I hope it is obvious to 90% of you gentlemen but we must help the 10% who still kill our eyes everyday. (It’s true that in the 60’s for example, we saw JF Kennedy and students wear their penny loafers with white socks. It’s been called the “Ivy (league)” touch ever since. Very American. Very casual. Their loafers were the first sneakers).
You don’t wear black suits do you? You shouldn’t. Unless you are in mourning or an undertaker of course. I hope you wear grey or dark blue suits with black shoes. A suit is a business outfit so keep it as simple as possible. These subtle little details will make a big difference though. Try to find grey/black or black/blue socks. I always try to find the right colour so there is no difference between my trousers and shoes. Try also to choose knee high socks. No one wants to see your hairy ankles. Please.
With your casual outfits dare and have fun: but that does not mean Mickey Mouse socks or The Simpsons. Ever.
I love to find the same textures or fabrics as my blazer, jacket or cardigan. Or the same colour as my tie or pocket square. Sometimes the same pattern as my twill jacket or vest/waistcoat.
Heavy fabrics like wool will keep your feet warm and cosy, lighter cottons will help you not to feel too hot and sweaty.
Socks are also a good way to protect your shoes and to make them last longer, of course.