In this article, we shall be exploring the benefits of sock garters, how to wear them, and where you can buy them.
For those of you who want to get to the punch, these are our top recommendations to buy now:
- Amazon – Best Entry Level
- Briar Vintage – Philadelphia, USA Vintage Retailer
- Albert Thurston – Classic British Maker (Possibly the best maker – I personally have several pairs white-labelled for Benson & Clegg)
- eBay & Etsy – For New & Vintage (Search “Vintage Sock Garters” for best results)
Socks are an integral parts of a gentleman’s ensemble.
Often taken for granted, but can so easily destroy a well crafted look with an off color, saggy look, or too short (especially with the much appreciated reduction in men’s trouser length seen in recent years).
It is our opinion that one should aim to never show ones legs, unless intentionally wishing to do so such as in the summer with your “sock-less” look (see no shows for help), or while wearing shorts.
Without further ado I shall put a sock in it, and get on with it!
Buy Entry Level Sock Garters
Why Wear Sock Garters
The likes of GQ refute the need to wear sock garters, stating that modern textiles are such that the sock won’t slip down the leg. This may be the case for some gentlemen, but for those of us who walk to work, between meeting, or god forbid up and down stairs, this is generally not the case.
Further, if we are to take the recommendations of the aforementioned magazine and happen to have little to no break (or even negative break) in the trouser leg, the result is when sitting down the trouser leg shall rise, exposing more of the leg. [Note: we greatly support this, and should be a mandatory lesson in school as trousers are not intended to “swiff” the floor!].
Lastly, as trouser legs have become more fitted around the calf it has become increasingly difficult to pull up ones socks if they do begin to limp down the leg.
Enter the sock garter, a simple yet elegant “throw-back” solution to avoid the slipping and sagging of socks during daily activities.
How to Wear Sock Garters
Putting on your sock garters is a very easy process, only taking a few seconds in the morning and potentially saves countless sock grabs during the day.
Clockwise from top left:
- Put your socks on, and pull them up
- Place the clasp on inside of the sock material, and fasten down (above we’ve attached them to the side of the leg, many men prefer to attach to the front for a single clasp design like this. Ultimately, it’s personal preference for the single clasp, and will practically always be side-to-side for the double clasp designs as shown in pictures below)
- Connect the ends of the elastic together, making any size adjustment as needed
- And that’s it! A few seconds for a day filled with perfect sock control
Author’s Note: I wear sock garters most days, and can personally attest to the fact that after a few minutes you forget you even have them on….
Where To Buy Sock Garters
Although sock garters are not easily found on the high street, they are in fact easy to find when one looks around. Below are three options.
High End / Quality
It’s worth spending a few extra pennies for a higher quality pair that uses a wider elastic band, more solid clasp (easier to use), and most importantly have funky colors!
In the USA: Paul Stuart is a good option (the above garters were purchased in the NYC store, which by the way is a must-visit for any gentleman).
In England / Europe: Benson & Clegg have a fine selection and offers unmatched customer service.
Vintage – Local, Ebay & Etsy
There is also something to be said for going the vintage route, especially if that ties into your entire wardrobe. The Paris example below originally cost only $2.00 (which is quite cool in itself), and they have a very robust metal clasp system that’s not breaking anytime soon… The one thing to watch for is if the elastic is still good. If not it’s an easy fix to un-stitch and replace with a new piece…maybe in a cool color? (Most local dry cleaners will be able to do it, or give it a go yourself!)
Locally: shops like Briar Vintage in Philadelphia often have a stock of sock garters, and other great vintage items to boot!
Online: Etsy is your best bet, and sometimes eBay. Search for: “vintage men’s sock garters”, “old men’s sock garters”, “men’s sock suspenders”, etc…. (Omitting the “men’s” shall give you some nice visuals shall we say, but not too much of what we are actually looking for).
If you just want to give them a try, and not spend too much money, you can go for an entry level pair which should cost around $10-15 delivered to your door. The quality difference is evident, especially in the clasp, but at the very least shall show you the value of owning several pairs in the future (hopefully from the better options above).