Sock Game: Corporate Edition

If you walk around in Midtown Manhattan at approximately 1 p.m., you will more than likely see groups of men wearing navy suits or, more casually, khaki slacks with a tie. While the fashion displayed by men in the corporate world may seem predictable, there is a piece of clothing that can cause one to stand out: socks. 

Socks have evolved from plain commodity items to a fashion statement. They allow consumers to express themselves in a way that is not too bold, but fun at the same time. The total 2018 revenue of the United States sock market is $7.2 million and is expected to grow 1.2 percent annually.

Socks describe an individual’s personality, which can be an important factor if their clothes are not able to do so. In a corporate setting, the dress code can be on the more professional side, allowing socks to be expressive. According to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, people who choose to wear wacky and nonconformist socks are perceived as having an increased status and a sense of competency. This is due to the ideology that nonconforming behaviors can cause beneficial responses, compared to simply trying to fit in. 


Another study showcased that clothing, including socks, affects the way we think, behave, and act. Furthermore, when one decides to wear funky colorful socks, they are displaying their unique personality and confidence. Compared to plain black socks that allow one to hide in the background, brightly-patterned socks allow people to embrace their individuality. 

The number of socks purchased at least once every six months by men ages 26-35 has increased by 46 percent. According to a Mic survey, 85 percent of men said that socks are an important piece of clothing they incorporate in their wardrobe. The men interviewed in the survey stated that their socks add a piece of their personality to their traditional suits.   

Men are becoming more experimental when it comes to fashion statements, socks included. Socks allow men, in particular, to undertake the essence of expression and also look towards other men for inspiration. It’s a small chance to be unique in an otherwise homogeneous environment.