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A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO BUYING SOCKS
When we speak of socks we can honestly say that although they may appear as a comparatively small and inconspicuous item of clothing, they definitely are an essential piece of menswear. It is rather interesting to see how somehow we pay so little attention to them and yet they’re central to our overall comfort. A pair of socks don’t just cover and keep your feet warm, protect them from abrasion, soak up your perspiration, or ensure shoes that are slightly too big actually fit. They make or break your outfit too. Well, just a few years back it was simpler. Menswear was not as popular then as it is now – even a pair of striped socks made a tremendous fashion statement. That’s if you could find a pair of striped or bold-coloured socks in the first place. Today, finding a bold pattern pair of socks is much easier e.g. you can subscribe to a Sock of the Month Club to help you stand out from the crowd.
Getting your sock choice right
Socks are becoming more and more popular these days and for a good reason. A pair of bright socks are the perfect accessory for someone to express their creativity, individualism, and influence on how others see them. Going through the process of selecting the right socks for the right occasion is testimony to one’s attention to details and reflects positively on them as a person. A little more effort and care is required because it's not a simple task, but if you take that little extra effort, you'll look remarkable and on point. Psychology experts say that the right choice of socks may also influence your own self-confidence and performance. If you have a pair of lucky socks for example, you may want to make a point of wearing them for your next big presentation or job interview.
Bold and colourful socks in solid colours, stripes, and dots, animated with classic patterns like argyle, plaid, and paisley are showing up on men's ankles everywhere. Despite the variety of designs and patterns, when purchasing a pair of socks, comfort, and durability should always preside in the decision-making process. Nowadays, men are looking for quality fabrics, comfort and personalisation such as a monogram service offered by the likes of Genevieve Sweeney pictured above.
Cotton: You probably know that cotton is a big material when it comes to socks. That’s definitely true. Cotton is the best fabric for both formal and athletic socks. It is lightweight, cooler, and when blended with lycra or other man-made fibers, it can hold its shape and conform to the foot, providing an excellent fit. Also, the number one benefit when selecting a pair of socks made from cotton material is that they come at a relatively low price.
Wool: Wool has been in use in sock manufacturing since the beginning. Wool socks have one great advantage, they will keep one’s feet warm in the winter and cool in the summer. They also don’t absorb the maximum amount of moisture compared to other materials. These characteristics combined make them a great fit for outdoor activities such as hiking or skiing. Pure wool socks can be scratchy and thick, so nowadays they are blended with synthetic fibers like rayon. This blending of yarns makes them softer, while also enhancing strength and durability. The main downside of wool socks is that they cost more compared to cotton or synthetics.
Cashmere and Silk: A luxury blend reserved for dress socks, a mix like this looks exceptional when paired with quality dress shoes and a fine worsted wool suit. Although lighter than wool, these socks provide similar benefits to wool. They’ll keep your feet comfortable and are extra soft on the feet. Since they are expensive, investing in them means that you better be committed to hand washing to get your money’s worth. And don’t even think about putting them in the dryer!
Synthetics: Staying away from synthetic socks is a really good piece of advice unless you’re after a pair for strictly athletic use. Synthetic socks are famously lightweight so they are highly used in athletics, but you should keep in mind that they have a tendency to be less comfortable and breathable than their natural fiber counterparts. There is one good thing about synthetics, they can boost the durability of the socks and help prevent shrinkage when blended with a natural fiber like cotton or wool.
Where do all my socks go?
Have you ever bought five pairs of the same colour socks and then all of sudden you have only a pair and a half left? Thin air, black holes, or maybe even your dog, the answer has a variety of rational and non-rational options. Somehow like all the lighters, USB phone leads, and other small trinkets, we keep wondering where they disappear to. In situations like these, there is only one thing that can be done - better organisation. First of all, keep the socks organised in your sock drawer. As organised as you are, the more likely you are to find the right pair for the right outfit. Instead of folding them inside out, try stacking them in a row horizontally. And of course, there is a practical way to reduce your lost-socks quota. Don’t throw them in with all of your other laundry, that’s how they get irrevocably separated, and despite your heroic intentions, post-wash pairing is just an illusion.
Is it okay to buy socks for a present?
Finding the best present last-minute, we have all experienced this issue. Whether for a Father’s Day, a significant other, or a Secret Santa present, there is one thing about socks: everyone wears them, needs them, and loves them. Socks are en vogue, that is why a sock subscription is a perfect choice for a present. In fact, it was even voted Best Sock Subscription by Fun Sock Clubs. Monthly sock deliveries might be a better alternative to stuffed bears and boxes full of chocolate. And let’s not forget that inexpressible thrill of getting a new rocking pair of socks in the post.