Socks are very important! This may come as a surprise to some, but the comfort of your feet can make a huge difference in how you feel. An uncomfortable sock will irritate you while a good sock will make your feet feel cozy in your shoes all day long.
While comfort is paramount, socks are not only about comfort. They send a message to others about you. Imagine sitting down and crossing your leg. Some of your sock will show (or your ankle if you go sockless) especially these days when pants and suits are cropped a little shorter. What would you like your sock to say about you? “I’m elegant” or “I’m confidant” or ‘I’m witty’ or “Screw you all” ? I promise you that a “stand out” sock will give you “great/cool /wow” looks and comments.
I use to get frustrated by the sock choices at the department stores. I tried countless brands of socks! Some of them lost their elasticity after a few washes, some lost their softness; others wore out at the heel too soon. Oh, and of course so many of them irritated my toes at the seem of the sock. It also not easy to find a sock that fits and that actually comes in sizes...After much trial and error, I now know which socks work best, feel the most comfortable for the longest time and give me my money's worth. Just for you, here is the rundown of my findings.
A few suggestions:
Find a sock that has hand linked toes: This is a traditional method of stitching the toe seam, giving a completely smooth finish and providing unrivaled comfort.
Look for reinforcements: The most pressure in shoes is at the heel and toe. So look for socks that tell you that they weave the yarn stronger or are woven into multiple layers at the heel and toe.
Find a yarn that is comfortable to you, ( and stay away from nylon, unless the ratio of natural fiber to soft nylon is 80/20 or better). Most people find cotton the most comfortable but you may prefer wool, cashmere or even linen in the summer. Linen is stronger than cotton, not as warm, and super breathable during the hot summer months. It is also a great choice if you need dress socks but your feet tend to get very hot and sweaty…
As for color, while it is convention to match your sock to your pants (NOT YOUR SHOE, THAT WILL MAKE YOU LOOK SHORTER AND STUBBIER)
Try wearing something colorful, perhaps with color accents from your shirt, tie or suit lining? Or maybe a pattern… I personally like skulls. Especially on days when I know I will be sitting at many annoying meetings…
Buy socks that are colorfast. Dyes have a tendency to fade. Only high quality socks offer a dye process that makes them not bleed and survive the daily strains.
One brand that I particularly love is Pantherealla (a British company that has made men’s and women’s socks since 1937). Their socks come in a variety of materials (cotton, wool, silk, cashmere and sea island cotton; the latter feels as delicate as cashmere but can be washed in the same way as regular cotton) as well as specific sizes (not the ubiquitous ‘ one size fits most’) and for my women readers they also offer knee high socks. Their price ranges from about $20 a pair to $60. BUT. If you shop diligently you can find them for less. I just bought a few pairs for $12 a pair on gilt.com. You can find them at Nordstrom, Saks fifth Ave and www.onthefly.com.
Undoubtedly, Corgi (another British company—this one provides socks for the British monarchs) makes some of the best socks for men and for women. They are currently being sold at jcrew.com for $32 a pair. Not cheap, but they are amazingly comfortable and well made and will last and last.
Thomas Pink (who has a fantastic store in San Francisco) also sells great sturdy socks that come in different sizes and materials. Their price range can go to as low as $10 on sale up to $40 a pair.
Finally, for cold days or for hiking--Marled Socks: Camp Socks (made in the US by the last remaining sock mill )-are currently 2 pairs for $20 at J.Crew. get them in red and navy. Wearing them with a loafer says: “ I’m cool and I don’t care about conventions” It is also very old school…
If you hate shopping for socks ( and/or underwear), www.blacksocks.com offers a sock-scription. You can choose which socks and which colors and they will send them to every 2 or 3 or 4 or 6 times a year ( choose 3 times a year for $89; they will ask you if you would like to renew every 11 months… you can also buy one as a trial.)
Keep Shopping I.