White Socks: Not Just For Old Men


Reposting this in light of a comment on our previous post “The Chase And The Catch,” regarding white socks being dorky.

No personal opinion on the matter, as I believe it depends primarily on whether or not the wearer is a dork.  — CC





1950s Teenage Couple Playing Hi-Fi Records On Console Phonograph In Living Room


Vassar college 1.jpg weejuns



32 Comments on "White Socks: Not Just For Old Men"

  1. Worried Man | October 8, 2014 at 10:20 am |

    I love creamy Wigwams with the right casual outfit. A very “boom years” practice.

  2. “Crew socks”, shouldn’t this have been mentioned in the rowng thread? 😉

  3. Worried Man | October 8, 2014 at 10:45 am |

    Operative word there is “creamy”, not white.

  4. Count me as a cream crew sock fan.

  5. Wore Wigwams for ten years straight, loved ’em. Then the look died seemingly overnight, and I obeyed like the perfect citizen I am. Didn’t think about it for 40 years. This entry should recall fond memories, but alas, a terrible image keeps floating in, causing pain and contempt: Letterman! The worst dressed man on TV, primarily because he thinks he’s the best!

  6. Bags' Groove | October 8, 2014 at 3:42 pm |

    Gene Kelly’s white socks and brown loafers. No one did it better.

  7. Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire had good reason to draw attention to their feet, and while Astaire didn’t wear white socks, he did wear contrasting laces and lots of spectator shoes.

    The Blues Brothers also wore white socks.

  8. Wigwam? I thought they only made hunting and ski socks. In Kansas City back in the day, it was the Byford wool cream crew with burgundy and navy top stripes.

    My ex-wife was a coxswain or was it a cock…..? Gee, I’m getting old, my mind wanders.

  9. MAC, are you from KC? Me too!

  10. Worried Man | October 9, 2014 at 4:56 pm |

    I reach for the Wigwam model 625 cream crews.

  11. Joey
    Since 1965.

  12. Vern Trotter | October 10, 2014 at 6:11 am |

    The old Wigwams from the 50s would turn a rust color after being washed with bleach. Made them really cool!

  13. I wore white socks all through my grade and high school years. My mother thought white socks were more healthy than color socks. True or not, I was the only kid in public school wearing white socks, and consequently, I was ostracized quite a bit.

    My algebra teacher (also a basketball coach and former college jock, or jerk) wore white socks due to some foot malady. (Like Al Bundy, maybe a problem with foot odor.)

    Haven’t worn white socks, except for tennis since. Now, argyles are my sock of choice. Never looked back.

  14. White / light cream socks, like natural waist trousers and high water khakis or jeans, definitely have nerd connotations at this point in time. You’ve got to be really careful if you choose to dabble in these particular areas that were once prevalent amongst the more youthful and collegiate adherents of the look. But it’s completely fine, on the other hand, to wear white athletic socks if the rest of your outfit also looks like garbage – say, some cargo shorts, slippers, and a graphic tee. Then you’re all set for a day at Disney World without anyone blinking an eye.

  15. I do not even remember Wigwams. We wore Adler.
    The French have already covered this topic.

  16. Re: “People on the forums use “trad” a lot, which has its origins in Japan.”


    Is this really so? Did we borrow the term “Trad” from the Japanese?

  17. I have not read your previous post but you have told a little bit about that post, that was about light colored socks. I want to read this. can you tell me that how is it possible? The topic of this post is really very interesting and useful that white colored socks are not only for old men. Most people think so and they do not wear white socks but some dresses in that sense which give attractive look only with white socks.

  18. Daniel Ippolito | February 11, 2020 at 3:58 pm |

    There is quite a bit of difference between cream-colored dress socks with loafers and white crew socks with loafers; the former was embraced by Cary Grant and can look good if worn with panache; the latter not so much.

  19. Charlottesville | February 11, 2020 at 4:47 pm |

    Daniel – On this, we agree. On the very rare occasions when I mix “white” socks with penny loafers, I wear Wigwam brand, which start as pale cream age into a deeper cream over several washings. And, as MAC says above, Byford makes a good looking version in cream as well as pale gray and yellow, all of which look great with loafers. If I recall correctly, Cary Grant wore light grey socks with loafers in the picnic scene in To Catch a Thief. Grace Kelly seemed pleased, and no doubt it was the socks that did it.

  20. I play golf with a pal that played college basketball with the algebra teacher I mentioned above. It seems he wore white socks due to an allergy to wool. In fact, according to my pal, the teacher got a medical discharge from the US Army, due to the so called “allergy.”

    Makes no sense. Cotton or synthetic socks come in all colors and textures.

  21. My roper boots eliminate concerns about sock colors — or even whether they match (the eternal black and navy problem). Just sayin’, as the kids today say.

    Kidding of course. I don’t wear white socks with my penny loafers, but I sometimes do with my deck shoes in the winter. Looks just fine, even better if they’re thick and textured as are many of the examples above.

  22. “I don’t always wear socks, but when I do, I prefer white woolly WigWams.
    Stay fluffy my friends.”
    The most mildly interesting man in the world

  23. I know that the cream-Wigwams-with-loafers is ne plus ultra Trad, but to me that combo has always looked not dorky, but somewhat feminine.

  24. Old School Tie | February 12, 2020 at 10:36 am |

    What in the name of God is that guy wearing on his feet? The guy sifting through records…

  25. Preston Salman | February 12, 2020 at 10:49 am |

    @Old School Tie:
    Thanks for drawing our attention to those snazzy square toe loafers.
    Gotta get myself a pair.

  26. This fellow in the photo is quite reminiscent of the most ivy guy on Mad Men, the governor’s right hand man, Henry Francis. Cannot agree with his pursuing another man’s wife, but when it came to trad, Henry was the guy. That scene of his mowing the yard in a white T shirt, khakis and leather shoes. You’d never see that in today’s disgusting cargo short world.

  27. Charlottesville | February 13, 2020 at 10:29 am |

    JDV – Believe it or not, my father mowed the grass (when not delegating the job to one of his sons) wearing a tie. Except on vacations and occasional holidays, he wore a tie almost every day up until he retired in his 80s, much like the title character in John Prine’s song, “Grandpa was a Carpenter”:

    Grandpa wore his suit to dinner
    Nearly every day
    No particular reason
    He just dressed that way.

    I think I inherited some of that from him.

  28. Arthur McLean | February 17, 2020 at 12:11 pm |

    Everyone wore white socks at (1959-1962) Lawrenceville, even to Sunday church where the dress code was strict, Suit (matching coat and trousers) white shirt (nurse white) without any kind of a pattern, and of course a tie. But those white socks…

  29. White socks are an absolute no no unless one is playing tennis.

  30. Jim,

    What a wonderful comment! It gives away your English point of view on White socks. Great to see you post and your point of view.
    American, you ain’t! but it’s great to hear your POV. I’d love to have you try a pair of all wool Wigwams, then tell us what you think. While Englishmen and American guys may not agree, we ought to agree or disagree on an apples to apples comparison. Thanks for your post!

  31. Kristoffer | May 22, 2021 at 3:13 am |

    Who makes white socks today? Wigwam 625´s is constant sold out. Other options appreciated.

  32. I can usually tell the age groups by their responses but if you’re 65+,the go to socks would be Gold Cups (Burlington) usually coordinated with your shirt(Gant) color.

Comments are closed.