White Socks with Penny Loafers

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Yes you can wear white socks with your loafers. However, if you want to look cool doing it like the guys in all those vintage pictures you want a certain type of white athletic sock. Its not your typical modern white athletic sock.
White socks and penny loafers
The white sock to wear with your penny loafers is the Wigwam 625 (see here). Also they aren’t really white. They are off-white and after a few washes the color gets closer to cream. They aren’t cotton either like the white athletic sock that we know. They are a wool blend (63% Wool/37% Nylon). They are thick too. Almost like a wool sock that you would wear with hiking boots. One other notable feature is that they don’t have any elastic. It’s hard to believe that these were what kids wore to play sports in the 1950s-1960s.

IMG_6599I wear these socks a lot and thought I could offer a pretty accurate overview for those who have not. To me Wigwams and Weejuns are like peanut butter & jelly, but let me just say to those who have never worn this style of sock before that it may be an acquired taste type of thing. Wigwam 625s are scratchy and itchy at first, but this goes away after a few washes or did for me. They don’t have any elastic so surprise surprise they don’t stay up well… at all. So you will find yourself bending over to pull them up throughout the day. They are also thicker than the modern white sock, but I think that is one of their best attributes. I weathered through  all of this and somehow they grew on me. Now I find them both comfortable and comforting.
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Keds 1960If you want to wear a white sock with your loafers the Wigwam 625 is that white sock. As I said it is really more of a cream color and they are wool blend which gives them some nice texture. Alternatively you could substitute any cream colored wool sock with a little thickness if the classics don’t work out for you. These socks are not only the right sock for the penny loafer look, but they also look cool with canvas sneakers, mocs, boots, and almost any other casual shoe. While I can’t imagine playing a game of basketball in them like they did back in the day you can count me as a fan.

oxford cloth button down
Jerrod Swanton is a simple man interested in simple, classic, and traditional style.

11 Comments on "White Socks with Penny Loafers"

  1. Justin Barr says:

    I did so in the 1960s; wouldn’t dream of doing so today. Some Trad elements should be left to rest in peace.

  2. Jon V DiBenedetto says:

    Nice read! And I’ve always liked white socks with loafers. I didn’t know about the Wigwams~ thanks!

  3. RWK says:

    @OCBD, I’d be interested in hearing more about how you think the Husky socks compare to the El Pine ragg socks (a version of which is what Wigwam makes for LL Bean as their “Ragg Wool Socks”). Do you find them to be durable with leather-soled dress shoes? The main gripe I have with wool socks is that they tend to develop holes in the heel and at the back ankle where they rub against the inside of loafers while walking. I don’t have this problem with cotton socks; even the thin cotton dress socks I have are more durable than thick wool versions I’ve bought over the years.

  4. Eli says:

    I was introduced to the Wigwam 625s through your Instagram and I love them. They seem to go with any hand-sewn style. I am more of a ranger-moc guy than a penny loafer guy but I can’t get enough pairs of these socks.

  5. oxford cloth button down says:

    RWK – I don’t own any Husky socks, but I do have a few pairs of El Pine ragg socks. I only wear them when it is really cold and I will be outside so they don’t get worn very often (15 times a year?). Due to that I have not had any wear issues. I have not had any issues with my Wigwam 625s getting holes if that helps. I don’t wear thin dress socks, but thicker navy cotton crew socks by Dockers. I need a cushioned sock.

  6. Charlottesville says:

    I am also a fan of the Wigwam 625, and wear them mostly with Khakis or jeans and camp mocs or Sperry Topsiders. But the penny loafer/wigwam/khaki trifecta is also a great casual look, as exemplified by the photo of Jerrod above. Very well done.

  7. Woofboxer says:

    I assume your loafers must be fairly loose fitting to accommodate these thick socks?

    How do you go on when wearing them sockless in the summer?

  8. James Bow says:

    I’m sorry but as a Brit white socks must only be worn while playing sport. I understand it maybe traditional but have to draw a line here. Enjoy yourself though

  9. Richard says:

    Can you comfortably wear these with your usual Weejuns that normally take a thinner sock? I have L.L Bean ragg socks and they make my normally loose Docksides noticeably tight.

  10. oxford cloth button down says:

    I never wear thin dress socks. My regular socks are dockers cotton Crew in navy. My feet need the paddding. I don’t normally wear my work loafers sockless but I have done it on occasion.

    For those who don’t like them because they are white don’t worry about it. They really aren’t white in real life but cream. If you don’t like cream socks either than these certainly aren’t for you :)

  11. Billax says:

    OCBD,
    Thank you for your VERY nice article on Wigwam athletic socks. I have worn Wigwam wool blend Crew socks since 1958, and I’ll wear them ’til I croak! Maybe it’s because I’m a Wisconsin guy, and Wigwams are made in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. I wear Wigwam Huskies, which are a thicker version of the socks you wear but, hey, all Wigwams are good Wigwams.

    As an old fogey, Wigwams and Weejuns are as Classic as it gets.!

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