One thing that truly separates the sartorially savvy from the sartorially dumb is the right pair of socks. Sure, you could go on the rest of your life matching your socks to your pants and no one would think twice, but how fun is that? Socks are the one thing that you can truly be bold on and still be subtle. For instance, here in England (specifically London) many men dress absolutely conservative (e.g. navy suit, black shoes) but will wear a bright red or bright purple pair of socks. And while I find their outfit absolutely boring, I respect that little bit of flair from their socks, which also gives them a one-up from your average boring conservative. But it is not easy being clever with your socks. If you try too hard, it will be obvious and look quite bad. The key is to be subtle about it, yet bold at the same time. I, personally, like to match my socks to my tie, so when I wear my red socks, I usually have a red tie or a tie with some red in it. This is not something that everyone should or will do, some just wear the bold socks and nothing more or others might match the pocket square. There is no right or wrong to it, it’s just about doing it in a way that makes it seem that you did not try too hard.
As you might have already seen in other notable blogs, such as Permanent Style or A Suitable Wardrobe, there is a new sock distributor in town, Mes Chaussettes Rouges (which means, ‘my red socks’). If you do read these other blogs you might be thinking, “man I am tired of seeing this post done so many ways by all of these bloggers!” But just remember that if you were introducing a new product or service, then you too would want outlets, such as ours, to spread the love and knowledge. So when Jacques and Vincent contacted me, giving me an introduction to the socks that they are now supplying, I only felt honored to be one of the bloggers that they felt could give them proper coverage. I also think that it also just goes to show that if all three of us are doing a post, being the serious and respectable bloggers that we are, then the product must be good and worthy of wearing.
While I could tell you that the Pope as well as the French Prime Minister wear Gammarelli socks and that might mean nothing to you as it means nothing to me, what I will instead say is that when I wore them, I was thoroughly impressed, and that’s hard to do when it comes to socks. Not only did it feel like nothing was there, they felt like they were made just for me but even more importantly never slid down my leg, which is something that I absolutely hate when socks do. I have this love/hate relationship when it comes to socks, mainly because I would rather be buying shoes when I am purchasing them and the fact that they always slide down my leg. So to finally find something that actually stays up and does not make me think about them for one second of the day, made me extremely happy. Now I sincerely want to get a pair in every color! And if you are a sock lover but also hate socks that slide down, then look no further, Gammerelli and Mazarin are your brands and Mes Chaussettes Rouges are your outlet.
(For more factual knowledge about the company or the socks, please read the other two posts about them, they are much more informative in those regards)
I’m working in the Middle East (previously in London) and I have raised many eyebrows for my socks – the local girls (I am in a Gulf state) have even secretly taken photos of my socks because they had yet to encounter someone locally who wore colours/patterned socks. I wear a suit to work, and add a dash of colour to my shoes at least twice a week (brown, blue or green patina shoes) but I’ve no hesitated with the socks – I’ve found that Paul Smith and Duchamp socks have a very nice range of colours and very comfortable socks. I even found the coloured socks from Uniqlo very nice as they have bold and sombre colours such as bright red, orange and even olive (although they are much thicker). So yes, socks if chosen well and co-ordinated appropriately add an amazing touch. However, the thickness of the socks inevitably affect the comfort of the shoes so it may be a question of taste and comfort as I personally don’t like socks tat are too thin or too thick.
Now, let’s talk pocket squares next!
The Shoe Snob
Sikar – Great comment. That is funny that women were taking photos of you, I bet that raised the confidence level! I would love to see your blue and green shoes that you have, as you can tell, i am a avid fan of especially blue. I will have to check out Uniqlo, I would have never thought. Thanks for the advice there. We will see about pocket squares, I try to stick to the region below the legs for my blog as not to stray to far out of subject and loose clarity, you know. Thanks for always sharing.
-Justin, “The Shoe Snob”
inspiring indeed………….justin have you heard about an Italian sock maker called Bresciani? I recommend checking them out (they make high quality over-the-calf socks using best cottons,their socks are hand linked & of course they come in a wide range of colors) you can find theme online on http://www.mrporter.com………thought you might be interested………
Justin FitzPatrick, "The Shoe Snob"
Gentleman90 – Thanks for that!! I have heard of them, but have never really had the pleasure of seeing them in person.