How to choose socks to match your suit [ What are the different values between Japan and the West?


How to choose socks to match your suit [ What are the different values between Japan and the West?

The selection of socks tends to be a distraction when dressing for a suit. Even if you are particular about your suit, shirt, necktie, and shoes, the entire style can be compromised just by neglecting socks. In this issue, we will introduce the value of socks, which differs between Japan and the West, and the key points for choosing socks to match your suit, which are often neglected.

Socks” are often despised in Japan. Is there a problem with the naming?

As the name “socks” suggests, for the Japanese, socks are “underwear for shoes. It is probably inevitable that socks are considered “OK” as long as they do not look shabby when you take them off in a Japanese inn, ryotei (Japanese-style restaurant), or izakaya (Japanese-style bar), and they do not have holes in the toes or smell bad. Unlike in other countries, shoes are often taken off in Japan, and therefore, functional aspects such as deodorant and breathability are pursued, which is also unique to Japan.


The significance of socks differs between Japan and other countries. And the history of socks playing a leading role in the West!

In other countries, socks are treated as a fashion item. As the names “socks,” “hose,” and “stockings” suggest, socks are completely separate from shoes. For example, in the 1920s, plus-fours (short pants with a four-inch longer knicker hem) and long hose were popular. Many styles were seen that gave the socks a leading role by incorporating argyle patterns and other patterns. Incidentally, this style originated from golfers’ outfits and is known as the origin of the “sports mix” style.

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In the West, socks have evolved over a long period of time in the suit culture, taking turns playing the leading and supporting roles, with highly decorative leather shoes becoming popular and socks becoming simple, and simple leather shoes becoming the standard as socks became more flashy. In contrast, socks for the Japanese started as a supporting role that came along with suits and leather shoes after the Meiji Restoration. The history of socks in Japan and in the West shows why the attitude toward socks is different from that in the West.


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