Socks are one of those things that most of us hate to spend money on but the fact is that if we want to be elegant and dress sharp then it is very much one of those details that you should not fall short on. While I believe the shoes are the foundation of one’s outfit, the reality is that the socks are the support beams to that foundation. There is nothing that hurts the eyes more than white socks paired with a black shoe/trouser combo and there is a reason why the sock is a crucial component to tying your outfit together. On a visual level, that most might not even think about but definitely will notice subconsciously, the importance of a good sock becomes crucial to our aesthetic appeal and sartorial execution.
Cheap socks are noticed a mile away. Those dress socks you buy in packs are the ultimate no-no. That cheap blend of materials is so obvious that unless you are buying them to wear with your sneakers, you should never think about those for wearing with nice shoes/suits. Not only are they not well made, which means they break easily but they also fray, and get all of those little lint balls on them that you have to shave/pluck off. It’s the worse look. And while you are spending little per go, you will be spending more overall just like almost anything when it comes to quality versus the time you are able to get out of said product. To top it off, you easily notice them and how vastly different they look when paired with nice cloths from your trousers and an elegant and well-made shoe. Do not believe me? Just look below. Those socks just have cheap written all over them.
If you have ever worn cheap socks as well as expensive socks you will know the huge difference in how your feet feel at the end of a long day walking. The way the cloth sticks to your feet and causes friction against the lining leather is a huge factor in the difference of quality. Not being a vocabulary wizard, it will be hard for me to explain in words the following but cheap socks all sweaty against your shoe produces a weird feeling that, at least for me, is super uncomfortable. The higher quality sock also has its issues when sweaty but that sticky friction feeling is not the same and it is noticeably obvious that the cloth of higher quality feels infinitely better even in a circumstance of discomfort. The cheap material absorbs more perspiration whereas the finer quality wools will wick it away more. You always feel like this is a sales tactic expression when hearing this from a salesman but when it comes to socks, I can say that I have really felt that difference first hand.
The reality is that good-quality socks make high-quality designs. Cheap socks are always plain or in the most horrific patterns like polka dots (I had those before and regret them and guess what, they were cheap socks!). Sock design has come a long way in the last 10 years, much like classic design in menswear has in general. You are finding more and more unique patterns. The one directly above is one of my recent favorites. I only wish it came in way more color options. Hopefully, Mes Chaussettes Rouges will come to realize that is the top model and get some new color options in them! But yeah, sock designs are far more vast in the higher quality arena, and the more options you have the more ability you have to create some great shoe/sock/trouser combinations. Of course, there will be some duds in your attempts but practice makes perfect and once you start to learn the power of good contrast, you will see just how important that good quality sock is, not only in feel and in fit but also in the presentation of your outfit.
Good socks have more sizes and not a ‘6-12, one size fits all’ rubbish that is the most annoying thing ever when you fall at the end of one of those spectrums and get a terrible fit. That is something that I really hold dear in terms of the value of good-quality socks. There are few things I despise more than when your socks have all of that hanging excess space in your toes because of the one-size fit and you falling on the shorter end of that. Even when they are two sizes and your size is the smaller of the two, you get the excess length that bunches up either in the toes or your heels. Proper socks have a far more tailored fit and feel better in your shoes without any bunching or excess material rubbing you wrong.
The reality is that good socks are important if you care about how you feel and look. It might seem trivial but there really is a difference between low and high-quality socks, just like anything else in menswear. And the reason I find them so important is that a sock is meant to be tight and is on a part of your body that perspires. That being, giving your feet the best material to touch them simply makes a difference not only in comfort but also in harmonizing the quality of your other pieces
I only get my socks from one place, one of the sponsors to the blog, Mes Chaussettes Rouges. Not because they are sponsors, but because they are friends and I have supported them since the beginning of their brand as they have supported my brand too. They have the best presentation of packaging I have seen, great customer service, and an amazing collection of socks from the finest brands. Definitely check them out if you are in the market. All of the socks in this post are by them (except the bad example one).
Disclaimer: And while I only show them as it is easy for me to access the content I need and am loyal to my sponsors and friends, there are lots of other great shoemakers in the world so if you prefer to have other options, I suggest also checking out Instagram to find other great makers. I am not in touch with socks brands like I am with shoe brands, hence not being to direct you further.
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It would have been a lot more helpful if you gave some examples of other high-quality sock retailers and makers besides your business partner. I’m happy to patronize your sponsors but this reads like an ad for Mes Chausettes Rouge masquerading as a blog post.
Thank you for sharing Mike. I see your point. And yes, I could have spent more time looking for other people’s photos to use, but the point of the post was about wearing a good sock, not about showing all of the great sock brands in the world. And as I only wear one brand it makes it easy for me to access photography. Time is also of the essence when it comes to writing my posts as I do this blog as my passion project. And because I only wear one brand, I do not follow other sock brands so I am not also in the knowledge of all of the other sock brands out there. So while you can write this comment only thinking negatively about it, try to also look at it from another perspective. I do plenty to promote all shoemakers, but it comes to socks I only promote one as not only are they one of my sponsors, but also friends who I would support regardless.
I think this is a bit unfair, Mike. For one thing, Mes Chaussetes Rouge do offer a number of brands – it’s actually a pretty good one-stop shop if you wanted an intro to high-end sock brands. Secondly, Justin’s blog is about shoes ultimately – it’s not really incumbent on him to provide an exhaustive list of websites to support a more general point about good socks being important.
Thank you Mike, I appreciate you offering your perspective.
Having been a customer of Mes Chaussettes Rouge for several years, I can testify to the veracity of your comments. However, MCR also controls William Abraham, a unique sock company. I suggest that anyone reading this article should also access the great WA creations via the ad attached. Truly fantastic socks!
Thank you for sharing John! And yes, WA socks are also great