Every other week, Andrew Preston will share his views on the world of fashion. He hopes that by reading this, chicks will dig you more.

Since today is the Fourth of July, I am almost certain that the question on everybody's mind is: "What socks should I wear with tomorrow's outfit?"

Matching the proper socks to your daily outfit is a pretty basic step in becoming a fashionable guy. Some of the 'rules' I am going to cover will seem very simple, but I assure you, people screw it up everyday. I see these people. I write their names down. Gianni Versace turns them down at the suede gates of Fashion Heaven. They will be forced to live the unstylish afterlife.

So let's get into it.

There are two basic schools of socks: matching to the pants, and matching to the shirt.

The matching to the pant idea is simple. If you are wearing jeans, wear a nice set of blue socks. Gap khakis - tan socks. Black dress slacks - black dress socks. Scottish Tartan Kilt - those funny-ass Scottish bootie thingies with the little tassels at the top. You get the idea. This technique is probably best for more casual events.

One exception to this rule: If you are wearing a white shirt with long pants, do not wear white socks. Unless you are the understudy for Diesel at the local community theatre's production of West Side Story, you shouldn't be wearing white socks with long pants. "What about white socks with jeans" you say? I say this: Are you still in high school? I'll let you decide. White socks with shorts, no problem. Nothing is a better vehicle to show off the Costco 18-pack of gray-toed white socks than a nice pair of shorts.

This brings us to the other cardinal sock rule, please repeat after me: UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL I EVER WEAR DARK SOCKS WITH SHORTS. I mean c'mon guys. You think your legs are white now? Try wrapping the ends of them is some black cotton. You'll look like a chocolate dipped macaroon. Really, the "dark sock with shorts" thing is a big problem. It instantly makes you look disheveled and downright lame. You owe it to yourself to not look like a dumb-ass. Wear the white socks dude, please.

Ok, back to sock matching...

Personally, I prefer the matching to the shirt idea. I find this to be a little more adventurous, more "Bling Bling-ey" if you will. When you pick out the shirt for the day, whether it be the crazy purple pinstripe number that I often wear, or the $4.99 colored tee, try to wear the socks that match the shirt. If the match is perfect, when you cross your legs in that meeting, and everyone sees your fancy socks matching your fancy shirt, the men will instantly hate you, and the women will want to buy you lunch. (Or at least start bringing you those crazy Asian iced teas with the big pearl balls at the bottom.)

What's that? You don't have blue socks? You don't have tan or black socks? If you lack these basic colors of socks, either go buy them at your local Ross, or just stop reading and come to grips with the fact that you are a cretin. Seriously, black, blue, and tan are pretty basic, and should be in every man's wardrobe. Obviously, the more sock options you get, the more effective your fashion arsenal will be. Arm thyself cougar, it's an ugly world out there. If you feel fancy, get some socks with patterns!

That is all. I have to go sleep naked now.

Andrew Preston

Discuss this and more in the Fanboy forums.

Fashion:The Basics by Andrew Preston (Updated 6-14-01, 4:23 PM PST)
It's a good place to start. Fingers and toes not required.

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