Shorts, legs, and the white tube socks

I became an engineer.  I say this because it’s:


1)  The opening line to John Hersey’s book, A Single Pebble


2)  Background to this post.


Obviously, fashion is not going to be my strong point, although I am getting better thanks to the internet and to the fact that I married an intelligent woman!


However, I’m struggling with this post by Joanna Van Vleck of Trunk Club – and if you haven’t checked them out, do so!  It’s a way to buy clothes for guys that doesn’t involve suffering through being in a store and having no idea what you’re doing, being waited on by a minimum wage paid girl that could care less.


Joanna says that white tub socks are a no no at the gym – even if you “scrunch” them down.  Okay – but I’ve always worn them at the gym.  Egad!  And worse, she says that ankle socks are what you should wear!  This disturbs me on two levels:


A)  When I think ankle socks, I think of the ones girls wear with the little balls on the back,




B)  Gadzooks!!  White hairy male legs!  Yikes!  Pollution!


She doesn’t however, address whether they’re okay under jeans with sneakers (tennies, to us Pittsburghers).


So what do you think?  White tube socks okay or not?  When?


9 thoughts on “Shorts, legs, and the white tube socks

  1. White tube socks are fine. I still wear them in public.

    I prefer the ones with coloured stripes and bought some new ones a few days ago.

    They look better worn up than scrunched IMHO.

  2. Hi

    Yes I think this is all about personal preference. 🙂

    I wore white socks which are my favourite. Both tubes and smooth cotton ones without any ribbing. I wore them crew length, right up to the calf, or pulled them up just below the knee. I think they looked nice and gives you a grand look, especially it hides one’s hairy legs.

    Yes I have the same feeling as well. I dont fancy low cut ankle socks. They really look girlish. I will give 2 thumbs up for wearing longer, or even above calf length, white socks.


  3. Dear Gentlemen,

    Permit me to offer a few insights and recommendations. If you like white, tube socks (stripes or no stripes) and don’t really care how you look, please continue wearing and loving them. If you would like to look your best, hairy legs and all. I would suggest you purchase one pair of ankle socks. Wear them, feel how comfortable they are (since you have less material covering your skin while you work out) and every now and then, glance in the mirror and realize your normally tube covered calves don’t look as noticeable as they used to because you can actually see them man now, instead of just his socks. Wearing tube socks when you are making a fashion statement is one thing. Wearing tube socks because you have been wearing them for the past few decades shows your age and lack of progress in your wardrobe.

    Lastly, athletic socks should only be worn with athletic shoes. Athletic shoes should only be worn with athletic clothing. Denim jeans are not athletic clothing. As such, please wear darker socks with your jeans and hopefully a street sneaker (even the leather kind is nice) or a casual loafer.

    There is nothing masculine about pulling your athletic socks up to your calves or knees. Those are called “knee highs” and are traditionally worn by women (and men back in the 70’s and 80’s).

    All the Best,


  4. How long are your shorts? I assume that your shorts are at least knee length. If so, I say go with ankle socks. Anything longer will make your legs look short and stumpy. It’s not a good look. As for the fear of showing off too much leg, to be honest, I think longer socks actually draw more *attention* to your bare legs than anything. The exposed socks are sort of like a walking advertisement saying “look, this guy is not wearing long pants and so now we can see his socks”. People who wear knee length or longer shorts with ankle socks or no socks simply look more normal. On the other ahnd, a person who wears crew or tube socks with shorts will *definitely* get noticed.

    The longer socks made more sense when shorts were shorter. Now that most shorts hit at least mid-knee or below, anything longer than ankle length socks will just look weird.

  5. I wear ankle socks to work. I’m required to wear a uniform which consists of a checkerd shirt, and kahki shorts. Since my legs are hairy, and the shorts come to the top of my knees, longer socks would look funny.

  6. I’m a guy-22. I’ve Always loved WHITE tube socks. Not a fan of black tubes. Love the feel and the look of tube socks. Wear them as often as I can. Especially with Polo shirts(Buttoned up tight to neck,of course) and Kaki Shorts and Low Doc Martins. Love White tube socks on other guys ! Very hot !

  7. If I wear loafers with shorts, I’m definitely wearing dark light ankle socks (which rest at about anklebone height), not an inch higher than that, as it would shorten the leg.
    They are not feminine, they are just used by women because they are flattering to their legs, unless we think that guys can’t wear anything flattering.

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