Does it feel weird and unnatural to wear socks with loafers?

They are often rather casual shoes, but some situations don’t feel right without socks.

So, do you wear socks with loafers? Yes, absolutely!

In some circumstances, you need to wear socks, but that doesn’t mean you must ditch the loafers altogether. Thankfully, there’s a proper way to pull off socks and loafers in all settings.

Things to Consider When Wearing Socks with Loafers

Now that you know that socks with loafers are totally a thing, it’s essential to understand that not all socks work with loafers.

wear no-show socks with a suit

Loafers are very low-cut shoes, so you’ll see a lot of the socks you choose. Choose wisely!

You should wear high-quality socks that don’t clash with your outfit. Match your socks to your outfit to they don’t stand out like a glaring error on your ankles.

And the length of your socks is critical; stay away from ankle socks in favor of socks that go all the way up your calf. We shouldn’t notice your skin if you opt for socks.

Types of Socks

Let’s just put this out there: you must always wear socks with your loafers.

However, that doesn’t mean we always need to see those socks; instead, you can opt for no-show socks. These will make you more comfortable and protect your foot health.

wearing no-show socks with a suit

But, if you want to show off socks, your best path is to do it with dress socks.

Opt for a premium cotton or wool blend, silk, or cashmere. These high-quality fibers are luxurious and look terrific.

wear cotton dress socks for summer

They’re also thin enough to look seamless with your outfit. Thin socks are very important.

You certainly don’t want thick socks, reminiscent of casual sweat socks; they’ll look super bulky and ruin your outfit. Plus, loafer shoes need to be tight so they don’t slide off your foot when walking.

Thin socks will fit better inside your shoe; you won’t feel squeezed in there, and won’t stretch out your shoes. Besides, thin socks make your foot feel cooler, so you’ll sweat less.

Color Matching & Patterns

Before you pick out what socks you’ll wear with your loafers, determine what is the goal of your outfit. Do you want your socks to blend in or stand out?

Either way, use your pants as a guide to matching your socks. That doesn’t mean your socks have to be the same color as your pants, though.

matching loafers vs socks colors

Earthtones are always a winning choice, but sometimes a pop of surprising color or patterned dress socks are appropriate and appreciated!

Consider using texture or an argyle pattern to add a hint of sophistication to your ensemble. However, don’t allow your socks to be so bold that they are the sole attraction of your outfit.

matching patterned socks with loafers

Let your socks enhance your outfit, not overpower it.

Wear Socks with Loafers Formally

If you need to go the formal route, a well-fitted suit in a dark, conservative color is an ideal match for loafers.

Black is a standard for formal wear, but consider charcoal and navy as suitable alternatives.

For your dressiest occasions, choose thin dress socks in silk or cashmere. Keep your socks dark.

black tuxedo with black socks and black loafers

For the highest level of formality, you’ll need a black suit, especially if you are attending a black-tie event. But, again, black dress socks are the only acceptable option.

However, if you have an important work event or a board meeting, black is too heavy-handed. Instead, go with a professional charcoal suit.

Charcoal suit with black loafers and black socks

Round off the outfit with a pair of black dress loafers and matching socks in black.

If you are heading to an evening or summer wedding, try a navy suit for a polished style.

Then, opt for dark brown tassel loafers to soften your look, and complete your outfit with dark brown or navy dress socks.

navy suit with a brown loafers and navy dress socks

However, your brown socks should not be the same shade as your brown loafers; they should be slightly darker.

Black loafers also blend in perfectly with a navy suit. Here, it’s best to opt for black dress socks.

To portray a laid-back look with your suit and loafers, you can opt for no-show socks with your suit.

Navy suit, white shirt, and navy tassel loafers

They’re a popular choice among many men as they provide a clean, sockless look that goes well with loafers, minus the discomfort and hygiene issues of actually going sockless.

Wear Socks with Loafers Casually

The sockless look is the ultimate way to style your casual look, but that doesn’t rule out socks entirely!

You can embrace socks for your casual outfits if you pair bold-hued argyles or deeply textured socks with most garments.

You can wear loafers with nearly any casual outfit, especially suede loafers. They make a crisp, sharp departure from classic dress shoes.

If you need a new business casual look, start with an informal suit or separates, like chinos and a dark blazer.

Including socks and loafers helps keep your outfit from becoming too formal. Of course, you can’t go wrong with a pair of neutral-colored polka-dot socks.

However, a weekend brunch will likely be a bit more laid-back, so try a more relaxed outfit.

Khaki chinos and a button-down shirt are an effortless way to keep yourself styled and not looking like you just rolled out of bed.

Complete this ensemble with a pair of penny loafers and white no-show socks.

white dress shirt, khaki chinos, and brown loafers with white no-show socks

Bumming around on summer vacation, perhaps doing a bit of sightseeing? Shorts and a T-shirt will help you avoid becoming overheated.

white/blue t-shirt, beige shorts, and tan loafers with no-show socks

In this case, socks will look funky, so opt for no-show socks and the sockless look.

Why Should Men Always Wear Socks with Loafers

Have you ever tried on a pair of leather shoes while barefoot? Then you know how uncomfortable that feeling of leather against bare skin is.

But more than that, it can be downright bad for your foot and the shoe. Leather isn’t breathable, so it causes your foot to sweat.

suit pants, loafers, and no socks

This creates perfect conditions for fungus to grow, which can lead to infections. And besides, it just makes your feet smell terrible.

But that sweat is also awful for the leather. Moisture and leather don’t mix, so the leather will warp in time, causing your loafers to look awkward and not even fit you well.

That’s when no-show socks are the perfect choice.

pairing no-show socks with loafers

They are like invisible socks; they sit so low on your foot that nobody will ever even know you’re wearing them.

However, you’ll still reap all the benefits of having socks on.

Alexander Stoicoff

Author: Alexander Stoicoff

Hi, I’m Alex, and I’ve studied and specialized in styling in Rome. Through my writing, I want to help men dress well and learn the purpose and significance of suits and other formal attire. My final goal is to make men more confident in their wardrobe choice and life in general.