Some men will look at the summer as a time to remove the accessory shackles and discard the tie and socks in favour of a more liberated formality. During warmer months you want to get as much air to your feet as possible. This will not only help you feel cooler but also help to alleviate any unwanted smells. The result of looking for more breathability is normally to reach for a men’s loafer.
But when is it the right time to lose the socks? I mean, you can go sockless with boat shoes but what about loafers? The low cut of the shoe can offer a summer style conundrum. A leather penny or tasselled style can still have a place in your more formal work outfit. Whilst a suede alternative can almost definitely always replace your laced up casual offering.
Yes, the rise of the ‘mankle’ over recent seasons has seen more and more men going sockless with their suits. There is a time and place for going sockless and work is not one. Keep your socks on and keep them plain, preferably in a neutral colour palette. This is the easiest way for men to incorporate loafers without scaring women with a flash of your unsightly ankle. That is if the smell doesn’t get to them first.
It is perfectly acceptable to wear socks with leather loafers and in fact I would highly recommend it. A bright colour or pattern is only going to create a sartorial minefield for men. I’m not saying it can’t be done but it can be tricky as there needs to be a sense of understated class associated with it. Navy blue, burgundy or grey tones that work well with both your suit and the shoes are a safe passage for most men.
Sam Brady is a menswear expert, having worked in or around the field for the past 14 years. He has built up a keen eye for detail when it comes to the production of clothing, and is happy showcasing the craftsmanship of Savile Row and Jermyn St. But he understands the need for an interchangeable modern man’s wardrobe that mixes high street and luxury clothing.