Shopping for the best men’s dress socks at a time like this—when you still might not have an office to go to everyday—probably isn’t high on your priority list. In 2023, though, the best men’s dress socks are actually simply the best men’s socks, period. They’re no longer made of skimpy, itchy fabrics that’ll fall down around your ankles and tear at the heels after a heavy day of walking. Instead, today’s dress socks are cut from materials with all the high-quality durability, exceptional breathability, and super-soft goodness of fresh hotel linens. They’re engineered to feel as cushion-y as your sport socks and stay up on your calves all day without suffocating them completely. They just plain feel good on your feet, whether you’re throwing on loafers on your way out the door or padding around the house in slippers.
And while they say you can judge a man by his shoes, the socks you wear let everyone (your boss, your Hinge date, your parents-in-law, the barista, everyone) know you didn’t just buy fancy oxfords—you have your shit together. The right dress socks will help you look proper, show your respects, nail the job interview, stay cool in the summer, and warm in the winter.
But what makes them the best? We’re done with the whimsical ones that look like airport carpeting. Nothing cutesy, nothing argyle (with a few exceptions), nothing “novelty.” No, you need dress socks in solid colors and subtle patterns that work under a cuffed tweed trouser, a stiff pair of jeans, and wild patterned pants. And they should make you feet feel fantastic, even after 12 hours spent cooped up in heavy leather brogues. All 25 of these dress socks—from fancy French heritage hosiery to cheap and cheerful basics—check every box.
The Best Dress Socks Shopping Guide
The Best All-Around Dress Socks
So, you might not be visiting all that many airports at the moment. But the logic behind Falke’s signature Airport socks remains sound all the same. They’re built from a supremely versatile blend of wool, cotton, polymide, and elastane that’s engineered to keep your lower extremities temperate, cushioned, and comfortable—even through a harrowing day of air travel. When you don’t have a five-hour layover to suffer through, though, these densely knit numbers will treat your tired dogs right, and the buckets of available colors and very respectable sub-$30 price tag will ensure your fits and wallet are equally satisfied.
The Best Dress Socks Even Your Old Man Will Appreciate
Man, you’ve probably thought to yourself at one point or another, spying a gnarly toe peeking out from a hole in socks you bought a month ago: they really don’t make ’em like they used to. Actually, they do—at Pantherella, at least. The UK-based hosiery specialists have been churning out quality dress socks for close to a century, leaning on top-shelf fabrics—like the cashmere-nylon blend they use here—to render exquisite accessories of the highest order. This trio of can’t-miss options probably won’t turn any heads at the office, but they will make your dad so proud he’ll buy a stack, too. And that’s way more important, right?
The Best Stench-Battling Dress Socks
Haunted by your end-of-day foot stink? Soured relationships with friends and family over your sour-scented hooves? It’s time to bring in the big guns. Mack Weldon’s extra breathable dress socks are laced with odor-assaulting silver threads that help to keep those unwanted aromas at bay. (And they’ll look pretty killer peeking out beneath a pair of new-age dress pants, too.)
The Best Workhorse Dress Socks
On your feet all day? Grab Gold Toe’s Harrington crew socks. No, they’re not as refined as the luxury brands above, but they deliver the all-business vibes of dressy ribbed socks with built-in cushioning reminiscent of your favorite athletic socks’. Plus, at less than $4 a pair, you can afford to buy your Gold Toes by the dozen.
The Best Get-Out-of-Your-Comfort-Zone Dress Socks
Want to experiment a little with your socks? Start with Uniqlo. Their ribbed dress socks are shockingly well made (tightly woven, comfortably padded, super-saturated in color) for a low, low price. Plus, they come in nearly every hue you can imagine. Get teal! And eggplant! Neon pink? They’ll look good against gray or navy pants! If a color isn’t working, you’re only out a few bucks.
The Best Winterized Dress Socks
If you’re reading this during the height of winter, you already know the spiel. Every morning, you find yourself debating just how warm you need your socks to be—you want them to keep your feet from trembling at the faintest gust of wind, sure, but you also don’t want them to get so sweaty they start swimming in your shoes. So today we’re going to clue you in on a little secret: the solution to your perennial cold-weather conundrum is a pair of wool-blend socks that splits the difference. Anonymous Ism’s are made from an ultra-soft wool-acrylic mix that incorporates a just a hint of nylon for extra stretch, so you can enjoy the fabric’s warming benefits minus any scratchiness. The technical specs are impressive enough, but the moody color gradient is a perfect way to add a little understated pop to your office looks, too.
The Best Dress Socks to Impress Your Achingly Hip Coworkers
We know what you’re thinking: Argyle socks…in 2023? What gives, GQ?! But bear with us here for a moment, because these aren’t just any old argyle socks—and they’re definitely not the type of fuddy-duddy hosiery that conjures images of mahogany interiors and the WASPy accoutrement of the country club set. These are argyle socks from Marni, for god’s sake, which means they come drenched in designer Francesco Risso’s madcap hues, down to the subtly-freaked pattern and screaming shade of lemon meringue yellow. Mostly, though, they’re just a really fun take on an erstwhile office staple that’ll look equally good under pressed chinos or cuffed, light-wash jeans. In corporate life, as in socks, the old guard isn’t always entirely off-base—but it could definitely benefit from a fresh perspective.
Plus 18 More Dress Socks We Love