Generations ago, dressing up was more common. Even the definition of what dressy attire meant was vastly different. Outfits were often more formal, and people dressed for almost every occasion, whether that occasion was for church or a small gathering with friends. Today, things are different — people are much more casual, and a style of dress known as “athleisure” (athletic and leisure attire) has even become popular enough to warrant a definition. It’s normal to see someone leave the house in leggings or sweatpants, and normal to see them running errands in their beat-up sneakers. In other words, things are often less formal now. The more casual outfit environment goes for oft-forgot items, too, like socks.
What kind of socks are required for a dressy outfit? Is it the classic tall dress sock? Or, are socks even required for a formal function? Can crew socks replace the tall dress socks that are usually associated with formal events? Here is some insight on whether you can wear crew socks to your upcoming dressy function.
Crew socks are socks that come to about the halfway point of your calf — so they’re shorter than classic dress socks but much taller than ankle socks. Their tall enough height means they’re normally covered by long pants. These socks come in all different colors, fabric, and prints, and are normally ribbed to keep you extra cozy.
In today’s more casual society, crew socks can be dressy enough to wear with certain outfits and events. It’s really up to you if you feel like your crew socks are dressy enough to wear with a pair of dress pants, but if the pants are long enough and the socks are in good shape — as in no bleach stains or rips — then there is no real reason why they can’t be considered dressy.
Many people prefer crew socks because they are shorter than the classic dress socks and come in a variety of fabrics — you can choose wool crew socks for the cold months or cotton crew socks for the warm months. They’re also often a little more sturdy than classic dress socks, with fewer rips and tears popping up throughout an event. Additionally, it’s easier to wear dress socks throughout the year. You may only have a few events that require dress socks in a year, while crew socks can be worn throughout the year and to all kinds of events.
Long story short, you get more bang for your buck with a pair of crew socks.
If you’re looking for crew socks that offer a dressy vibe, opt for a pair in a color that matches your pants. So, if you’re wearing black dress pants, get a pair of black crew socks. Or, if you’re wearing our women's khaki pants, wear a pair of camel-colored socks. Planning on wearing dark green dress pants? Get yourself a pair of dark green crew socks. Crew socks look even more dressy when you choose to go for a monogrammed pair, which are available from Lands’ End in multiple colors such as black, grey, and navy.
And since crew socks come in so many different fabrics, ranging from thin fabrics to thicker fabrics, they can be worn with all different dress shoes, including loafers and boots, which pair well with dress pants.
Make sure you wear your crew socks with dress pants and not a too-casual pants option like blue jeans or leggings. The only way crew socks can look dressed up is with the right pants, too.
While crew socks can be dressy and are not really that noticeable, there are certain times when they should not be worn to a formal event. They should not be worn with a tux and are not the correct sock pairing for a fancy event like a wedding. On the other hand, they’re dressy enough for most office environments, bridal or baby showers, and meetings. So, during the most common dressed-up events, crew socks will fit the bill. But, be sure to go with your gut and ask friends and family what they plan on wearing to an event for a second opinion.
It’s simple to dress up your crew socks. They can be just as dressy as classic dress socks if you wear them with the right outfit and in the right shade. Don’t forget: wear them with dress pants and make sure the colors of the pants and the socks are similar shades.