Dress shoes with Shorts? Socks with Shorts? What can you wear with Shorts?

It’s summer time! You know what that means… shorts! But with power comes responsibility… if you’re going to be wearing shorts, you’ve got to know what you can wear with them… Can you wear socks? Should you wear sandals? Dress shoes? What can you wear? This is exactly what we’ll talk about this week!


First and foremost, shorts are generally an informal article of clothing. The most common look is to wear shorts with sandals. When wearing sandals, you should generally avoid socks. We did talk about this in a previous article: socks with sandals


But what happens if you don’t want to wear sandals? Can you wear sneakers? Yes, sneakers are also informal and that goes with the shorts. If you are going to wear sneakers, you can definitely wear socks. However, unless you’re out on the field playing soccer, don’t wear the long socks that you pull up high towards your knees. This also holds true regardless of the type of shoes that you’re going to wear. You typically want to go for the athletic low-cut socks. They’re present but they don’t cover up too much. If you think about this from a logical standpoint, it also make sense… the whole point of shorts is to give you more breathing room – long socks don’t quite help you accomplish that :)

What about hiking boots? Can you wear a pair with your shorts? Sure, if you’re going hiking…. otherwise, doesn’t make too much sense.

The real question is… can you wear formal shoes with shorts? Generally speaking, no. Why? Well, they’re formal and shorts are not. Not to worry, though, there are still options if you want to wear something other than sneakers and sandals. You can wear boat shoes or loafers. We’ve written about boat shoes before: what are boat shoes?


Penny loafers are another option… they’re slip on shoes and you can even skip the socks when you wear them – great option for summer time.

Happy Summer!


  1. 1


    March 12, 2011

    7:10 pm

    The problem with fashion rules is that they constantly change. The advice given here wouldn’t have worked a few decades ago and probably won’t work in the future. But those who want to “fit in” can follow them and feel safe that they won’t stand out, in either a bad or good way.

  2. 2


    November 6, 2011

    10:37 am

    How about wear no show thin socks when use boat shoes or loafer?
    Maybe black color? or white?

  3. 3


    November 14, 2011

    8:11 am

    I am creative, so I don’t care much what other think, but loafers shorts and t shirt is a classic summer look.

  4. 4


    January 14, 2012

    4:31 am

    Robert, this is not the case, we are talking about a timeless look here :) .

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