Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Let’s Address…. Sockless

So let’s talk about this sockless issue. I’m going to tell you my big secret. The summer time is the only time that I don’t wear shoes sockless. Maybe tennis shoes but not leather shoes.


There’s one very simple reason.


In the summer your feet sweat then they stick to the leather, then blister.


Actually the ideal time to go sockless is between 45 degrees and 66 degrees. At that point your feet are cool enough to keep from blistering but not too cold, and not too warm.


I know there’s always the option of that little footie thing but that never seems to work for me at any time of year.


A few of you made an interesting point that if it’s cold enough for gloves it’s cold enough for socks. Personally I don’t dress by those kind of mathematical equations. But what I will say is that you wear gloves to keep your fingers warm and you wear shoes to keep your toes warm. The only part that’s exposed is your ankles. Maybe I have insensitive ankles, but my ankles never seem to get cold, just like my wrists never seem to get cold. I can honestly say when that photograph was taken, my extremities were temperature comfortable.


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  1. archie

    November 28, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    who cares?

    • Amanda

      November 28, 2012 at 3:49 pm

      Enough people to warrant a response from him.


    • Andy

      November 28, 2012 at 6:17 pm

      If you don’t care about that sort of thing, then why on earth are you reading this blog?

    • Tonia

      November 28, 2012 at 7:18 pm

      Clearly you do -as you read the blog and took the time to post. So far, 78 people care – so there, you have an answer to your question.

    • joanna

      December 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm

      I don’t.

  2. maiastras

    November 28, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    As a woman, I can’t imagine doing this in 45 degree weather (66 sounds reasonable) but I think we all have to keep in mind that men tend to have less issues with cold feet/toes. To each their own!

    • poppie

      November 30, 2012 at 11:57 pm

      I am a woman and I never wear socks, even in the dead of winter in Chicago and never have a problem. A state of mind maybe?

      • Wexford

        October 6, 2018 at 12:41 pm

        Do you wear sneakers sockless?

  3. Cheryl

    November 28, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    This post made me laugh out loud. I often go sockless during this time of the year, and always get commentary from people on it. Let’s just say gloves don’t always equal socks.

    It was a pleasure meeting you last night at the MCA presentation/book signing. Hope your visit back to Chicago was a good one.


    • James Pouliot

      November 28, 2012 at 4:33 pm


      We need to get real and start talking about UNDERWEARLESS…. much more interesting.


      Have a great day,


      • hazel

        November 28, 2012 at 6:11 pm

        I agree with James! I think sockless & underwearless (aka commando) can be secret ways of rebelling, especially when the person is otherwise dressed conservatively. (Actually my husband pointed that out.) But Scott isn’t doing it that way — if he were, he would not call our attention to it by rolling up the cuff a tiny bit.

  4. irene

    November 28, 2012 at 2:34 pm

  5. Mr Essentialist

    November 28, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    I am a huge proponent of going sockless – no matter the season!

  6. Elisabeth

    November 28, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    I’m with you! I dislike socks in general and often go sockless when it’s chilly out. Let’s start a trend.

  7. P.

    November 28, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    You can always wear “invisible” socks. I do wear them in the summer to protect my shoes from my feet…

    • Amanda

      November 28, 2012 at 3:50 pm

      *sigh* The point is that he does not want to wear socks.

  8. mariposa fashion blog

    November 28, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Great pict..
    your shoes are beatiful
    xoxo from germany

  9. Gian Luca M

    November 28, 2012 at 2:41 pm


    Gian Luca M

  10. Nic from Thriving Wives

    November 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    I’m a lady, and only ever wear socks with boots or shoes that completely cover said socks. I just enjoy the extra cushion because normally in heels there is none.

    Strive to Thrive,

  11. Jennifer - Stylish CLin d'Oeil

    November 28, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    I should try this! Leather shoes, without socks^^ It looks good, and seems to be not very ‘painful’ or ‘uncomfortable’ ;)

  12. lacuna

    November 28, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    today at 15′c i wore flat shoes without socks, even thin one, those r worst. But when it comes to man and these kind of shoes, i hate it. it always look to me uncomfy (blisters r common thing) and sweaty.

  13. Ann

    November 28, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    I always go sockless, even now in winter (fall) and with cropped jeans. I LOVE sockless.

  14. Kimberly

    November 28, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    How about if I knit you some leg warmers? Only I will make them half the size, just for your ankles. You can tuck your pant legs in them to avoid the bike chain massacre. You never know, we could be on to something…..But seriously, I remember being younger in the 80′s and 90′s and not wearing socks, especially with my favorite suede oxfords.

    And I will knit you a pair, if you want :)

    • Stephanie

      November 28, 2012 at 5:18 pm

      You should totally take her up on this, Sartorialist! An intarsia (sp?) knit in browns with some red shot through would be supercool.

      • Kimberly

        November 28, 2012 at 9:53 pm

        I think a triplet set, of the brown you mention, an olive drab with a sneak of orange and perhaps a crisp navy,with something whimsical in cream….I better get started, what size are your ankles, Scott?

        • Stephanie

          November 30, 2012 at 4:08 pm

          I seriously love this idea!

  15. monkeyshines

    November 28, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    simple and wonderful photo!


  16. Simbarashe

    November 28, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    I might add that shoes/feet typically do not smell bad if the shoes are a genuine leather.

  17. Liz

    November 28, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    i have to wear socks!

  18. simbarashe

    November 28, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    This I agree with. As long as your comfortable, its your style so wear it. looks good too. actually I prefer no socks with leather shoes too, I just also own a pair of invisible footies, but I havent worn them.

  19. Angela

    November 28, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    To be honest I though that you would have look just as good with or without socks. Because knowing you, your socks would have rocked!

  20. Laura

    November 28, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Then you are lucky! Personally I am cold without socks during the winter!

  21. JosephLouis

    November 28, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Outfit looks great scott! and your right about the sock thing! where did you bought those shoes??

  22. yasmin

    November 28, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    couldn’t agree more. i only wear socks while hiking!

    i’ve read that leather is sort of naturally antibacterial as well…such that if you wear them without socks, your feet don’t really smell (unless it is particularly hot).

  23. lacuna

    November 28, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Ok, today i wore flats at 12′C-14′C. Without socks, and i hate those thin one.. But, when it comes to men it looks to me so uncomfy and sweaty.. And i bet he got thousand of blisters :D

  24. Inertia Fash Ion

    November 28, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Love that vintage look on men. Good point the way he’s wearing the jeans.

  25. TheHeroineOf

    November 28, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    THANK YOU for this post !!!
    & i would say ‘this can totally apply for women’ when i so LOVE wearing high heels pumps in the winter but SOCKLESS … & that people are looking at me thinking i am crazy !?

    • Andy

      November 28, 2012 at 8:00 pm

      You’re not crazy, you’re right.

      Don’t give in – the “high heels with socks” trend is one of the silliest looks out there right now.

  26. Natasha

    November 28, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Sockless=trying too hard. Unless you are wearing espadrilles or loafers in summer.

    • Amanda

      November 28, 2012 at 3:51 pm

      Or you like, you know, don’t want to wear socks….

    • Stephanie

      November 28, 2012 at 5:21 pm

      Seriously? I go sockless all the time and certainly don’t think of myself as an edgy fashion plate. I work at a company that’s a freaking manufacturer of electrical equipment and sure as hell don’t run around analyzing my footwear (or lack thereof) every day.

    • The Sartorialist

      November 28, 2012 at 7:29 pm

      sockless isn’t about trying too hard , its about being too lazy!! :))

  27. Anna

    November 28, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    That’s what I call fashion math


    November 28, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    I really love your style!!!

  29. Kali

    November 28, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    “Personally, I don’t dress by those kind of mathematical equations.” I love that line.

    I wear gloves at 60 degrees and under, and as a woman never socks with shoes. My ankles cool quicker than my feet, so even in the dead of winter I’m more likely to wear leg warmers under tall boots.

  30. mpersoon

    November 28, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    It’s like with wilderness runners from the AD&D 3d Ed. Complete Elves Handbook: “Because of their constant exposure to the elements, they have inured themselves to all but the most extreme temperatures. Unless the air is below 32 degrees F or above 100 degrees F, Wilderness Runners feel nothing. The variation in temperature is merely a pleasant change.”

  31. J9

    November 28, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    To my eye, it just looks odd, like a seasonal mismatch without socks. Plus you’re missing an opportunity for some interest in sock form. A pop of colour at the ankle would have been nice here

    • grunhauser

      November 30, 2012 at 4:00 pm

      I wear mismatched socks because I’m too lazy to fold them in pairs. But if the look comes together without socks then why not. One thing I would stay away from is a group of dressed up and sockless men. Creepy.

  32. Anonyme

    November 28, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    ok. Il n’était peut être pas nécessaire de se justifier…cela accentue encore la polémique. Mais tu fais ce que tu veux après tout. Mon avis? je trouve ça bizarre mais très interessant.

  33. harryt

    November 28, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    put socks on ,scott roll down your pants and be a man for crissakes! No real man in theit right mind would look like this.

  34. Jake

    November 28, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    While what you said about moisture, temperature and comfort makes sense, the person hit the spot commenting that it seems pretentious not to wear socks when it’s cold enough for gloves. It doesn’t get that smart feeling across as in summer, it “feels” cold IMHO.

  35. Javier

    November 28, 2012 at 3:21 pm


  36. Kelly

    November 28, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    I laughed at all the comments posted yesterday. It’s a shame you have to justify what you wear – isn’t that the point of your blog? To celebrate thinking outside the square and challenging perceptions of fashion?

    Keep rockin’ the bare feet.

    • Patricia Bonilla

      November 28, 2012 at 4:14 pm

      I’m with you!


    November 28, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    There are some men and women who should not roll the jeanse up no matter how trendy it is..I am that kind of a woman and i think you are that type of a man. For short people that don’t have a skinny constitution i think is better if they try to create the ilusion of length. I know i am frustrated also..but i found a solution…i wear black pants rolled up and grey socks and it seems ok. About your subject yes i think this rules are silly …like if it is cold enough for loves then u should wear socks. Kisses and love your blog!

    • s

      November 29, 2012 at 6:00 am

      well said

      • Justin

        November 29, 2012 at 12:22 pm

        I have to agree as well. I don’t give a hoot about your not wanting to wear socks, if that’s how you like to roll. I think it probably feels refreshing to you, like chewing a mint on a cold day. However, the rolled up/short pants look is not for you.

  38. Jana

    November 28, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    I fully agree. People often get odd about the fact that I like a winter wool coat with shorter arms as much as a summer coat, and often even roll mine or turn them up to expose the wrist and some forearm when they are full length. I just feel better, I can still wear gloves, and I think it looks nice. I live in Vancouver, BC, Canada and it rarely dips below zero so it seems appropriate. Same with bare ankles, it works. I don’t want to feel bundles from head to toe, but I will however, almost always wear a scarf. Thank you for being on my side here and diffusing the controversy of bare bits. Great coat too!

  39. Rachelle

    November 28, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    lol this made me laugh.

  40. Michael

    November 28, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    To each their own…as they say. However, I would suggest some foot powder, and if socks, wool or “wick away” type. When feet sweat, they get cold.

  41. Monsieur Marcel

    November 28, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    I’m just glad the picture didn’t ignite a helmet debate…oops.

  42. Brian

    November 28, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    First of all, Scott’s the man, and I wish I had him as my personal stye consultant. But I feel bad chi seeing exposed ankles in the winter, especially on men.

  43. Cindi

    November 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Personally, this is not pleasing to look at on men. You are happily taking in the entire ensemble, and then…ANKLES…then nice shoes. Its like the elephant (ankles) in the room, you want to pretend they are there, but you can’t.

  44. Amanda

    November 28, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Beautifully put- in fact, that’s exactly how I would have said it, had I chosen a more legnthy defense of your ensemble. In short, this is YOUR blog and it happens to be about PERSONAL style. Therefore, why people felt the need to tell you how to dress and how you should feel- I have no clue.

  45. Kait

    November 28, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Haha so silly! I will say I like the look of sockless, but my ankles would definitely be freezing! I recently bought booties and despite the fact that I’m loving on them right now, my whole calf is colder than if I wore regular boots. I don’t know how you do it!

  46. mat

    November 28, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    it doesn’t work for me, my ankles would be freezing. plus i like socks too much not to want to wear them in the chill

  47. Candice @ NotesFromABroad

    November 28, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    I live in Argentina, I see it here and like it .. a lot.

  48. Monika

    November 28, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    I didn’t know so many “doctors” read your blog. People are so pathetic to make an issue of this topic.
    I think it’s a great look!

    p.s we all know what you’ll be getting for Christmas this year ;)

  49. sean

    November 28, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    you might not feel cold, but you look cold! and isnt that what its about, how u look?
    Sorry but sock less when its cold just looks silly to me.

    • Andy

      November 28, 2012 at 8:06 pm

      Not exactly silly, but definitely odd. If you combine thick outerwear and bare ankles, it looks like there’s been a fire at your apartment building and you didn’t have enough time to put on socks before climbing down the fire escape.

  50. Nico

    November 28, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Ok! I made a comment about this situation in the last photo, maybe because I can’t wear shoes without socks ever. But we are all different right? Thanks for the answer ;)

  51. Colony

    November 28, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    The funniest things spark the most vocal debates. As long as you aren’t wearing Uggs or Crocs w/out socks, I’m good with this look ;)

    • Katherine

      November 29, 2012 at 7:22 am

      Ha ha ha!

  52. RJT

    November 28, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    I just do not understand this obsession with men going sock- less in winter or whenever.
    I am a male who only wears socks when I absolutely HAVE to.
    Perhaps being born and bred in Southern Calif. made me feel that this a natural way to dress ?
    I love the look of sock- less in any dressed context – up or down, formal or not – in fact the guy in the photo is basically the embodiment of how I pretty much dress 365 days a year – even in NYC – unless its -21 degrees of course, or the snow is more than 2″ deep.
    I think sock- less with a dress shoe is such a breezy, chic way to wear them – it sort of knocks the stuffiness out of them and lends them a youthful take on being ‘proper’
    Look at Thom Brown – that guy always looks dapper and I don’t think I have EVER seen him wearing a pair of socks no matter the season
    I am attending a wedding next month and I am planning on wearing a slim cut very dark navy suit and oxblood colored Brogues w/ with NO SOCKS ! ( also with a white shirt and navy cravat)
    I know that other than the groom, I will be the best dressed man there.

    • Nick M

      November 29, 2012 at 5:16 pm

      Dear RJT — you may find that others attending the wedding disagree with your not terribly modest self-assessment!

      I agree with most posters on here — sockless in summer = good; in winter = a bit daft.

  53. Sevan

    November 28, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    On this blog, we’ve seen so many men sockless, especially italians, but when it comes to Mr Sartorialist, it becomes a huge issue ! Why ?
    “Sans socks” or “avec socks”, that is the question…..

    • Becca

      November 28, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      I’m not sure that you would see an Italian going sock-less whilst wearing brogues in winter- they are stylish but also usually far too afraid of catching a chill.

  54. Chihuahua With Wheels

    November 28, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    It is a fine look if a man is wearing something casual AND he isn’t “a man of a certain age.” I have no desire to see a middle aged man in a suit without socks!

  55. Hazel

    November 28, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Two or three points no one has mentioned yet: 1. when I was young & I think still today, the look was very big with preppy/frat boys. Went with wearing pjs to class & not brushing your hair. When women do it, espec. with lady-like shoes, the look is way different (unless the shoes are man-type). To me, as an american, there is a strong prep association with the look – fine as long as you know that. Probably different in europe. 2. It is only really comfortable with good-quality (not just leather, but well made) shoes, in which case the shoe should fit “like a glove”. 3. Leather shoe – leather glove, not so wierd to go sockless when you look at it that way. 4. It is hard on the shoes & they wear out quicker, especially if you don’t alternate pairs so they can dry out. Me, I love going sockless.

  56. Margherita

    November 28, 2012 at 4:22 pm

  57. Tricia

    November 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Were people criticizing you for that? I go sockless sometimes too, but only in warmer weather, at least 55 degrees. You’re lucky to have naturally warm feet! I live in Montreal and I wear thick wool hiking socks all winter and for a lot of the fall, except for with sheepskin boots.

  58. eva

    November 28, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    What is an alternative to sock less??

    I would love to wear sockless, cause I do think it does look great, proportions etc. Unfortunately, I do not manage, it is too cold for me. So black socks, long italian style? no, not the same. Tights? or see-through socks? maybe. What I really liked was socks with a certain patterns, this looks almost as good, I thought. I would go for striped socks (try first! doesnt look that bad) that fit the overall outfit, camel and blue for me. or unicolor with a nice pattern, worth showing? Not easy, I think :)

  59. Ellie

    November 28, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    My buddy Adam says: If you can rock it, don’t sock it.

  60. quigley

    November 28, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    I’m a hard-core bicyclist who commutes to work no matter what the weather. I forego looking fashionable by wearing socks…. ;)

  61. Denisa

    November 28, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Really so nice pic. And socks, maby he has some.. I wore so small too. Have a great day.

  62. lintmag

    November 28, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    I like those German lambswool shoe liners which keep your feet very warm without socks. It’s a good look for some, not so much for others with unattractive ankles.

  63. juanita

    November 28, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Well, I’m going ‘sockless’ with trainers today (and dare I add – running leggings!) Socks seem to clog things up and I like to keep a clean ankle. When it comes to wearing boots, the socks go on. Can’t quite believe that come January you will be galavanting round the city without thick socks firmly on your feet!

  64. Andy

    November 28, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    That’s why I only go sockless in suede shoes – they are much softer and the leather is more breathable. Once they are broken in, you don’t have to worry about blisters. Just make sure they are fully lined, otherwise your toes will eventually be the same colour as your shoes.

  65. Audun Roe Grimstad

    November 28, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Personally I find wearing a winter coat and go sockless inappropriate. It says winter on top and summer below. Not cool, sorry.

  66. Benjamin Lee

    November 28, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    “my extremities were temperature comfortable”
    Too funny!

  67. jade

    November 28, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    poor guy. he looks great but better with a striped set of socks

  68. Camille

    November 28, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    I’m also part of the year-round sockless team. I went to college in upstate NY, where it gets mighty cold in the winter. Well, I’d hardly ever wear socks, even in minus temps. Like Scott, the cold doesn’t bother me there.

    Plus, as a woman, from a purely aesthetic standpoint, I find ballet flats, pumps, men’s shoes, etc. far more sexy on a woman’s bare feet than with socks.

  69. Pampelmusea

    November 28, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Lucky you, I freeze the whole time … unless summer, because in these months I sweat a lot … unlucky me.

  70. hazel

    November 28, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    My husband & I were trying to figure out when the sockless thing started. I (dimly) remember it from the 60s as a James Dean rebel thing (Bruce Boyer’s book on Rebel Style probably has it in it, and regular Sart reader “argos” mentioned it a few years back). The cool girls I envied in my youth also did it — penny loafers with the backs broken down, short dresses & bare legs. My husband reckons it started in the 50s with the beat guys.

  71. SallyO

    November 28, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    I think it all comes down to what each of us finds comfortable, which is a very personal thing. I happen to be a sockaholic (even in summer) and just seeing your ankles in that photo makes me cringe. For me, it would be like wearing burlap skinny jeans with no underwear.

  72. Colin

    November 28, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    I’m really glad you cleared that up. When I first saw the picture it was the first thing I spotted and it really bothered me.

  73. Sabina

    November 28, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    You know what, you’re right. I tend to wear socks in the cold weather even though I know it would look better to have bare ankle showing between my shoes or booties and pants, because of the cold of course. But now that you mention it, it’s really the extremities (toes) that need the layering, not the bottom of your leg. I’ll try going sockless tomorrow.

  74. Gabriel (SF)

    November 28, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Wearing no socks is fantastic. MORE IMPORTANTLY, who makes the shoes? I need!

  75. Tom

    November 28, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    Got to say this sockless thing has me flummoxed. It’s the first time I’ve ever had reason to question you taste.

  76. nines

    November 28, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    I admit that socklessness creeps me out when someone is wearing shoes, male or female. I also don’t like sandals for this reason. I don’t like being reminded of people’s steamy parts that way. I know it seems to be the thing nowadays, but I flipped when I saw this image here yesterday. I wanted to yell at you.

    You hung a neon sign on it. I stifled myself. I guess others didn’t.

    Even if you have insensitive ankles and don’t like the math of evenly distributing warm things on cold days, departures like this make one look plainly to be TRYING to be chic… which, of course, isn’t chic.

    Also, I think your body type dictates you not roll up the cuffs of your pants. One needs to be longer and lankier, or just narrower, not that you are fat, for that to work. Or the coat widened you too much for it….

    Basically, you might’ve gotten away with the socklessness if you hadn’t also rolled up your pants.

  77. jch

    November 28, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    I think it’s amazing how well he dresses for his body type. I have the same, and it defininently is not easy to dress with out looking entirely like a box.


  78. Alice

    November 29, 2012 at 12:41 am

    Scott, are you aware that you just made a whole post on when to wear socks… It’s a bit worrying

  79. Yannick

    November 29, 2012 at 1:20 am

    Why any man would want to go without sock is completely beyond me. It looks perFectly silly. It looks quite ridiculous, regardless of temperature. However, to each his own, of course.

  80. ginger

    November 29, 2012 at 2:08 am

    hahahaha, love this! my mother in law NEVER wears socks and even in high winter she walks around in thin ballerinas.

  81. Kelly

    November 29, 2012 at 2:12 am

    I wear knee high socks under skinny jeans and jeggings in winter (I’m skinny) and always make sure that my back is not exposed during winter by tucking in tank tops (sometimes I feel like I’m the only person with tucked in undershirt in winter). And when it’s super cold I wear leggings under my thick sweatpants. How people are able to go sockless/wear ankle socks in late fall/winter is a mystery for me. I guess I’m either more fragile to cold or more annoyed by it than the other people:)

    • Katherine

      November 29, 2012 at 7:25 am

      i ALWAYS tuck in my tank top too – nothing worse than a draft there :-)

  82. Suze

    November 29, 2012 at 2:24 am

    So that’s the sock thing, now what about the cuff thing? What is going on there?

  83. Eva

    November 29, 2012 at 4:09 am

    My ankles would seriously freeze off but it’s quite interesting. I was surprised when I saw you do wear socks during summer but when I read your reasons it’s kind of a logic thing to do.

  84. s

    November 29, 2012 at 4:37 am

    Lucky you. I can only do without socks/tights in heatwave conditions. (Gloves are only essential from November to March -ish.) All those great looking women in your photos – bare-legged in winter – make me very jealous, but they also make me wince a bit.
    I do agree about needing socks (or whatever) with closed shoes in hot weather – I hate it when my feet stick to the leather. I tend to wear Birkenstocks in such conditions – these are probably too naff for you though

  85. Stephanie

    November 29, 2012 at 5:13 am

    Lol. this post was funny. :) I always feel very frumpy with socks! I also would prefer to wear fancier shoes most of the time with my outfits, like pretty girlier shoes that look bad with socks. But the problem for me is that I’m one of those slight types of people and I feel everything!!! Being cold makes me miserable. So this is my dilemma. I suppose I need to just get into the boot thang.

  86. christian

    November 29, 2012 at 5:31 am

    I totally agree with you Scott!

    If I can go sockless, I go and I hate socks with mocassins!

    There is just one place I wear socks: it’s at work!

    • AlecM

      April 15, 2013 at 6:23 pm

      Yes!!!! I love the look of interesting socks but – I so hate wearing them – and now, I work mostly out of my home so – very few sock days in the year. Only when I’m meeting clients or at a particularly special event…

  87. gillymusing

    November 29, 2012 at 5:41 am

    and let’s face it Scott; you look hot! In a cool way of course :-)

  88. Helen

    November 29, 2012 at 5:57 am

    oh no I would die from the cold without socks in winter weather!

  89. Katherine

    November 29, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Going sockless tomorrow…

  90. abirdsdailylifetale

    November 29, 2012 at 9:54 am

    First of all,I do like how the sockless style looks on men as well as on women,but I would freeze.Here in Switzerland it`s so cold,I think my ankles would turn blue…
    I genuinely think it looks great but I prefer some nice,cute socks…

  91. Sissa

    November 29, 2012 at 10:13 am

    I am a woman and am sockless and wearing oxfords and jeans right now. It’s 37 degrees out (but I’m in the house). I live in New England, too, and it gets cold. If it was -15 outside I don’t think I’d go sockless though. I wouldn’t even have on oxfords; I’d have on winter boots.

  92. Lauren

    November 29, 2012 at 10:17 am

    People really seem to feel strongly about this. As a woman, my ankles get cold and I need the socks, but I appreciate your response/explanation and have to say, the negativity of the comments here bother me way more than the lack of socks. Thanks for sharing your reasoning and talking to us.

  93. marco

    November 29, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Bonito look, pero con tiempo frío es ridículo no llevar calcetines.

  94. Kinga

    November 29, 2012 at 10:26 am

    I don’t care if it’s cold or not. The only thing that bothers me is that it doesn’t look good. First of all the combination no socks + this kind of shoes is like an elegant tie without a shirt. Second thing is that your ankles looks kind of funny, not very proportional. But the rest of the outfit is splendid :)

  95. alex

    November 29, 2012 at 10:45 am

    at least wear some “loafer socks” – the “invisible” below the shoe line type. i can say from experience that going completely barefoot in any shoe, leather or canvas, takes an unpleasant toll on the shoe. why not wear a thin liner?? falke make the best i’ve come across…

  96. alexander

    November 29, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    i really appreciate how you got your point across on this! i think there’s a fine balance here and you’ve managed to achieve it. personally, i would not go sockless at a cooler time of the year but that’s just because my feet are very sensitive to cold weather. it’s all about how your body works, in the end. what i like about your explanation is that it’s honest and natural and doesn’t seem pretentious.

  97. S

    November 29, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    “But what I will say is that you wear gloves to keep your fingers warm and you wear shoes to keep your toes warm.”

    Let me just state from the get-go that I have no problems with this sockless winter outfit. Looks great!

    BUT/for the record…gloves keep your fingers warm, SOCKS keep your toes warm, SHOES (ie., footwear) provide support and protection for your feet while doing various activities whatever they may be: running, dancing, shopping, going for a walk, going to work, etc.! The style & design of a shoe is a bonus.


    November 29, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    In the late ’90s I saw movie w/ Mickey Rourke wearing an all black (Armani) suit, polka dotted tie, striped shirt, and loafers w/no socks. The film was in Paris in Winter. Instant cool.

  99. Laurel

    November 29, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    I think my only objection to the look is that it makes you look short. The big coat over shortened pants and the rolled up pants shorten your legs.

  100. natalie baszile

    November 29, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    What I want to know is why no one has commented on Scott’s beautiful LINUS bike??? proving, once again, that the man has impeccable taste. I test rode the MIXTE 8 last weekend and must say, it was the smoothest, most delicious bike ride of my life. Like butter. Scott, I think your sockless look is terrific, whatever the weather, but you get an extra gold star for your taste in bicycles. Bravo!

  101. yi shun

    November 29, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    actually, can we address the bike you’re on? who makes it? i’m in need of a cruiser bike and love yours. thanks!

  102. topol

    November 29, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Scott, as a fellow urban bicyclist, may I suggest something: riding without socks on a cold day is somewhat incongruous, but don’t ride without a helmet on any day. Please.

  103. Sissa

    November 29, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Fashion/style is subjective anyway. My personal style — I do what the eff I want. Who cares about the socks, look at those gloves and that coat!

  104. natalie

    November 29, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Yi Shun, Scott’s bike is made by a company called LINUS. Google them and you’ll find a distributor. And just so you know, I have no connection to the company. I’m just a huge fan of their products.

    • yi shun

      December 5, 2012 at 4:17 pm

      That’s great, Natalie!
      Thanks for the reply!

  105. Yasmine

    November 29, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Yu r Adorable!Simply.

  106. barbara

    November 29, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    “The only part that’s exposed is your ankles. Maybe I have insensitive ankles, but my ankles never seem to get cold, just like my wrists never seem to get cold.”

    Lucky you! I could never get away with that, if I need one area of my body covered in order to keep warm, ist the wrists and ankles. I even have the lack of class to wear sock beneath the tights… ^^

  107. Pete

    November 29, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Sorry – horrible, just horrible!

  108. Julian H

    November 29, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    I love it. GREAT look :) you should come to Stockholm soon.

  109. Ann-Marie

    November 29, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    OK, some people hate sockless, some people love it. The discussion about this, as though this really is important, just proves what a crazy species we are to get so worked up about such trivialities.

  110. Rita

    November 29, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    I’ve always thought that one of the reasons we wear socks (or other hosiery), aside for keeping us warm and comfortable, is for hygiene. After all, socks can be washed as many times as necessary, and changed often. Shoes, however, cannot be cleaned too vigorously, and are often worn for many seasons (yes, I know, some people don’t wear a single pair that much, but others do). I’ve viewed socks as a piece of clothing akin to underwear. Though they are a very visible part of the ensemble, they still have that other function. Although I think socks often look “clunky,” the look of bare skin covered by a “rough” material (leather, heavy wool) or a synthetic material – for me – appears too vulnerable, if this makes sense. Personally, I wear socks with mostly all shoes besides sandals (unless it’s heels in the summer), to protect my feet from the shoes, and the shoes from my feet ;)

  111. James

    November 30, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Might we discuss the visual impact of the sockless look in winter? In this image the subject appears extremely top heavy. There is no sense of balance or harmony as the bare ankles exist in isolation and the ‘look’ comes across as strangely affected and contrived. There is no visual ‘grounding’ to the outfit and the subject is extended in a horizontal direction rather than elongated and the ‘look’ is therefore extremely unflattering.
    By all means let’s brake the rules but let’s also consider whether, in the context of an entire outfit (rather than just a detail), it actually works.

  112. Anna Julia

    November 30, 2012 at 1:44 am

    I’m glad you’re comfortable, but this is one look I think I’ll never get used to. It just looks goofy. Socks combined with pants the right length (that don’t look like you borrowed them from your kid brother) are the only way to go i.m.o. I’ve never felt the need to check out a man’s ankles.

  113. Kilroy

    November 30, 2012 at 3:04 am


    You only need to wear socks if the temperature is so cold that it becomes painful. Brikenstocks, either sandals or clogs, are designed to be worn sockless, and thus are very comfortable , sans socks. At least, that’s my humble, yet accurate, opinion.

    • Cal

      January 13, 2019 at 11:19 am

      Yes, leather clogs are comfortable without socks.

  114. Adam

    November 30, 2012 at 5:26 am

    Personally, it never occurs to me not to wear socks. I enjoy the cushiony comfort between my skin and the shoe.
    I don’t think it works aesthetically to have a light band of visible skin between dark trousers and dark shoes. Socks give so many colour/pattern options to complement the rest of the ensemble.
    Also I’m of an age that, to me, a sockless man either looks too poor to own socks or too lazy to find a clean pair.
    Thanks for raising this question, it’s been an interesting one.

  115. Peris

    November 30, 2012 at 5:48 am

    Very complicated / or very simple point of view for this matter.
    May I suggest the British way saying ‘ a gentleman without socks, simply sucks! ‘
    Anyway, to be honest, I prefer the Italian (and more chic nevertheless) way with boat (or kind of) loafers in the summertime…

  116. Adolph

    November 30, 2012 at 6:42 am

    That is disgusting, put some socks on!!!

  117. Lucan

    November 30, 2012 at 9:03 am

    Whilst I don’t disagree with anything you say in your article, it’s what you don’t say that matters. You’ve made no comment at all as to whether you think it looks good or not. Irrespective of whether or not you like seeing ankles, the lack of socks leaves your outfit completely imbalanced. The top half of your outfit is all about warm heavy materials (and looks great), but then the bottom half does look summery, irrespective of what you say about being warm or cold. Hence it’s imbalanced and wrong to my humble eyes.

  118. Amaia

    November 30, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to explain why you weren’t wearing socks :) Unfortunately my ankles ans wrists do get cold!

  119. Bronwyn

    December 2, 2012 at 2:55 am

    Draughts. Hate them. Need socks, and need my top tucked in to my pants or skirt unless it is hot. Another annoying thing is when your sweater neck and scarf don’t overlap – more draughts.
    Or drafts for Americans.

  120. rMarie

    December 2, 2012 at 8:42 am

    So you mean I should go without socks in the winter? It -13*C (8F) today, and it normally reaches -40/-50 (-40/-60 F) through the winter.

  121. Name*

    December 2, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    this is funny…i am the same as you Scott! i actually hate socks and only wear them when it’s basically below 40 degrees. i never get cold because the rest of me is bundled up. people always comment on why i don’t wear socks and why i am not cold. to each his own i always say…

  122. Tatj

    December 3, 2012 at 8:47 am

    I love wear my shoes sockless and I do it all the time. Acutally, I don’t, but it seems. I wear transparent tight or “invisible socks”, used when we wear ballerinas.

  123. Anna

    December 3, 2012 at 9:18 am

    So many wrong things with this outfit, to my humble taste. A massive coat (very pretty, though) combined with jeans showing bare ankles and dressy shoes. Nope. It makes your upper body too big and your legs to short. Neither elegant nor fun. Surprising to see you in such a badly balanced combination. As someone mentioned, I don’t like seeing naked ankles with this type of shoes and much prefer the Italian way of dealing with sockless issue.

  124. Niles

    December 3, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Men don’t have particularly good ankles. For me that’s the main issue beyond any of comfort or warmth.

  125. Mikey B.

    December 3, 2012 at 11:48 am

    I only wear socks when I run, or in extreme weather (ice & snow). Otherwise, never, and for aesthetic purposes only. I will admit however, that it is never really comfortable, and takes a toll on the lining of even my most expensive leather shoes. Look what women endure for fashion in terms of footwear. A little sweat and maybe a blister while breaking in new brogues doesn’t seem so bad. It does seem to spark controversey though, which I like.

  126. Alina

    December 3, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    I absolutely CANNOT go sock-less during the winter unless I am wearing some form of a dressy shoe, e.g., pump, heel, stilleto, etc. As a matter of practicality, these shoes naturally conform to the flesh very closely, so there is no room for a sock. Unless the boots or sneakers have some sort of felt, velvet or other soft lining, how can you not wear socks? My feet stick to the shoe regardless of temperature. Furthermore, I am somewhat biased given that my feet are always sensitive to cold temperatures, even with boots and socks on.
    To each his own.

  127. Lindsay

    December 4, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Thanks for the update. I was standing next to you a couple of years ago in Paris with my mother and she was perplexed about your lack of socks since we were outside shivering ourselves. I was nudging her saying, “I think that’s the man behind The Sartorialist” and she then asked you if you’d like to borrow her socks because you looked cold.
    I was completely embarrassed at the time, as daughters often are, telling her to be quiet, let him be, he knows what he’s doing.
    This post made me smile!

  128. Mila

    December 5, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Мне нравится. Но на босу ногу……холодно..

  129. Boris

    December 6, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    I remember when this blog was amazing.

  130. Guillermo Álvarez

    December 8, 2012 at 4:32 am

    Oh my God! If I would go sockless in winter I would die!
    I love your blog, I love it

  131. Simon

    December 9, 2012 at 3:37 am

    To me it doesn’t matter whether you’re hot/cold, have blistered sweaty feet etc etc. Bottom line is that this is a style blog and this looks ridiculous! can you not see that?

  132. KittyWrangler

    December 9, 2012 at 10:29 pm


    My apologies if this has already been mentioned in the comments which I did not read:

    You can use BodyGlide to prevent the blistering in the summer (to an extent). It’s a dry waxy lubricant that comes in a deoderant-like tube and is marketed to runners as an anti-chafing balm (ahem, I allude to “runner’s butt”). It performs that job nicely regardless of sweat and can be used nearly anywhere on the body.

    PS: ladies, it’s also wonderful for preventing “chub rub,” the blisters caused by bare thighs rubbing together under a skirt. And for strappy sandals.

    PPS: no, BodyGlide doesn’t pay me.

  133. james

    December 12, 2012 at 10:46 am

    the shoes look small and squashed – a pair of shoe trees would help keep them elongated and perfect as indeed they were made…

  134. Juan

    December 21, 2012 at 3:32 pm


    Try using some liquid roll on deodorant or spray on and your feet will not sweet and smell great everytime you wear shoes.

    Blisters only occur if you do not buy shoes true to size. When they are true to size, there is less of a chance that your foot will have too much room to wiggle around and cause the terrible blister…


  135. Heather

    January 3, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    I go sock-less all year round, despite the fact that I am always freezing in the winter. I can’t stand the feeling of socks on my feet. It’s too constricting. I also love the look of bare ankles, especially with a little pant cuff. I like your style.

  136. DavidE

    January 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    I’ll do the sock-less look (w/footies) in the summer when my ankles are tan. But in the winter, my ankles are a shade of white that only highlights veins and hair. Not something I want to draw attention to.

  137. Max

    January 13, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Not only is it only the right time to go sockless with shoes, but it’s also the best time to eat ice cream outdoors. It doesn’t melt!

  138. Brenda

    January 22, 2013 at 11:34 am

    I’m particularly glad to read that you never go sockless in leather shoes in Summer. Besides blisters on your feet, that sweat is salt water, which will dry out and crack the leather of the shoe lining. The cracked leather curls in, and is hard and sharp. Unless your cobbler is a complete masochist, they will likely not be willing to repair it (for less money than replacing the shoes). I am a cobbler, and it’s one of the very few jobs that we will turn away!

    • Randy

      July 8, 2018 at 5:06 pm

      I had worn a pair of Oxford and brouge all leather shoes sockless once before. I had took care of them and had always worn socks with them for over three to four years before trying the sockless route with them starting in the spring and then through mid summer. One thing, it is hard on the leather lining of the shoe and by mid summer I felt uncomfortable sweating in the shoes. You are right, the leather did start to curl back around the heels, arch area and the foot bed leather liner. I stopped wearing the shoes that I had worn without socks and boxed them up. I decided to see if I could have them repaired and the soles replaced. The outsides still looked good. The lady at the shop told me it would cost more then it is worth. She asked me if I had not worn socks with them. I said yes and she said that really destroys the shoes over time. She said that she saw this a lot in years past, before the widely available no-show socks; which I wear now. I go for the slightly padded no-shows for better moisture control. That makes a difference for me. Their was one day that I was in a hurry and just decided not to put on socks. Well, I ended up at a store later on a purchased a pair to wear the rest of the day. A lady passing by commented how smart I was to put on socks as I was sitting on the park bench along with a woman in her 20′s removing her brouge leather shoes and also putting on socks. We both laughed afterwards. I was a very humid day. We were both getting tried of the slimy feeling in our shoes.

  139. R Kels

    January 25, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Great logic. Love the look.

  140. The Photodiarist

    February 10, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Obviously going sockless at any time is your prerogative. I’ve always thought it looks a bit weird to see someone wearing gloves, scarf, coat and otherwise looking bundled up . . . only to see their ankles gaping out totally uncovered. Just my opinion though.

  141. Cheap

    April 3, 2013 at 7:24 pm

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  142. Robert Wayne

    August 11, 2014 at 3:12 am

    I think it makes women’s legs look nicer when they go sockless, especially if they’re wearing sneakers and especially if they’re wearing high heels. I have no idea why so many men think it’s hip to go sockless though. We guys are more likely to perspire and I prefer wearing socks to having stinky feet.

  143. Cataleo

    December 28, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    Let’s just say that in my opinion the perfect sense of style is being fashion conscious and still retaining some common sense. So it’s a big NO-NO to be sock-less in the winter, just as it’s completely stupid to wear the Ugg boots in Miami in August for fashion’s sake. Fashion doesn’t have to be stupid. One can be fashionable AND appropriate.

  144. Jim

    July 9, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    That coat looks fantastic! anyone know where to buy a coat like that? I’d like to buy a coat like that and a pair of socks.

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