The 5 Best Dress Socks For Men [An Elevated Accessory]

September 27, 2022
by Dan Skewes
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You may not have a fancy wedding to go to or a formal business meeting, but dress socks have become the standard accessory for many men.

These socks aren't made of uncomfortable material anymore as they used to be in the past. Instead, today they feel soft on your skin, together with the perfect fit.

And it's this extra comfort that has made dress socks more popular than ever. You can wear them with almost anything, from a swanky tuxedo to your favorite tracksuit. Dress socks always look the part.

We take a closer look at the 5 best dress socks for men, and what makes them unique.

And if you are considering buying a pair of dress socks, then check out our buying guide below to see what you need to consider when purchasing the perfect pair of socks for your feet.

Best Dress Socks For Men

When it comes to dress socks, there is definitely not shortage but it's important to keep quality in mind.

A good quality pair of dress socks will not only fit well on your feet ,but they will also feel comfortable.

We tested a large number of socks over some time, and here is our top selection.

Gold Toe Flat Knit Socks

Gold Toe Men's Micro Flat Knit Crew Socks, 3-Pairs

When you start looking for dress socks, these flat knit dress socks from Gold Toe are the first on the list, also because they are so widely available online and in stores.

One reason for their popularity may also be the price as they are one of the cheapest we tried.

You can get these dress socks in a range of different lengths. In our test, we found that the mid-calf length was surprisingly good.

Manufactured in China, these dress socks are a mix of combed cotton, spandex and nylon. The large amount of cotton material in these socks makes them feel very soft and natural.

These socks do not exactly have tanelegant look that you may want to wear with a suit, but they are perfectly fine for everyday wear.

Pros

  • Stay up well: With the socks we tested, they stayed up very well, and even after a few washes, the elastic on the cuffs didn't wear.
  • No pilling: We washed these socks a couple of times and, frankly, we were surprised that they didn't show any signs of pilling.
  • Not ssee-through Many cheap socks are often so loosely woven that you can see through them. This is not the case with this pair.

Cons

  • Look dull after wash: While they do not leak coloring into the wash, these socks can look a bit dull after you washed them for the first time.
  • Long drying time: Although cotton is a natural material, it can keep some of the moisture in, which means you may end up with sweaty feet after wearing the socks for longer.

You can buy the Gold Toe Flat Knit Dress Socks on Amazon.

Buttoned Down Pima Cotton Socks

Buttoned Down Men's 3-Pack Pima Cotton Dress Socks, Camel, 12-16

Also made in China, these Pima cotton socks come in at a slightly higher price point than the Gold Toe socks.

Although these dress socks had some very positive reviews, we found that despite the combination of nylon, polyester, cotton and elastane looked good on paper, these socks simply didn't live up to our expectations.

They felt very flimsy and fragile when taking out of the package, and they didn't do any better after the first wear and wash.

Although they are somewhat cheaper than the better quality socks and you can choose from a wider selection of colors, these socks may be a better choice for casual wear.

Pros

  • Fast drying: The Pima socks dry relatively quickly, which could be an advantage when trying to avoid sweaty feet
  • Great choice of colors: Many men's socks are made in just black or navy blue, but these socks come in a range of colors and mix-and-match packs.
  • Cheap: One of the cheapest dress socks available.

Cons

  • Loose weave: They feel quite flimsy, and when wearing them, you can feel how thin they are.
  • Transparent: The thin and loose weave means that in parts, you can see through the socks around the heels, ankles and calves.

You can buy the Pima Cotton Socks on Amazon.

Zara Ribbed Dress Socks

When we looked at reviews for these socks, there was somewhat of a mixed picture,but we decided to give the ribbed socks from Zara a try.

Made in India, these dress socks are a simple combination of 35% nylon and 65% cotton.

This makes them very soft to the touch, and they also feel a little more luxurious than many other socks in the same price bracket.

The weave is relatively dense, so even when you stretch them, there are no areas where you can see through the material.

With the high amount of nylon in these dress socks, we had expected the sheen to be a little bright, but surprisingly they look very natural.

Our overall impression of Zara's men's socks is that they are well made but the quality can be a little hit and miss sometimes.

However, our biggest issue was with the length and the weak elastic band, which didn't hold up enough.

Pros

  • Comfortable fit: The high cotton content means that Zara's ribbed socks feel soft and comfortable to wear.
  • Dense weave: The thicker weave creates a good-quality pair of socks without see-through patches.
  • No color fading: When we washed these socks for the first time, we couldn't see signs of color fading or mature pilling.

Cons

  • Too short: As the socks are only available in one length, we found that the regular mid-calf height was a little short.
  • Weak elastic: As the socks are very lightweight and the elastic band doesn't sit snug on your calves, you will find that they will roll down a little.

You can buy these ribbed dress socks from Zara.

Boardroom Merino Socks

Boardroom Socks Men's Over the Calf Merino Wool Patterned Dress Socks (Black with Blue Squares)

While all the other socks in our test were made abroad, these merino socks from Boardroom are made in the USA.

If you have ever worn a merino top or merino thermals, you will know all about the amazing benefits that this material comes with.

It is one of the best materials to use for socks, mainly for its excellent moisture wicking performance.

These socks from Boardroom Socks are a blend of merino wool, spandex and nylon. This allows the socks to be flexible while providing perfect temperature control.

And as they are well priced, we feel these socks are great value for money, compared to many other cotton socks.

Pros

  • All the excellent benefits of merino: Merino comes with some ideal benefits for socks, including moisture wicking, temperature control and the prevention of bad odors.
  • Different colors and lengths: With Boardroom Socks fully focused on sock design, they offer a large range of colors and different lengths.
  • Dense weave: The thick weave makes these socks feel very comfortable and it reflects their excellent quality.

Cons

  • Price: Although we think that there is value for money with these socks, the price is almost double to that of cotton socks.

You can buy the Boardroom Dress Socks directly from Boardroom Socks.

Drake's Gentlemen's Light Wool Socks

Drake Men's Merino Wool Seamless Lightweight Crew Boot 2 Pair Pack, Black, Large

You may have heard of the name Drake's before but not their socks. They are well known for their high quality ties, but they also make accessories and garments in their stores.

Made in Italy (a country known for high quality fashion manufacturing), Drake's socks are a league up from the other socks in our test.

They contain a high amount of merino wool, combined with a quarter nylon. When you take these socks out of the box, you can already feel their excellent quality!

With the higher amount of merino, these dress socks are not cheap but we find they are definitely worth every cent. And they would make an excellent gift for a special man in your life.

Alternatively, you can also just keep them for yourself for a very special occasion.

Pros

  • Super soft: These socks are extremely soft, and they feel super comfortable on the feet.
  • Good balance between density and thickness: Dress socks shouldn't be too thick to make sure that you do not sweat in them, but they also shouldn't be flimsy. Drake's socks seem to find a perfect harmony between the two.
  • Invisible closure seam: You can see good quality in the detail, and this shows in these dress socks from Drake where the toe closures have been seamless closed.

Cons

  • Over-the-calf-length is too long: We tried the length that was supposed to fit over the calf but somehow they ended up being almost knee height.
  • Confusing sizing: Make sure that you read their specific sock size guide to find the right length for you.
  • Expensive: Although the high merino content and the great design do justify the price, it is still much higher than some other merino socks.

You can buy these light wool socks directly from Drake's.

Buying Guide: Dress Socks For Men

For most of us, socks are a forgotten accessory that we wear every day but this doesn't have to mean that we should wear any type of socks.

Gone are the days when men had to wear flimsy, cheap throw-away socks that lasted only one wash.

Socks for today's man are not just better in quality but they also feel much more comfortable.

But what do you need to look out for when buying dress socks? Let's find out!

Comfort Is Key

The first on our list, comfort should always be high priority. While dress socks are naturally not cushioned, they should feel soft and comfortable to wear for a longer time.

The socks should stay up and fit snugly to your calves but they also shouldn't be too tight. Make sure that you look out for any seams around the heel or the toe.

Although small, visible seams do not appear to be a big issue, when you spend a considerable time in your socks, you will feel them.

In addition, dress socks made from the right material, such as merino wool, will also prevent your feet from sweating.

Thickness Isn't Always Quality

Often we associate the thickness of our garments with a better quality, but this isn't always the case, especially with dress socks.

Some socks feel more "fluffy". This fluffiness disappears usually after the first wash, and you are then left with a thinly woven pair of socks.

On the other hand, good quality socks have a thick and dense weave which does not show any see-through spots when you stretch the fabric.

High-Quality Materials

Dress socks are typically made of a blend of different materials, and the comfort of socks often depends on the right blend of these fabrics.

You should look for a large amount of natural fibers in your socks, such as merino or cotton, as they are much better for sweat absorption and temperature regulation.

Even just a small percentage of synthetic fibers in the socks can make a big difference to their performance, including how well they wick moisture.

Here are some of the most popular sock fabrics:

Merino Wool

Derived from merino sheep, this wool has some many positive benefits when used for different accessories and clothes. It is moisture-wicking as well as odor resistant.

Merino also feels extremely comfortable against your skin.

Cotton

Cotton is typically lightweight and breathable which makes it the ideal choice for light accessories, such as socks.

As cotton doesn't stretch very well, it is often combined with spandex to give the socks more flexibility.

Spandex

Spandex is typically used in sports gear and gym wear but it is also used in different types of socks.

It allows socks to be flexible with some stretch while also fitting snugly to your feet.

Flexibility

Socks should sit snugly to your feet, and they should feel like a second skin. Good quality socks should support your calf movement and they should stay up without moving.

Saying this, this depends very much on the length of the socks as well.

If you choose shorter socks, then they won't stay up for too long, but if you opt for over-the-calf socks, then you can expect them to fit perfectly for the whole day.

Moisture-Wicking

Unlike socks in the past, our modern socks are often designed with comfort in mind. One way to keep your feet feel relaxed is when they are dry.

That's why, moisture-wicking is an essential feature when it comes to socks. This is especially important when you tend to sweat a little more.

The sweat cannot just result in painful blisters but it is also a breeding ground for bacteria and fungal infections.

Moisture-wicking materials, such as merino wool, pull any moisture or sweat away from the skin which helps your feet to stay dry for longer.

Odor Absorption

Together with the moisture wicking features, sock makers started to add silver into their materials. This neutralizes odor and keeps your feet fresh.

Sock Padding

While we said above that dress socks aren't usually the type of socks that contain cushioning, you should still look out for some padding features, such as a reinforced toe, footbed or heel.

This will make wearing the socks much more comfortable.

Length

Another important factor to consider when choosing the right pair of dress socks for you is the length.

Most dress socks come in two length: over-the-calf and mid-calf.

Over-the-calf socks are typically considered to be more formal, and their biggest advantage is that they do not slip down. Plus, there won't be any exposed skin when your pant leg slides up a bit.

On the other hand, mid-calf socks are a little shorter, but they still sit higher than classic crew socks. This means you can wear them for longer making them ideal for casual wear.

Color

Matching your socks with your suit or everyday outfit is the best way to create an individual style.

You can match your socks with almost any part of your outfit, including your shoes, tie, pants or shirt.

Depending on your personal preferences, you can either go for a color that compliments your look. Alternatively, you can also opt for a sock color that contrasts.

Additionally, patterned socks have also become a very popular trend. However, the right choice color or pattern depends on your personality as well as the occasion.

Saying this, many dress that we looked at were usually only available in darker colors or classic beige/white.

But if you like your bright pink socks with little bulldogs on, then we are sure you will definitely find them online.

Conclusion

Dress socks are often considered to be part of a formal outfit but they have also become more and more casual over recent years.

There is a large choice of dress socks available, varying in quality and price. You just have to find the right one that matches your outfit and your personality.

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