You're heading to the office on your first day at a new job. You're dressed to the nines and feel like a million bucks, but one thing keeps letting you down – your socks.
It doesn't matter what you try – after 5 minutes of wear, your socks sag down your ankles and reveal the unsightly ankle hair below the hem of your suit pants.
What's a stylish guy to do? Accept saggy socks and hope no one notices your gorilla ankles?
There is another way. In fact, there are 4 ways!
In today's article, I'm breaking out the best ways to keep your socks up and avoid sagging. We'll be covering:
- Should You Buy New Socks?
- What Types Of Socks Stay Up?
- What Are Shirt Stays And Sock Garters?
- Can You Improve Your Socks' Elasticity At Home?
#1 Should You Buy New Socks?
Simply put: higher-quality socks stay up longer.
Sagging socks happen when the elastic wears out, and this happens extremely fast with low-quality socks. They only have one or two bands of elastic that run through the top of the sock, so it doesn't take much for them to die either by breaking or simply wearing out.
Let me be frank: that set of 10 tube socks for $2 might seem like a steal, but consider how long they're going to last. Chances are, you'll have to spend more money to replace them when they keep on slipping down your ankles.
By buying higher-quality socks, you can ensure that their elasticity will remain intact for far longer. In the long run, you'll save yourself the cost and aggravation of replacing your socks on a monthly basis!
Don't get me wrong; even expensive socks wear out eventually! Buying new socks is kind of unavoidable, but investing in high-quality socks extends the time between purchases and lets you save money over a longer period of time.
#2 What Types Of Socks Stay Up?
In case you didn't know: different types of socks have different uses!
For example, there's a huge difference between full-calf and mid-calf socks.
When wearing dress shoes, a lot of men make the mistake of wearing mid-calf socks that stop (you guessed it!) halfway up the calf. While you might be able to get away with this when your socks are new, after a few uses those mid-calf socks will start to reveal your legs when you sit down in dress pants.
A much better option is to wear full-calf socks. These rise all the way up your calves – meaning they'll stay up for longer and won't show off your ankle fuzz when you sit down.
The problem with the half-length socks is simply in their construction.
Because of the shape of your calves wearing them is like a larger man wearing a belt instead of opting for suspenders. No matter how well the socks grip they're holding something up on a downward slope.
What makes the calf-length socks superior is that they have a larger area of traction or grip and they're holding your leg above where your calf starts to become thinner again. In short, their extended length means that the bulk of your calves holds them up instead of forcing them to slide down.
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#3 What Are Shirt Stays And Sock Garters?
Technically speaking, the purpose of elastic shirt stays is to keep your shirt tucked in nice and tight. They come in many different forms, and some don't have any effect on men's socks.
However, there is a style of shirt stay that runs all the way down the leg and clips onto the top of the socks. If your goal is to keep your socks up, then this is the style you need to buy.
The tension created by the elastic that runs between your shirt and socks ensures that your socks are pulled up, and the shirt is pulled down.
But what about gents who don't tuck their shirts in?
Well, sorry to say it, guys, but shirt stays won't be of any use to you. In order to create enough tension to keep your socks up, shirt stays have to be connected to a tucked-in shirt.
There's another solution that should satisfy the needs of most guys looking to keep their socks from sagging: sock garters.
Sock garters might seem a bit old-fashioned, but they use a similar principle to shirt stays – elastic clips onto the top of the socks to keep them up using the power of tension.
However, unlike shirt stays, sock garters are designed to be used solely on socks. Instead of connecting to a tucked-in shirt, the elastic strips connect to a brace that wraps around the top of the wearer's calf.
Seeing as the top of your calf is thinner than the mid, this brace won't slip down your leg – thus keeping your socks pulled tight and high all day long.
#4 Can You Improve Your Socks' Elasticity At Home?
I get it – some of you guys aren't in the position to drop cash on new socks or fancy garters and stays.
While I do think buying new socks is the best way of solving sagging socks, there are some things you can do at home to extend the life of your socks' elastic.
I won't lie to you – DIY fixes won't last you a lifetime. However, they can be a great way to extend the life of your socks while you save up for your next sock purchase.
How To Fix Socks Using An Elastic Band
The most simple (and arguably the most effective) of solving sagging socks in the short term is to simply use a few elastic bands to improve the grip of your socks.
WARNING: Use elastic bands that fit comfortably around the width of your calves. Using bands that are too tight could cut off blood circulation and cause all sorts of problems.
To put it simply, once you've put on your socks and pulled them up to your desired height, place 2-3 well-fitting elastic bands on your sock (about 2cm from the top), and then fold down the fabric to cover up the band.
It's a quick fix and one that's quite effective.
What Are Soccer Sock Ties?
In soccer, players wear full-calf sports socks over the top of shin guards.
As such, it's common for players to wear soccer sock ties to keep their socks up. After all, when hitting the pitch for 90 minutes, sock elastic alone just isn't enough to keep their socks in place.
These can be bought online for as little as $1, and actually serve a very valuable purpose.
Think of them as the safer version of the elastic band method. The same process applies; simply tie them around the top of your sock and fold the top down to cover them up.
How To Sew New Elastic Into Old Socks
For you gents that are a dab hand with a needle and thread (or have a spouse or girlfriend who can help), there is a more permanent fix you can apply to your socks at home.
If you're absolutely set on keeping your current socks, you can upgrade them by sewing a new elastic into the top of your socks.
Simply get some elastic from a sewing supply outfit, material shop or tailor supply shop and sew a piece all around onto the top of each sock.
This can be done in two ways:
- Sew an elastic strip underneath your sock fabric – similar to the elastic band method, fold down the fabric over the elastic and sew the fabric in place.
- Sew elasticated fabric (like jersey fabric or lycra) around the top of your socks where you want them to grip your calves. Doing so will rejuvenate the grip of your socks but does require technical knowledge of advanced sewing.
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