Not too short, not too long.
For years we pushed a strict no-socks-in-summer rule, and though we still stand by the breezy benefits of going sockless, we’ve recently come around to the idea of socks as an opportunity to earn some serious style points. Recently, the socks we’ve been loving are graphic-heavy, retro-inspired versions that harken back to gym class in the ’70s. But just nailing the look of your new socks isn’t quite enough. See, when you’re wearing shorts around town, there’s no better length sock than what’s known amongst some as the “half-calf” or “mid-calf”—terms coined by lacrosse-playing prepsters with expectedly strict style guidelines for fitting in. Despite its origins, the term is actually pretty useful when it comes to buying these kind of socks, and as Kanye West shows, they’re the most flattering length of sock a guy can wear this spring with a pair of just-above-the-knee shorts.
As part of his recent “all sweats, all the time” campaign, Kanye West stepped out in a pair of new Yeezy 500 sneakers, half-calf Calabasas socks, sweat shorts, and a crewneck sweatshirt. What makes this length of sock beneficial is that, as their name implies, they cover just the part of the leg beneath the calf, which has the visual effect of elongating your legs (and drawing the attention down to your sneakers). Wearing ankle socks or no-shows here would feel a little too beach-y, while anything longer than what you see here can veer into circulation sock territory. Now, as West shows, the sock length works best with shorts that aren’t too long or too short, either. It’s all about finding a balance between extremes that give the socks-and-shorts look a more athletic, gym-ready vibe, even when you’re just on your way to the grocery store.