Dress Socks Types

What makes socks dressy?

best dress socks

Dress Socks…

…are made of thin fabric, such as wool, cashmere, silk, or very thin cotton.

…come in dark solid shades, like black or brown or muted patterns in coordinating colors with the pant.

…come in different weaves: plain (not texture), ribbed (woven with raised, vertical ribs), and cable (raised ribs that intertwine).

…are usually worn with suits or dress pants.

…are typically taller than the ankle, so the bare leg is not exposed when seated.

Casual Socks…

…are typically made of thicker material, such as cotton.

…come in louder patterns, like argyle and polka dots, and myriad colors.

…are worn in a wide range of situations, from slacks to jeans.

…can be calf, ankle, or invisible in length.

Women’s Hosiery…

…is usually made from thin, stretchy materials like Lycra, spandex, nylon, and sometimes silk and wool.

…come in many varieties such as printed, opaque, colored, fish net, control top, and textured.

…is worn with dresses and skirts of all lengths.

…is often considered more of a fashion accessory than dress and casual sock.

Types of Dress Socks

socks for workTrouser Dress Socks

These typically extend up to around the calf area, or just below the knee, depending on the wearer’s height. These dress socks are usually made from lighter fabrics, making them thin and delicate. Trouser dress socks can be worn by both men and women.

knee high dress socksKnee High Dress Socks

These look like pantyhose but are cut off at the knee. They are much thinner and dressier than trouser dress socks and are usually worn by women. They come in black, brown, navy, grey, or skin color.


These come in thinner, lighter fabrics, and reach just past the heel in order to stay concealed inside the shoe. These “no-show” socks are worn by both men and women, and work to keep feet dry, decrease foot odor, and prolong the life of your shoes.


What clothing looks best with your dress socks? Read about How to Wear Dress Socks.