The Complete Guide To Going Sockless

Written by the Fashionbean Editors

Written by the Fashionbean Editors

I found this great article written by the editors of fashionbean. Perfect for the summer and more importantly, great suggestions on how to go sockless.

You probably don’t need telling that being a man during the warmer months comes with its own unique set of style questions: do these sunglasses suit my face? How bad are my sweat patches? Can I, should I, unleash the mankle?

Swapping socks for skin is something that’s become increasingly commonplace since designers like Thom Browne took to dramatically cropping suit trousers back in the mid-to-late noughties. While many have been quick to call peak-mankle on the trend, it’s a look that only seems to rise in line with the mercury. So here’s everything you need to know about the spring/summer style phenomenon of going sockless.

The Mankle Manual

To mankle or not to mankle isn’t the only question that men face. Despite making the switch from fashion jargon to bona fide style move, the specifics of how to do it can still be confusing. Essentially, there are four key techniques for pulling off the look; each one best suited to a specific trouser type – be it jeans, chinos or smart trousers – and desired finish.

The Trouser Roll

A casual and unfussy option that works particularly well with chinos, the straightforward and subtly effective trouser roll involves folding the hem back on itself a few times to the desired height.

As a rule of thumb, the slimmer the trousers or jeans, the skinnier the cuff (fold) should be. But keep in mind that a wider roll leans more casual than a narrower roll and vice-versa.


The Pin Roll

Especially popular with sneakerheads, the pin roll delivers a slightly tighter, cuffed look. Achieving this involves pinching the excess fabric on the inside of the leg and folding it back against the ankle before rolling over onto itself to secure. An ideal option for styling jeans, not only does the elevated hem allow you to show off those new limited-edition kicks, it also helps stop the dye of raw denim bleeding onto your footwear. Win-win.


The Crop

As men’s appetite for ankle-baring started to grow, brands and retailers began doing the hard work for us by heightening hems. Step forward cropped trousers.

Different from turned-up trousers in that there is no noticeable fold, cropped styles are cut to hit just above the ankle with no need for rolling. However, beware of erring too cropped for risk of entering pedal pusher territory.



3 Non-Negotiable Rules For Going Sockless

Get The Cut Right

When looking for the right cut of trousers, the length is a given (they should finish at or just above the ankle) but also, given the fairly recent trend for wide-leg and looser pleated trousers, consider the circumference.

For the most socially palatable way to go sockless, play it safe with slim, tailored or tapered legwear. To maintain a streamlined look, ensure they fit well in all areas including the seat (i.e. the butt), thigh and calf.

Always Wear Invisible Socks

There’s more to wearing shoes barefoot than meets the eye. Despite the effect of ‘going sockless’, no-show or invisible socks are an essential piece of the puzzle.

Unless you like athlete’s foot, foul-smelling shoes and the potential for fungal nail infections, use these smartly engineered wardrobe basics to keep sweat and odours at bay, while also saving on the agony of blisters. As an extra tip: look for versions with rubber grips on the heel that stop them from slipping off.

Pick Your Moment

It isn’t only odours that can cause the sockless look to kick up a stink. As with all things, there is a time and a place to pull this move, so always bear in mind the formality of the occasion and the expected dress code.

Top level dos and don’ts: barbeques, summer weddings, business-casual offices-yes.  Funerals, court appearances, Interviews, board meetings – no. Simple enough.

Alexander Noel