The Case for Quality Socks

By: JEREMY FREEDDate: 2017-03-31

Give a second thought to socks, the foundation of your wardrobe.


In many ways socks are the unsung heroes of your wardrobe. You wear them every day, but probably don’t pay much attention to them except, perhaps, when you discover a hole in the toe at a shoes-off dinner party. A sock, however, is never just a sock.

When shopping for a suit or a shirt, one might ask questions about fabric quality, breathability, and material. Wool or cotton? Super 100s or Super 150s? Sea Island or Pima? In much the same way, the composition and quality of your socks determines how they look, feel and wear.


“There’s a saying, “I’m not rich enough to buy cheap clothing”,” says Fatih Tandogan, Accessories Buyer for Harry Rosen, and an evangelist for quality hosiery. Spend more up front, he says, and not only will your socks last twice as long, but they’ll look and feel better, too.


There are a few key differences between a $10 sock and $30 one, Tandogan says. That cheaper sock is probably made by a company that makes any number of other things, where the pricier one is made by a specialist who’s spent years—if not generations—developing the best product they possibly can. Care for your socks correctly (lay them flat to dry if you can) and they could go ten years without stretching, fading or thinning.


Tandogan recommends a golden ratio of 80/20 cotton (for softness) and nylon (for durability) from a stalwart brand like Marcoliani (who’ve been making their socks in Italy since 1947) or Pantherella (English-made since 1937). You can certainly pay less, but if the argument for quality doesn’t sway you, just think of it as insurance for the next shoes-off dinner party.