How many socks should a guy have?

Published by Chuck Boylan on

How many socks should a guy own?

Can you imagine life without socks? No? Well, we all agree that socks are one of the foundations of any stylish outfit. But how many pairs of socks should a guy own? Do we agree on that? On a unanimous number of course? It looks unlikely because different guys have different needs. But can we all agree on a minimum number? Well, in this case, we probably can agree on a minimum number of socks every guy should own. In this article, we’ll come up with the number of socks every guy should own, regardless of his personal style and way of dressing. The number of pairs of socks you should own depends on some variables. Here are some variables that define how many pairs of socks should a guy own. 

  1. Your occupation: It doesn’t matter what line of work you are in, you need some pairs of socks, the only thing that will differ is the type of socks. Officegoers will need more of what we call formal or corporate socks, the classic mid-calf ones. While others might prefer the ones that suit their day-to-day routines. 
  2. Your personal style: If smart casual is your go-to style you’ll need more of those minimalist black or white socks, your collection will have plenty of no-show and low-cut ankle socks. If you are into the bad boy street style thing, your collection will have more of those sturdier boot socks to wear with leather boots. 
  3. Your pastimes and hobbies: If you are an outgoing type and engage in activities like hiking and camping, you will need more athletic socks.  The same is true if you are the working-out and gym-going type. If you often frequent resorts and tropical beaches you’ll need more of those ankle socks and no-show socks. 
  4. Your laundry cycle: The number of socks you’ll have to own will also depend on how frequently you do the laundry. If you are a guy who has no problem doing the laundry twice a week, you can manage with the fewest number of socks. 
  5. Quality of socks: If you buy high-quality stuff, you may need fewer of them in your closet for a longer period of time.
  6. The climate of the place where you live:  Humans are creatures of their climate, and the number and the types of socks you’ll have to own will depend on the climate you live in.

Now without further ado, we are unveiling the magic number…

The answer:13 pairs of socks:

Every guy must own 13 pairs of socks. This verdict applies to all, considering all the above-mentioned variables and constants, it’s the minimum number of socks every guy should own.  Whether you live your life like a fashionista or you are just an average Joe fulfilling his basic needs, this number will work for you anyways. It’s the minimalist’s choice! 

Which 13 pairs of socks should a guy own? 

How many socks should a guy own?

Now we are going to let you have a look at the details of the answer, the details of the 13 pairs an average guy must have in his closet at all times!

  1. 3 mid-calf length pairs of regular dress socks : 3 pairs of regular dress socks should be present in every man’s closet. These should be the best ones because you will be using them in dressed-up formal settings. Your regular dress socks should be in solid colors and subtle patterns, nothing too bright and loud. Cotton blend, wool, silk, or cashmere are some of the materials best dress socks are made from. You can choose two pairs of formal socks in rib-knit patterns and with strategic cushioning to keep your lower extremities well protected during the colder days of winter. 
  2. Two pairs of white ankle socks: Sneakers, especially the trendy white ones, are one of the most versatile footwear options for men. And white ankle socks are the best option to wear with them, almost anyone can effortlessly pull off white ankle socks. Cotton and cotton blends are the best materials for being practical and breathable. Cashmere is a more luxe option, it’s a bit pricey but incredibly soft, comfy, breathable, and moisture-wicking. You will need these white cut-off socks with your casual outfits, like denim or chinos with sneakers, you’ll also need them with some of the most stylish smart casual outfits, for example, some smart casual suits without ties outfits
  3. Two pairs of black or grey ankle socks: Like white ankle socks you need to own two pairs of black or grey ankle socks. You’ll wear them with white sneakers, to give the white socks a break, and with any other casual pair of shoes, you’ll wear in summer. These low-cut socks or ankle socks are now one of the men’s staples every guy should own. Two pairs of neat black ankle socks are to be used with sneakers, loafers, and other casual boots. White sneakers are one of the must-have shoes for men, you’ll use these black socks when wearing these. 
  4. Two pairs of cotton athletic or sports socks: Two sturdy pairs of performance socks should be available to you in your closet for working out, running, outdoor activities, etc. These socks should be cushiony and soft, moisture-wicking, breathable, and of stretchable material. You will wear them to the gym, working out, and outdoor activities. Compression socks are the best option for you if you are into regular working out, these socks provide compression zones that help in blood flow.
  5. 2 pairs of no-show socks: Two pairs of no-socks or loafer socks are a must for you if you want to have a well-equipped closet.  You will be using them while wearing loafers, boat shoes, and some formal shoes. These socks exude casual chic vibes; this means they are not strictly formal. What’s the point in wearing socks that don’t show? They save your shoes and foot from sweating and subsequent foot stink and sticky and discolored insoles. Wearing a pair of no-show socks looks like going sockless, and this is the beauty of these super short socks. A nice pair of no-show socks should be durable, form-fitting, and slip-proof.
  6. Two pairs of thermal wool socks: You need them to keep your toes toasty during the coldest days of the year. Porous wool provides top-notch insulation and does the job like nothing else. You can opt for quirky designs, and prints on your wool socks, these prints add the necessary pop of color to your otherwise bland winter outfits.


What color of socks should guys opt for?

For formal wear, you should opt for crew-length socks in solid colors and subtle patterns. Among colors, earthy tones will work best with every formal outfit. When it comes to sneaker socks ( ankle socks) there’s nothing like the color white or black but the color white is the undisputed king. Light colors like stone, accrue, and light grey is great for casual socks if you pay some attention to matching them with the rest of your outfit. 

How many socks should a minimalist own?

A bare minimum of 13 pairs of socks will suffice any man’s sartorial needs and the same is true for a minimalist. These thirteen pairs include 3 pairs of regular dress socks, 2 pairs of white ankle socks, 2 pairs of black ankle socks, 2 pairs of sports socks, two pairs of thermal socks for winter, and last but not least 2 pairs of no-show socks for loafers. This makes a total of 13 pairs and will be more than sufficient for your needs all year round. 

What socks should men have?

Every man should own at least 13 different pairs of socks. As described earlier, this list of 13 pairs includes 3 pairs of formal dress socks, 2 pairs of white ankle socks for sneakers, a couple of black sneaker socks, 2 pairs of sports socks, 2 pairs of thick woolen socks for winter and lastly 2 pairs of high-quality loafer socks.

How long should you own a pair of socks?

It depends on the quality of socks, frequency of use, and how you take care of them. A quality pair of socks remain usable for at least two years, after that they will start to give off lint. High-quality socks will remain with you for an even longer period of time. 


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