Hosiery

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Mens Dress Socks: A Primer

Sure, you can pick up some $9 gold-toe mens dress socks at your local department store. In some situations, they may work just fine. If your situation or tastes warrant good quality mens dress socks, however, you should be prepared to pay a little more. The benefit, however, is that when you know what to look for in mens dress socks, the change in quality is dramatic and well worth the extra pennies. There are four main elements to consider when shopping for mens dress socks: length, material, appearance, and cushioning. Let's go into each in a little more detail.

  • Length: There are varying lengths of mens dress socks, from ankle to mid-calf, to long. While ankle socks are not as popular, they can sometimes be ideal for those wearing dress boots, where the ankle of the boot rises high enough to cover any gaps before the pant leg starts. Until recent developments in nylon technology, mid-calf socks were fairly unpopular as they required garters to prevent them from falling. In recent times, however, mid-calf has become the primary length of choice in mens dress socks.

  • Material: Different materials have different properties in terms of overall comfort and performance. Because feet sweat, the moisture-wicking properties of sock materials is very important. Cotton socks don't absorb moisture well and, as a result, can get damp and bunch in your shoes. The ideal sock fabric, with regards to moisture-wicking, is merino, which can absorb up to 30% of its own weight in moisture, pulling it away from your feet for healthier and more comfortable feet.

  • Appearance: This is where you really get to put your stamp on your appearance. While the most common solid colors of mens dress socks are black, charcoal, navy and brown, choosing a less conventional color can provided an unexpected pop to your outfit. In terms of patterns, herringbone, pin dot, and birds eye continue to be ever popular. Still nothing says "classic" like argyle socks.

  • Cushioning: Depending on how much time you will be spending on your feet, having the right amount of cushioning is paramount in mens dress socks. Cashmere will provide you with the most cushioning, but because it is a thicker material, you'll want make sure your foot still fits comfortably in your shoe when you wear cashmere socks. Cotton provides very little cushion, particularly later in the day after your foot has started to sweat. Silk socks, while comfortable, offer even less cushioning. Pay attention to how much you are on your feet in an average day and let that be your guide when determining how much cushioning you will need.

All socks are not created equal and at PatrickJames.com, we strive to offer a good selection of mens dress socks that meet your needs the most, including dress socks from Pantherella. If you have any questions about any of our mens dress socks, please contact us today and let our expertise help lead to your satisfaction.