Previously, we introduced rolling up your sleeves as a classic technique to beat the summer heat while looking effortlessly stylish. This week we bring you another staple summer touch that’ll elevate your look while keeping you cool.
Going sockless. Not only can you keep your feet from getting too hot but it’s a simple touch that can communicate a certain maturity of style. It helps you maintain that air of sprezzatura or “studied carelessness” that just oozes sophistication. Going sockless with a white button down, colorful chinos and some classic penny loafers can be the ultimate statement of casual summer cool. And at the other end of the spectrum, going sockless with a sharply tailored, custom navy suit can also be a silent act of defiance against corporate homogeneity.
Going sockless looks best with well-fitted, tapered pants with minimal to no break. Wearing baggy pants that puddle at your shoes not only looks bad in general, it defeats the purpose of going sockless. When worn with summer outfits, going sockless is a way to keep your look casually consistent from head to toe. When worn with more formal outfits, like a suit or suit separates, it’s a way to make a fashion statement – think of it in the same way you would wear brightly colored socks.
Read on as we explore the gamut together…
Look #1: Going Sockless with Lace-ups
Because it’s inherently counter-intuitive, going sockless with a pair of formal lace-ups, whether they are oxfords or brogues has a strikingly stylish effect.
This candid shot shows how going sockless with a business formal outfit can add immediate fashion-forward sentiment to an otherwise conservative outfit. The gentleman above is wearing a classic standard –a well-fitted navy suit with a crisp dress shirt and dark solid tie. The simplicity of this look paired with a nicely worn pair of oxfords sans socks allows for a stark but stylish contrast that is immediately noteworthy.
Want to add slight flair to your favorite pair of denim? Roll up the cuffs evenly and tightly on your favorite, slimmer fit jeans. Add some brogue wingtips to introduce a fresh note of elegance to your outfit. Since no part of your shoes will be covered by the bottom of your jeans, you can give that finely patterned brogueing a bit more of the spotlight it deserves.
Looking for a more casual lace up? Invest in a pair of suede bucks. If you want more versatility, go with a pair of brown or beige. If you want more distinction, go with a pair of colored bucks with a contrast sole like the above. Either way, suede bucks are the perfect shoe to go naked ankle in the warmer weather and can make an otherwise formal outfit more casual or make an already casual outfit even more casually cool.
Look #2: Going Sockless with Loafers and Drivers
A step down from the formality of lace-ups, drivers and loafers are a popular choice for going sockless during warmer days.
The best thing about loafers aside from the ease of putting them on or taking them off is the versatility offered. You can wear them with socks as part of any everyday business outfit but they look just as good without socks for a more casual look. By that same token, the slightly more casual nature of the loafer makes going sockless with them a bit more subtle than going sockless with a pair of formal lace ups, allowing for a seamless transition from work to happy hour.
Drivers or moccasins are the ultimate combination of casual style and comfort. These shoes are meant to be worn sockless during warm weather seasons. While they are more likely to be worn with more casual outfits, they can be also used to dress down slightly formal attire. The stylish men of Pitti Uomo above show how.
Look #3: Going Sockless with Boat Shoes
“For a northeasterner who knows his way around a boat, slipping sun-tanned feet straight into Sperry Top-Siders comes as naturally as hoisting a jib.” – Darrell Hartman, WSJ
While chilling on a boat in boat shoes may seem most apropos, boat shoes are the ultimate casual footwear great for any hang out. Boat shoes should always be worn sockless and are therefore usually reserved for the warmer days of late spring, summer and early fall. There are no end to the styles, colors and materials of boat shoes available. Go with a pair of classic brown leather boat shoes for versatility or a pair of colored / multi-colored canvas boat shoes for some youthful flair. Pair it with shorts, denim or chinos, kick your feet up and grab a beer and you’re well on your way to having a great day.
Inspired to try some of these sockless pairings? Stay tuned for Part 2 next week where we’ll teach you some of the best ways to execute these looks while avoiding all the common downsides of going sockless including sweaty feet, odor, and ruined shoes.
(photo credits: GQ, Tommy Ton)