Last weeks post was about a little unseen accessory that is wonderful, so I thought I would continue with that theme and discuss a little known accessory that nobody will ever see. THE SOCK GARTER!
One of my fashion pet peeves is when a man crosses his legs the way women do (I am not even able to do that and don’t know how men can). The crossing the legs is not the problem it’s looking at their hairy legs because their socks are around the ankles.
Men’s socks come in basically two lengths (1) Mid Calf, & (2) Over the Calf. Yes most over the calf socks will stay up all day long and that was the only type of sock that I ever wore. However as I got older the over the calf socks would start to hurt and my legs would cramp up.
So I bought some mid calf socks and while they didn’t hurt my legs they didn’t stay up. The top of the sock would get stretched out and fall to my ankles. IT DROVE ME NUTS!!!! I wasn’t sure what to do? As time went on it I became more and more self-conscious of my socks around my ankles so I started wearing over the calf again and just dealt with the discomfort.
One day back in the summer of 1992, I was at my friend’s house for the weekend in Hampton Bays and we were sitting there in the morning watching the boats go by drinking Irish Coffee and reading the paper and he asked me “Do you know where I can get sock garters?” I replied, “what the hell are sock garters and why do you need them?” He said that he couldn’t wear over the calf socks because they hurt and mid calf never stayed up! I explained I have the same problem but just dealt with the discomfort. He explained that sock garters go below the knee and hold up the sock all day without squeezing your calf.
Now I am on a mission, I need to find SOCK GARTERS! So I headed to Roosevelt Mall. I went to Clappers, Field Brothers, A&S, Macy’s and any other men’s store I could find and NOTHING. Most places never heard of them and those that did haven’t seen them in years. So off to Manhattan and Brooks Brothers, Barney’s, Saks, Bloomingdales, and yes-even Bergdorf Goodman and nothing no sock garters. The salesmen in Bergdorf’s suggested that I go to a tailor and get them made.
I gave up, and then in December 1994 (Yes I was looking everywhere for almost two years) while working at Edward Isaacs & Company I was assigned to observe an inventory in Manhattan. So I was told to report to Paul Stuart on Madison and 45th street. So I show up at 6:30pm to start the inventory and I notice that this store is awesome. The clothes and the accessories were amazing. I thought to myself how did you not ever hear of this place.
The team started counting the clothes and around 11:00pm I walked into the section of the store with socks and I said to myself maybe this place has them? So I asked an employee if they have sock garters? My manager looked at me like I was an idiot and said what are sock garters? The Paul Stuart employee answered the Manager with “Only the best accessory that nobody knows about” then he turned to me and said they are right here.
Paul Stuart has been one of my favorite stores ever since. They still sell them, but now we have an Internet and you can get them on Amazon. I highly recommend this accessory. You will NEVER have to pull up your socks again.