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Neutralize With a Basic

Kamau Hosten

To be clear, blue, burgundy and grey is no revolutionary pairing of tones. Quite the opposite, as each color pairs with one or a combination of the other two.  Grey suits, especially those in more pale tones, always strike a pleasing balance when worn with shoes in the burgundy/cordovan/merlot/aubergine family. Likewise, the same can be said of a blue suit in a shade slightly lighter than navy. As an aside, two years later and I'm still not certain what color this Suit Supply double breasted is below.

What may be underrated is the choice of hosiery, or sock, for the less pretentious. Men are inundated with imagery from fashion magazines telling them to amp up their sock game, that solids are dull. To counter this, the stuffy, rubric obsessed internet style gestapo insist that socks must coordinate precisely with trousers. No need to go full on bold or entirely dull though. I believe it was Glenn O'Brien who dictated that socks should match one's personality and not any specific component of one's attire. If it wasn't Mr. O'Brien, then it should be.

OTC socks by Brioni, monk straps by Sergio Rossi

I was pleased with the result of a patterned grey sock paired with an almost royal blue suit (see, still trying to place this color) and burgundy single monk straps recently. The shade of blue was not entirely business, which complimented the more jaunty nature of the shoe. The grey sock neither coordinated nor picked up any other colors of the day, yet it provided a nice harmony.

Suit by Suit Supply

I find myself over thinking the minute details, only to reach for a basic at the last moment. This day was no different. A sock in burgundy, blue or green (the color of the day's necktie) would have proved too obvious and less creative.

Shirt by Kamakura, tie by Polo Ralph Lauren, Fleur de lis pin by By Elias, pocket square by Bergdorf Goodman


A fun sock needn't be multi-striped or whimsical, so long as it is complimentary. Grey neutralizes the high shine of the shoe and the tone of suit.