you can wear tall white socks with black boots. The socks should come up over the top of the boot so that only a small sliver of the sock is visible. This can often look quite stylish, particularly if you’re wearing skinny jeans or leggings.

What Colour Shoes Go With Black Socks?

The rule of thumb when matching shoes and socks is to wear the same color on your feet. This usually means white socks with white shoes, and black socks with black shoes. However, this isn’t always the case. Some people like to mix and match their socks and shoes, and there are certain combinations that can look great.

If you want a classic look, then wear black socks with dark colored shoes. Black goes well with navy, brown, and grey. You can also try a unique pairing of black socks with a patterned shoe, such as a plaid or stripes.

Dark colored shoes with glowing shoe laces.

Black socks with white shoes are another great style choice. This is a classic combination that you can dress up or down, depending on the occasion, and looks great either way. Or you can get creative and wear black socks with brightly colored shoes. This is a great way to tone down the bright color of the shoes while also making a bold statement.

While it is generally recommended to match your socks and shoes, there are certain combinations that can look great. Be creative and have fun with the color choices!

Color Of Socks To Pair With White Shoes

When wearing white pair of shoes, it is always a question of what would be the best color of socks to pair it with. While the color of the socks would totally be dependent on your overall outfit and not just your shoes, below are a few tips for you to decide what to choose.

  • With wearing white shoes, the safest route to go for in socks is white as it would show a clean fit and highlights your tops and bottoms more than the shoes themselves.
  • But if you want something funky to highlight your socks, bold colors like red, orange, or green would also look great.
  • For simplicity and a cool vibe on your outfit, you may wear dull-colored socks, like pastel tones or grayish tones.
  • The light mustard color is a great option here and will surely look good with your shoes.
  • You may also match it by wearing checkered or any patterned socks for something out of ordinary and a bit formal look.
  • You can never go wrong with colors of socks to match your white shoes by simply following the tips above.


As long as you don’t try to pull black socks and white shoes with your business suit, it should be fine. Since sneakers work best, keep your outfit casual. And never be afraid to experiment. After all, fashion is supposed to be fun.

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About Hugh Vinson

Hi there! My name is Hugh, and I am the owner and founder of GentlemenCenter. From Texas, USA, and with 2 sons in recent years I have had the experience of raising 2 young men. I am here to share my experiences with you, and help you with any questions you may have!

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