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Your Complete Guide to Buying & Wearing Burgundy Socks
Slightly dark, rich, and velvety with complex undertones, burgundy is a delightfully moody shade that complements well nearly any color, from bright tones of blue to neutral hues like beige.
This standout color is certainly the star when it comes to styling socks with other items like pants, shirts, ties, or a suit. It sits somewhere between the calm yet bold purple and the fiery red, making it a fashion and style goldmine.
That’s right. Wearing burgundy socks is a bold, elegant look that more people can pull off than they imagine. If done correctly and creatively, you can use burgundy socks to easily throw together a stylish and sophisticated look that’ll make you feel lavish and confident — and really, who wouldn’t fancy that?
You don't need to be super-confident, a fashionista, or a trendsetter to pull off a burgundy look. The array of shades, styles, and patterns on offer enable you to project your very own burgundy personality. You can choose to accessorize with burgundy socks or go all out and use them as a core statement piece.
Pick something bold and bright, soft and subtle, or toned down and classic – don’t be afraid to let your sense of style and personality shine through. You may be looking for a powerful pop of color or trying to bring a unique charm into your style. In either case, burgundy is a fun way to add an eye-catching element to your ensemble.
Whatever your styling goals are, burgundy is an elegant, distinguishing shade that will easily transform any outfit and help you get ready for virtually any occasion. Let our comprehensive roundup of everything you need to know about burgundy socks help you buy, style, and wear this bold look.
Where Does the Color Burgundy Come From?
Burgundy is a stately color that has become nearly synonymous with officialdom. It’s found in institution hotels, Catholic schools, a raft of Ivy League college emblems, and other places that call for respectability and reverence.
Burgundy is a maroon-like, drop-dead gorgeous color that borrows its name and shade from red wines produced in vineyards in the French region of Burgundy. Funny enough, the French associated the shade with Bordeaux, in reference to another vineyard-rich region that produces similar red wines.
The color is a touch lighter than its closest cousin maroon, meaning it sits somewhere between neutral dark brown and vibrant and fiery red with some purple undertones. Although most people often confuse maroon with burgundy, they are totally different shades. Maroon leans towards red-brown and has no purple tint that’s characteristic of burgundy.
There are several variants of the color burgundy, but old burgundy and vivid burgundy are perhaps the most well-known. Popularized in the mid-1920s, old burgundy has more tints of purple and is significantly darker than the traditional burgundy. On the other hand, vivid burgundy is much brighter than the standard shade. It was coined after a particular burgundy-branded hair coloring formula that became so popular that it took over the name.
Burgundy is very close to other brownish red shades, too. However, they vary from one another in subtle ways.
- Maroon – As we’ve mentioned, maroon lacks the purple hues of burgundy and is more brownish red than the latter. It has a more brick-red tint.
- Cordovan – Often associated with horseshoe leather, cordovan has a slightly paler and fairer brown shade than burgundy.
- Oxblood – This is a significantly darker shade of dark red and lacks the blue or purple tint of burgundy. It’s often used in reference to leather clothing.
- Brick – This shade has more brown-red undertones than burgundy. As the name suggests, it’s the generally-accepted color of brick (often termed brick red).
- Crimson – While the color burgundy is a shade of dark red, crimson is a purple shade that’s deep, bright, and strong.
- Garnet – This is a berry tone that’s closer to maroon than burgundy.
- Wine – This is a dark red shade of purple and is closer to burgundy than any other brownish-red tone.
Burgundy became a popular lipstick color in the mid-1990s and was preferred by people from the goth community. Today, the color is featured heavily in hair dyes, pillow covers, silk dresses, sheets, and of course, socks. This is a velvety color that looks and feels great with everything and on any outfit. No wonder it has been worn by almost everyone, from Tibetan monks to big-screen actress Nicole Kidman.
What Goes Well with Burgundy Socks?
Burgundy is a versatile color that works with everything and looks good on just about any outfit. You can step out in style for your wedding, grab attention at work, or ace that interview in these bold socks. It can be a statement piece in and of itself.
As a general rule of thumb, however, you shouldn’t combine burgundy socks with other statement pieces, lest you look a bit clownish. The brown-red shade is bright enough to take the spotlight on its own and make your outfit stand out.
For this reason, you should pair the warmth and complex undertones of the shade with soft styles and muted colors elsewhere in the ensemble. Even so, you don’t have to be a fashionista to wear burgundy socks fashionably. There are a few loose rules of thumb to keep in mind, though.
Let’s look at what you should and what you shouldn’t wear with a pair of burgundy socks. Remember, it all boils down to what outfit you’re trying to pull off.
When wearing socks, there’s one golden rule: pair it with the pants. It’s a simple rule that appears to work like a charm every time, as it helps create a visually seamless flow and makes you seem taller. But rules were made to be broken. So, don’t be afraid to pair your chosen socks with shoes.
As with all attention-grabbing socks, especially ones that have patterns on them, burgundy socks work well with soft, conservative shoes. For men, you can’t get it wrong with leather oxford shoes, leather double monks, leather Chelsea boots, suede derby shoes, and leather tassel loafers.
While you can get away with leather velvet loafers, you might not be so lucky with sneakers, flashy cowboy boots, and other showy or flamboyant shoes. Talk about faux pas, right? Similarly, you should stick to neutral and muted tones like black, brown, navy, beige, camel, and so on. Avoid bold and ‘loud’ tones because too many clashing ‘statement pieces’ can overwhelm your outfit.
For women, heels, lace-up shoes, sandals, and other flat shoes go well with burgundy socks. In terms of colors, dress up in off-whites, magenta, gold, mustard, black, and other fun colors -- ladies can always get adventurous with their shoe choice.
A shirt can be a dominant piece in your outfit, so you want to go with toned-down colors or neutrals, such as all blacks, all whites, navy, beige, camel, gray, and other de-saturated hues. You can never go wrong with pairing these with your burgundy socks.
If you’re going for a colorful shirt, you can tone it down with a classic sock pattern like argyle. Generally, you should wear a plain white dress shirt and burgundy socks to class up your casual wear. This is an outfit that can effortlessly take you from the golf course to dinner with a client in the evening.
For a more relaxed, weekend wear, you can try a pink or light blue dress shirt with your burgundy socks for an outrageously stylish outfit. Yellow is another color that marries well with bold-colored socks.
If worn creatively, burgundy can be an amazingly masculine shade that’s well-balanced, offering a warm statement tone plus versatile neutrals. If you’re going with patterned burgundy socks, however, try to stay grounded to the classics when it comes to your shirt choice.
A stylish pair of burgundy socks can be the centerpiece of your two-piece or three-piece suit. The versatile color sits comfortably between classic and contemporary, allowing you to feel cool and comfortable at the same time. This also gives you a bit of leeway when it comes to pairing with suits.
Let’s not forget the golden rule that you must match your socks with the pants. This will help not only make sure you seem taller but also create a flawless extension of your leg. That’s not to say your socks and pants should have an identical color; they only need to belong in the same shade or hue.
The secret to pairing burgundy socks with suits is either experimenting with contrasting hues or selecting tones in the same palette. In the latter case, it’s highly recommended that you stick to neutrals and classic suits like navy, charcoal, black, gray, and even beige.
For instance, you can team up your burgundy socks with charcoal dress pants, a black knit tie, brown leather oxford shoes, and a white dress shirt. Add a nice silver or designer watch to spruce it up.
If you’re looking to wear bold, patterned burgundy socks, you’ll want to introduce a suit with a neutral base like navy, grey, or black pants. The pair will become an anchor point that’ll let you experiment with other accessories of your choice. This way, you can bust out your colorful socks to contrast the muted tones with a stronger argyle, polka dot, or striped pattern.
This goes both ways –- if your socks have a block color, go for checked or patterned suits. For example, plain or low-key burgundy argyle socks will dress up nicely with a check three-piece navy suit.
Burgundy socks, while bold and spotlight-stealing, are only a single piece of the puzzle. You must also think about the whole ensemble, including the blazer, coat, overcoat, or jacket that you’ll be wearing. Don’t stick to one pattern, style, or color throughout the entire outfit.
If your pants and socks are in the same or nearly the same palette, add a blazer to create some interesting contrast. However, if you want the socks to be the statement piece (as it should be in the case of burgundy socks), your safest bet is to choose a blazer in neutral or dulled tones. That’s navy, black, or gray.
Combining your burgundy socks with a navy blazer, for example, will help throw together an outfit with an urban feel. You can incorporate mid-dark brown leather loafers, a white pocket square with contrasting print, and a lovely watch to complete the look.
If you want to up the ante, go for a striped gray or black jacket or coat to add a contemporary twist to your casual weekend look. Make sure the socks are not striped to avoid two statement pieces in the same ensemble.
If you prefer striped, argyle, or polka dot burgundy socks, choosing a block color blazer may be your best choice. Yellow tones and low-key greens in your blazer will also go well with the warmth of burgundy. The same goes for jackets, overcoats, turtlenecks, collar coats, and windbreakers.
Despite its small size, a tie or a scarf can have a huge impact on the overall style and look of your outfit. That’s why it must complement your burgundy socks but in a ‘quiet’ manner. Again, you don’t want both the tie and the socks to be statement pieces in your get-up.
If you choose a pair of patterned burgundy socks, be sure to stay away from similar patterns in your tie. In fact, you’d be better off choosing a solid-color tie that will complete your ensemble without stealing the show from your distinguished socks.
For this reason, you must select muted colors for your tie or scarf. But because the scarf takes up more real estate, consider something with neutral or toned-down hues like gray, muted green, navy, or even charcoal. For example, you can pair bolder, patterned burgundy socks with a muted green tie, as well as dark brown leather oxford shoes and charcoal gray pants.
This can also be achieved with a striped brown-red tie for a more practical look. Opt for a beige print tie for that casual, weekend look, or a black knit tie for day-to-day wear. Most people agree that a beige or navy scarf with muted patterns is a perennial choice to wear with bold socks.
As we’ve mentioned, violets do love to mingle with burgundy and related shades like purple, crimson, and wine. This fashionable look can be achieved by matching your socks with a tie in orange, blue, violet, or green. This look is not for everyone or every occasion, though.
Are Burgundy Socks a Good Wedding Idea?
Yes, burgundy and similar shades of brown-red are a common choice as a wedding color. A burgundy or burgundy patterned sock is a good way to introduce the wedding color into the outfit without wearing something as bold or risky as a full-on burgundy suit.
Make sure to synchronize the boldness and warmth of burgundy with something on the wedding décor. This is going to be dazzling if you can coordinate some of the patterns and tones found in the bridal party. This coordination will help accentuate the theme or color of your wedding.
Trust me, the wedding photos you’ll take as groomsmen and the groom will be a bomb. For the ultimate wedding attire, try adding in more colorful and playful elements to your outfit. You won’t be disappointed by floral patterns, plaids, or stripes. These should be coordinated in the major statement pieces like the tie, pocket square, shirt, or watch.
Some Common Burgundy Sock Patterns to Consider
Plain socks are, well, plain and sometimes uninspiring. Wearing patterned burgundy socks is a fun and practical way to introduce more interest and character to your otherwise run-of-the-mill outfit.
When it comes to casual looks, most people go for timeless filigree patterns that will make you stand out without looking outlandish. However, if you’re a trendsetter or an adventurous dresser who loves to look sharp and provoke conversations, you’ve got to use your socks to flash some color and favorite patterns.
If you’re already into colors like burgundy, then you won’t have any trouble styling with classic patterns like polka dots, paisley, argyle, stripes, and other plaid prints. These are great for almost any occasion because they are far from novelty patterns like cartoons, super-heroes, and fantasy themes.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the most popular patterns to consider for your burgundy socks:
Polka dots: Polka dot burgundy socks are a look that you can work for everything, for office wear, everyday attire, or formal outfit. It’s a playful pattern that’s bold and flattering. So, if you want to add some charm and elegance to an otherwise mundane outfit, consider polka dot socks.
Polka dot pattern works well with yellows, so you can easily pair your socks with a shirt, pocket square, blouse, pants, and even pocket squares. You can also mix-and-match with other patterns, so long as they are not of the same gradation. What’s even more exciting is that polka dots come in a variety of colors, prints, and sizes. You can play around with these aspects until you hit the sweet spot.
For example, you can pair polka dot burgundy socks with a navy blazer – these 2 items fit nicely together for a laid-back look. You can finish off the ensemble with a high-quality pair of brown leather Chelsea boots or tassel loafers for added oomph. No matter what type of polka dots you choose, this is one pattern that won’t disappoint in burgundy.
Stripes: Burgundy socks are available in a wide range of different stripes. You can select from self-stripes, warp stripes, weft stripes, candy stripes, pencil stripes, hairpin stripes, chalk stripes, and pinstripes, just to mention the top ones. While horizontal and vertical stripes are great for an office, interview, or a formal setting, you do want to experiment with cheerful stripes for casual occasions.
You can wear striped burgundy socks with solid colors, contrasting tones, conservative shoes, and matching accessories. The trick is to stick to neutrals, nudes, and muted hues, as they won't compete for the attention with your socks.
Also, you don’t want to pile too many patterns on top of your striped socks. For instance, you can’t have polka dots, stripes, and other plaid patterns in the same outfit. Luckily, you can play around with the patterns, sizes, and colors of the stripes.
Argyle: This is a classic diamond pattern that has graced socks for many decades. This pattern pairs perfectly well with both casual and formal items of clothing. You can wear it for the office, clubbing, or your wedding – no matter the occasion, argyle burgundy socks will get more eyeballs on you.
Stick to classics like a black blazer, tobacco leather oxford shoes, or gray pants for a smart look. You can also pair argyle socks with other patterns on the same piece, making sure they are of different scales and gradations.
What if You’re Considering Buying Burgundy Socks as a Gift?
Burgundy is a distinguished and moody color that can make your gift extra special. That’s especially true if the item in question is a classic gift like socks. But there are a few things to keep in mind when giving burgundy socks as a gift.
- Make sure the person you’re buying for is game for a bold sock choice. That’s because some people tend to stay away from bold, patterned items. And burgundy is certainly not for everyone!
- Have a sense of their size and style. Some people may appreciate a pair of plain socks, while others love fun patterns like polka dots, argyle, stripes, or plaids.
- Choose the material carefully. If the person resides in a hot area, you might want a blend that will absorb and wick away sweat. On the other hand, you’ll want to buy warm and cozy socks for someone who lives in an area that experiences long winters.
- Add an accessory if your budget allows. Burgundy socks pair beautifully with a lot of items, from leather watches to pocket squares.
Burgundy socks have complex undertones that make them a styling gem. It’s a stylish and cool look that more people can pull off than they think. Thankfully, the velvety color goes well with a variety of items of clothing, including shirts, pants, dresses, blouses, pocket squares, blazers, jackets, and even sweaters. Just stay grounded with yellows or neutral colors, so that your gorgeous socks can take the limelight.