When we heard that in their family-owned Italian factories, New York-based label Etiquette spends an average of 240 seconds knitting each sock -- over double the time which most brands devote -- our first reaction was: why?
The long answer: an unexplored level of aesthetic sophistication, artisanal crafting using the finest quality yarns, and dedication to high tech precision.
The short answer: nothing beats these socks.
The case against sport socks and dress shoes goes far beyond appearance. Lucky for you, the Etiquette team, also known as the authors behind The Basics of Etiquette: Volume 1, let us in on the code of properly socking up.
Without further adieu...
What do socks say about a man’s personality?
Etiquette: Socks provide an opportunity for the greatest understatement. It’s the small details that often serve to define the character of a man.
A sock is much like underwear, it is the first elements of the wardrobe you are most likely to put on. It is how you start your day and eventually defines who you want to be during next twelve hours by necessity or by choice. For those who consider it choice, it is most likely a fair description of their mood and fashionable expression.
It's also a way to add a splash of color to a monochromatic ensemble, a unique ability of showing the world that this guy walking around in the otherwise sober suit just might not be a total stuffy.
Any easy tips and tricks on how to match socks with what we’re wearing?
Etiquette: Socks should command attention, not demand attention.
We focus on the sock-to-pant relationship. The theory is to match socks to your pants to create a visually seamless extension of your leg, colorwise. It is cohesive, without a blip. This makes you appear taller, and can also give a person more standing by enhancing visual gravity.
But matching does not mean socks should be exactly identical in color, but fall in the same hue. A shade lighter or darker on the spectrum works well. It doesn’t relegate socks to complete anonymity, but they’re not screaming for to be noticed either.
1. There’s a fine line with colored socks. Colorful, yes. Clownish, no. Unless you make balloon animals in the park for a living, go for a dash of color only. It’s good to dabble and break up a monotone outfit, but if you get too creative you might turn yourself into the human equivalent of a Crayola crayon box.
2. The busier the patterns, the louder the colors, the more careful you should be. Similar to mixing your liquor, it’s an amateur move to combine too much. A little buzz of color is different from being a drunken buffoon. Proceed with caution, and avoid getting overeager. Don’t be too happy. (Like everything in life, balance is key.)
3. Colorful socks work best with tailored clothing or a great pair of jeans. Of course, everything works better with tailored clothing or a great pair of jeans. Like waving a bright flag, vivid socks will only draw more attention to a schlubby outfit.
4. Don’t match the color of your socks exactly to the dominant color of anything else you’ve got going on Matching socks with shoes is not a smooth move either. Doing so will either make a pair of beautiful shoes disappear and look invisible or, even worse, they’ll blend right into your socks for a bootie effect.
Suit: Wear black socks with a black suit, navy with navy.
Khaki Suit: Tan socks are fail—safe and fool—proof. Black is a bad idea. Navy socks work.
Tux: Black socks with black slacks. If you’re going with the showbiz all—white suit, wear white dress socks with white shoes (pictured above).
Denim: Keep socks a shade darker than your jeans so they aren’t glaringly bright, unless you’re doing it intentionally.
Shorts: Ankle socks for no—show. Or go bold with a higher sock for a more retro Royal Tenenbaums look. Don’t wear dress socks.
What is the biggest sock mistake someone can commit?
1. Going sockless
2. Wearing spanking-white athletic socks unless a sport or other physical activity is involved.
3. Walking outside the house simultaneously wearing socks with sandals. Pause, assess, then make a decision
4. Fitting socks where the heel ends up on your calf
5. Don't wear socks while having sex … unless time is of the essence