One of the least expensive ways to upgrade a man’s wardrobe is to buy new socks. Men’s socks are relatively inexpensive and one of the few outlets for a man to add color, express some personality and be a little wild. To follow is a guide for where to buy colorful and unique men’s socks online from an amazing crop of menswear entrepreneurs and e-commerce pioneers, updated for 2017.
1. Unsimply Stitched
Unsimply Stitched features a wide range of flashy socks that are daring even among a growing crowd of bold sock-makers. The combination of combed cotton, elastane and polyamide fibers are comfortable, thin enough to be worn with dress shoes, and durable enough to stand up to life. Founder Alex Hendeles’ focus on design development make them a top choice. Read more: Meet Unsimply Stitched and their New Spring Socks.
Shop: Get Unsimply Sitched socks quickly via Amazon Prime.
2. Happy Socks
Happy Socks seems so ubiquitious these days that it’s hard to believe the brand only began in 2008. Founded by graphic designer Viktor Tell and advertising executive Mikael Söderlindh, Happy Socks began cranking out colorful power socks before it was a thing. The company leveraged global relationships and local distributors to spread the word and sell quality, often whimsical socks for men (and women and kids).
3. Boldfoot Socks
Since DC-based entrepreneur Brad Christmann launched on Kickstarter and rapidly surpassed its funding goal in 2014, Boldfoot Socks has taken off with a funky line of American-made socks. Brad designs the socks himself (“I’m by no means a professional designer, but I know enough to be dangerous”) and donates 5 percent of profits to vets in need. He told Modern Fellows that, “There’s a 1.7x multiplier when someone buys USA-made, meaning for every $100 spent on USA-made goods, $170 is re-invested in the U.S. economy…I’d be quite proud if I could inspire even a few thousand Americans to purchase more USA-made products.” Read more: DC-Based Boldfoot Socks Launches Via Kickstarter.
4. East Dane
Upscale e-commerce destination East Dane is an excellent one-stop shop for a variety of socks. The site is particularly strong on European options like Badelaine Paris (Made in France), Paul Smith (Made in the UK), and Etiquette (Made in Italy), as well as Mr. Gray socks (Made in Japan).
5. School of Sock / Sock 101
Priced from $10 (and, as of this writing, some are as low as $7 on Amazon.com), Kansas City, Missouri-based School of Sock (formerly known as Sock 101) is one of the most affordable colorful socks men can buy. The socks are made of a cotton, spandex and nylon blend, are relatively thin and comfortable for all day wear. The founders hit a nice balance of color, comfort, and affordability, with an emphasis on simple patterns that are different without being too daring, and have caught the eye of sock fans including former President George H. W. Bush as well as Project Runway Fashion/Startup.
6. Nice Laundry
Founded by former LivingSocial coworkers, Nice Laundry’s socks have a pretty incredible combination of looks, comfort, fit and durability. Colors are bright and well-balanced, the cotton blend socks are medium weight, and the socks stay up around mid-calf all day. Read more: Getting to know Nice Laundry and their Exceptionally Nice Socks.
Shop: Buy packs and sock subscriptions via the Nice Laundry Website.
7. Tie Your Socks
Tie Your Socks makes gloriously comfortable socks. Their bright and quirky designs stand out, and the company donates one pair of socks for every purchase to a community organization that train and cloth people in need.
8. Argoz Socks
Argoz makes beautiful, comfortable socks. Founded by San Francisco-based entrepreneur Dan Soha, Argoz socks are made of a combination of cotton, spandex and nylon and spandex. They’re super soft and stay up all day long, and their argyle patterns are particularly attractive. Some are made in the United States.
Fort Payne, Alabama-based manufacturer and retailer Zkano has come into its own with an attractive lineup of crew, over-the-calf and ankle socks for men. Founder Gina Locklear has developed an organic, low-impact dye, Made-in-America line of really comfortable socks. Read more: Bucking the Trend, Zkano’s Gina Locklear Carves Out an Organic Niche for Alabama Socks
Shop: At Zkano.com
DapperGanger makes bright, eye-catching socks out of 78% Cotton, 20% Polyamide, 2% Spandex, and sells them online in multipacks. The brand gets overwhelmingly glowing reviews on Amazon.
11. Easton Marlowe
Ridiculously-cheap, good-looking multipack socks that are made from a combed cotton blend in Portugal.
Shop: Easton Marlowe on Amazon
12. Mack Weldon
Mack Weldon produces a full range of “men’s basics” — undershirts, briefs and trunks as well as socks. Manufactured in WRAP-certified facilities in China and Thailand, their socks come in a series of clean-looking solids, stripes and dots. They featured a cushioned footbed, extended crew length and a blend of cotton/spandex that is engineered to recover and hold its shape throughout the day, and which make Mack Weldon’s socks among the heaviest Modern Fellows has reviewed.
“Born out of a frustrated attempt to find a pair of fish-themed socks for a Father’s Day gift,” Soxfords was bootstrapped by a husband and wife team in 2013. Soxfords’ niche is to “bridge the gap between novelty and dress in men’s socks,” which it does through quirky and mostly-subtle patterns from lobsters to officially-licensed Space Invaders. Manufactured in Colombia, the socks are made from a premium blend of Peruvian Pima cotton yarn, using a double woven thread — that means twice as much yarn per square inch — for extra durability. Soxfords has upgraded its style quite a bit from their first batch of socks nearly 5 years ago.
14. Fortis Green
Men’s footwear buyer Ray Willmoth moved to Melbourne, Australia from London, where he worked for nearly 10 years, to develop an attractive down-under line of socks. Named after the street in London where he lived, the socks are bright and lively.
15. Dapper Classics
In 2011, Fred and Harrison Rich founded Dapper Classics to develop classic, over-the-calf socks. The duo’s socks are light, breathable and long. As we wrote in an earlier review, “these are socks you feel. They are noticeably there on your legs.” These socks — made either of a cotton-nylon blend or merino wool — are manufactured in North Carolina. These are an amazing alternative to higher-priced imported socks from the likes of Pantherella or Marcoliani.
Shop: the Dapper Classics website.
16. Hook + Albert
Founders Adam Schoenberg and Cory Rosenberg began Hook and Albert to serve “an over saturated, yet underserved” market. The Manhattan startup serves up Peruvian-made cotton blend socks that emphasize pastels and unique designs.
Other cool stuff:* Discover more than 30 thoughtful gift ideas for men from interesting reads to colorful socks
* Shop Modern Fellows' list of recommended menswear brands.
* Browse our list of essential men's style books.
* Discover the best places to buy men's socks online.
* Check out these gorgeous, affordable watches with numbers
* Find Alternatives to Warby Parker that also let you try on prescription eyeglasses at home.
* Explore 10 options for amazing chinos from these menswear startup alternatives to Brooks Brothers.
* Get $25 off your first suit at Black Lapel, one of our favorite online custom tailors.
* Score $20 off your first shirt at Proper Cloth, one of our favorite online custom shirtmakers.