Welcome back to the Gentleman's Gazette.
In today's video, we compare $4 versus $40socks, we'll talk about the differences, the advantages, disadvantages, and why one costs10 times as much as the other.
I get it, socks are not a style enthusiasts'most sexiest subject, but in fact, they can have a huge impact on the way your whole outfitlooks.
Socks have a unique ability to add some colorto the bottom half of your outfit and therefore you can tie your entire outfit together, forexample, you can coordinate it with your shoes, your tie, or your pocket square.
The only other two options are either, toexchange your shoelaces and you can learn more about how to that here in this videoor you can buy different colored shoes which is a lot more expensive and those kinds ofshoes are typically less versatile.
In our opinion, socks are a gentleman's secretweapon to tying together an entire outfit and bringing it alive.
For instance, I use socks to make a neat transitionbetween my pants and my shoes without sacrificing contrast or visual interest.
So the big question is, for an item that youneed to replace regularly in your wardrobe, should you spend $4 on it or $40? First, let's look at the $4 socks.
I bought a 5-pack of Dockers Men's Dress Socksfor 20 bucks.
So, that comes out to be about 4 bucks perpair.
Now ideally, that seems like a good deal especially since they are sized and I gotthe size 10 to 13 because I'm typically a US 11.
Of course, if you are on the edges of thesize category, chances are they may be a little loose or quite tight.
When I shopped for a $4 socks, I came acrossmuch larger size brackets such as 6 to 12 or one size fits most.
Now even though I followed the size range, the problem is that there is so much elastics in there that actually pinches my calves overthe course of the day.
Not only that it restricts my blood flow, but it's also quite uncomfortable.
In terms of color on the website, it lookslike they came in black and khakis and variations thereof.
When I got them in person, they are solidripped khaki pair, there's an argyle pattern, there is a small pattern in brown and khakibut also two in brown.
Now at these tones work with Khakis or maybebrown pants, you have a problem with any kind of business suit socks such as charcoal ornavy or gray.
Also, we take a closer look at the solid socks, it's really hard to match a pair of solid socks to a pair of patterned or solid pantsbecause most of the time the shade is not quite matching and it just looks off.
When we get our $4 socks, they're pretty limitedin the color range and you may find black or gray, something brownish or khaki but that'sabout it.
Now, even though they're advertised as dresssocks, they're actually mid-calf height and because of that, they don't stay up.
Gravity is just too strong over the courseof the day, so they'll just move down towards your ankle.
As a consequence, it will probably exposeyour legs which is unprofessional because no one wants to see your hairy legs at theoffice.
And now, even you shave your legs, peoplestill don't want to see it.
Now, on the material mix on the website, itwas advertised as 71% polyester, 26% cotton, 2% spandex, and 1% nylon, the actual packageitself looks different.
Here, it says 83% polyester, 15% cotton, and2% spandex.
Upon touching them, they feel quite soft andcomfortable because polyester can be finished to be very soft these days.
Frankly though, polyester is the cheapestof all materials that you can use in your clothing but it also ages very poorly andquickly.
How? Well, soon you'll find peeling and it justwon't stand the test of time and always look like a hand me down that's old and worn.
Polyester is also insulating, which meansthat you're more prone to sweating with these kinds of socks and just having worn feet overthe course of the day.
When I put on those socks, I noticed 2 thingsright away.
One was how thick they were compared to amore expensive pair of socks and two, the toe area.
When you need a pair of socks, it has to befinished in this toe area because machines are not quite able to do that.
Now, if it's done by machine, it's usuallyvery bulky and that's exactly what you get with a $4 pair of socks.
The problem is you will always feel this elevatedseam inside your shoe especially when you walk a lot.
So in nutshell, who are $4 socks for? They are for men who think short term, whowant the cheapest pair of socks that they can find without having to resort to whitetennis socks.
They're also for men who don't mind sweatyfeet and don't really want a comfortable pair of socks.
Now, let's go on to the $40 socks.
What exactly makes them 10x as expensive? First of all, they are sized to your foot.
Most high-end socks come in a number of differentsizes and at Fort Belvedere, we offer 5 different sizes — Small, Medium, Large, Extra-large, and Double Extra Large.
This allows as to adequately cover the sizeranges all the way from size 6 to size 15.
Of course, if you look at the length difference, it is apparent.
The more expensive $40 socks are the trueover-the-calf sock that is below the knee and stays up all day comfortably.
Over-the-calf socks are the gentlemen's choiceand at Fort Belvedere, we only offer that style, nothing mid-calf or shorter becausethey will just inevitably slide down and for me, it is really important to design a sockthat stays up.
In our mind, the biggest advantage of a $40socks compared to a $4 socks is their versatility.
And now, most men don't even think about thatwhen they buy a pair of socks.
Obviously, we love men's style and we wantyou to look as good as possible.
To learn more about the basics of how youcan combine pants, socks, and shoes so you look dapper, please check out this free guidehere.
So $40 socks don't just come in a much largerrange of colors for you to choose from, but they typically also come in 2 different colorsthat are combined and the combination of that allows you to wear a single pair of sockswith a multitude of outfits and pants and they will always look like it matches andworks together versus a solid, plain color sock will always look off.
Just think about navy, charcoal, or gray fora second which are the most popular business colors.
They properly come in hundreds, maybe evenin thousands of different shades.
If you have two colors combined, for example, a navy blue and a lighter blue, you can wear it any shade of navy that's always gonna work.
Or look at these socks, for example, it'skind of a grayish blue and a light blue combined, so it can work with any type of gray pants, charcoal pants or navy pants that will always look good.
That's the true hidden power of two-tone socksthat most men underestimate.
And it also works with different colors, forexample, look at these socks, they're actually a combination of purple and white.
And there is something that I would call afalse solid because from afar, they look like a solid but if you look at closer, they areactually made up of two colors.
They can be worn with any kind of brown pantsand they look great.
They can be worn with denim or maybe withsomething in charcoal or with a pair of chinos.
Now, that's true versatility.
Compared to this pair of sock in brown, itjust doesn't work with gray.
Yes, it somewhat works with a brown, yes itworks with chinos, it doesn't look that great with any blue or denim.
In Fort Belvedere, we try to design our socksso you'll get a large range of different colors in two-tone patterns that work with a multitudeof outfits.
You also won't find rocket ships or pizzason our socks and if you want to learn more about why crazy socks are overrated, pleasecheck out this video here.
Now, as you'll imagine, a pair of $40 socksis made up of premium materials.
For example, you can find silk, cashmere, or blends thereof.
Even if socks are made up of cotton, not allcotton is alike.
You can find cheaper cotton with shorter staplelengths or you can find higher-end cotton with a longer staple length that is twistedtwice for consistency and longevity of the yarn and that way, you just end up with asock that is much more comfortable because it is all made of natural fibers, not artificialfibers like nylon or polyester and that won't insulate.
In reality is just the raw material of a $40socks costs more than the entire $4 socks.
Because of that, you can make a yarn muchthinner and knit a sock that is much more finely knitted.
Of course, with a larger number of needles, it takes longer to make a pair of socks.
However, the fine gauge knit of a high-enddress socks is always a hallmark because you will not be able to find any expensive sockthat is fine as a high-quality sock.
Also, the machines used and the country oforigin are typically different.
All the $4 socks are made in China, Fort Belvederesocks are exclusively made in Italy of a 100% natural fibers.
And because there's a tradition of craftsmanshipand socks making in Italy, all the socks are finely finished by hand so there is no bulkyseam at the toe that would provide any discomfort to you when you walk.
Consider that cotton is absorbent and as insulatingpolyester, you will have just a much more pleasant experience walking around in yourdress shoes throughout the day.
So, is it worth it to pay 10x as much fora higher-end pair of socks? Well, ultimately that is up for you to decide.
In my book, it is definitely worth it especiallywhen you consider that you can buy a pair of 3, 6, or 12 socks and can bring down theprice down all the way to $30 per pair.
That would allow you to get 12 different colorsof socks, meaning, you'll basically equipped to handle any kind of situation with the rightpair of socks.
It also makes travel easier because you canbring along a small amount of pair of socks and you don't have to think about what colorworks exactly with it because you can be confident it's gonna work out.
So in conclusion, $40 socks come in many sizes, the $4 socks come in very few or just 1 size.
While the material of the cheaper socks won'tstand the test of time, the pilling will look bad and make you sweat, higher-end materialsallow for thinner socks that look more elegant with your dress shoes and your fine outfitand they're more breathable and overall more comfortable when you wear them.
On top of that, $40 socks are true over-the-calfversus cheaper socks are mid-calf that cut of your circulation and just slide down topmake you look unprofessional.
On top of that, $4 socks are finished by machinesin its toe area, making it less comfortable to wear them versus the $40 socks are finishedby hand so you have a smooth result and don't feel anything.
Most importantly, while $4 socks usually comein colors of black, gray, brown, or khaki, $40 socks come in a range of 15 or 20 differentcolors especially in color combinations that allow you to really look your best withouthaving to think about it very much.
In today's, video, I'm wearing a casual outfitthat is built around the color green.
It starts with a green cable-knit sweaterand I combined it with a green checkered shirt as well as a brown knit tie.
My pants are of brownish green and a nicetwill weave and my shoes are dark green suede test loafers with accents of brown.
I combined them with a pair of green socksby Fort Belvedere that tied the entire outfit together seamlessly.
Of course, my pinky ring has a green bloodstonewhich works with the entire outfit.