Illustration by JAKOB SMEDHAGEN
Most men pay scant attention to their socks, leaving their acquisition and the details of their constituent parts to wives and lovers. And yet few things say as much about a man’s attitude to dressing than the distance between his cuff and his shoe.
…what is good is doubly good when it is a matter of two socks made of wool in winter.
– Pablo Neruda
Sartorially speaking, the sock gives a man the opportunity to flash his individuality, to demonstrate he is not just another bean counter under that conservative suit. A flash of red or royal purple, a two-tone stripe that catches the eye as he strides toward his destination, can reveal another, more playful side to either a master of the universe or a simple schoolmaster, both of them colorful rebels at heart.
Ideally one’s feet should be clad in one of two textiles. Either the finest cotton, or two ply 140s merino wool, for example the kind used by Bresciani, who make socks for both Brioni and Canali. The soft hand of their wool is very close to cashmere, but pure cashmere is the ne plus ultra of the thinking-man’s sock. The sensual comfort of cashmere covering the feet is hard to exaggerate. Delicate yet sturdy it creates a delightful cushion between skin and shoe leather, wicks away perspiration and exudes an extraordinary warmth. Slipping one’s feet into cashmere socks on a winter morning is one of life’s small but ineffable pleasures.