What makes a good accessory? - Part 1: Socks

10 November 2016

What makes a good accessory? - Part 1: Socks

True gentlemen understand and appreciate the quality of well-made merchandise and seek out products they know will last the test of time. Some even stake out items that look like they’ve had them for generations so they never look too “new”. It’s an old-school British mentality somewhat overshadowed by capitalist new-world American sensibilities; in Australia we fall somewhere in the middle. When there’s an increasing number of banal high-street brands in the marketplace, it’s important to remember your individuality. Supporting the brands that value tradition and manufacturing by avoiding the ubiquitous will usher you from the style clones marching through the CBD. Suits and shirts are the obvious choice to seek quality, but it also extends to men’s accessories. We have looked at some of the most common choices for gentlemen and have created a guide to help you select the best your budget can provide.

SOCKS

Sock wicking
Socks should “wick” moisture away from the foot towards the outside of the sock.

Sock padding
The sock should cushion the foot and prevent the skin from rubbing against the inside of the shoes i.e. no blisters.

Snug fit
A loose sock will bunch and rub and will feel generally uncomfortable; a good snug fit will act as a second skin. 

Elasticised
Make sure you’re not pulling up your socks all day and that they’re tight around the ankle, but comfortable enough they don’t cut off your circulation.  A cuff or ribbing around the calf will keep it from sagging.

Correct fabric
When choosing socks, plain wool or mercerised cotton are the obvious choices. Plain wool is as it sounds and is good for those cold months when you need every ounce of heat. Always choose new wool that’s soft to the touch; the last thing you want is to be itching all day long. Mercerised cotton undergoes a process that strengthens the fiber as well giving it a more luxurious look and feel. It alters the cellulose fibers that shrinks them to a more compact and lustrous finish. It replicates the sheen of silk socks, but offers both the wicking and comfort of cotton. It also retains its shape and colour when washing.  Silk socks are a luxurious option for formal evenings, but remember they do fall down regardless of how tight the fit. Pair with old-school sock garters if you’re nostalgic.