The global trend of bold, colourful, funky socks for men over the last few years has slowly made its way down to India too and many have taken notice. Any mention of quirky socks tends to come with some questions. Are they too over the top? How can they be paired and worn? Who makes socks with some liberty in styling that I can actually wear – beer mugs, party hats and citrus fruits aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. And what makes a good pair of socks anyway? The time I spent with SocksBakery’s products made me put these things in perspective, and told me a few things about this new Indian brand from Chandigarh.
Navigate the story
- In a nutshell
- Pros and cons
- Detailed review
- Pricing and buying information
- Reader exclusive offer
- Summing up
SocksBakery is a new entrant to the world of designer socks in India. They do offer colours and funky designs, but they remain on the more sober side of the spectrum, relatively speaking. So while it’s not the usual argyles and solids, they don’t go as whacky as a few others even within the realm of quirky socks for men. At the same time, there’s something to choose from for those who want to keep it simple. Quality of cotton used is good and I have no complaints on the comfort front so far.
SocksBakery primarily have three categories of socks – dotted classics, colourful stripes and thematic designs. The dotted classics are made with double mercerised, lisle cotton for a premium look and feel, and colourful stripes have a tasteful palette. However, it’s the thematic designs where the brand’s funky expression through socks is at its best. You’ve got Vikings, Bitcoin, Queen’s Guard, Silicon Valley and even Steve Jobs to choose from. These aren’t common themes and I like this approach of not going for the easy clichés.
- Classic, colourful or outright quirky – there’s something to choose from for everyone
- Cotton used is of good quality, holding up well after a few washes (especially the dotted socks, which use mercerised, lisle cotton)
- Focused, off-beat thematic selection which stands out from its peers
- Prompt, easy customer service and support on Whatsapp
- Longest length offered for their socks is crew, no mid-calf available – Not a deal breaker for everyone, but I prefer mid-calf, as crew length (ending between the ankle and calf) doesn’t keep your skin covered in certain sitting situations
I got a box with 7 pairs of socks, such that there is a mix of classics, stripes and themes. In terms of material composition, they are generally 85-93% cotton, 5-7% spandex and 2-3% elastane, varying with style and design. This mix with cotton is necessary to allow some stretch and a good fit. The socks in the box were:
- Royal – Rich purple with white dots
- Havana – Dark green, mustard, navy blue and white stripes
- Yellowstone – Rainbow stripes
- Silicon Valley – Golden Gate Bridge with city markings
- Happy Reindeer – The name says it all; festive reindeer on navy blue
- Vikings – Prominent viking face on off-white
- Fintech – Bitcoin network pattern with orange and red accents on navy blue
All in all, quite a diverse set with something in there for almost every occasion.
(Click on any of the socks above to visit the product page or go to the website by clicking here. You can also get a 10% discount on purchases above ₹500 by using code DEFINITELYCURRY10)
I was really happy with the packaging. It’s a sturdy blue box and honestly, a welcome break from the single-folds with little hangers we’re used to. It was tied with a ribbon and there was a personalised, handwritten note inside, which will never stop being a nice touch with anything new. SocksBakery’s colour selection is nice and the shades are chosen in a manner that the socks look premium and not over the top, notwithstanding their quirky character.
I got the impression of really good quality, especially with the striped and dotted socks.
Living with socks from SocksBakery
Socks are one of those things that tend to look great when new, but I’ve often experienced them decay faster than the half-life of hydrogen once put in use. I’m glad the socks from SocksBakery didn’t go that way. Their comfort, fit and colour has held up well after a few washes.
If I were to nitpick here – and this isn’t specific to SocksBakery- but more intricate designs do have a harder time with longevity. Places with colour accents in complex weaves have a tendency to look not-new after some wear and wash, and I noticed this happen a little to the Silicon Valley and Fintech pairs. Nothing major, but should be kept in mind as a general characteristic. The striped and dotted socks, however, are unaffected by this so far.
The socks are soft and really comfortable. I haven’t felt any discomfort or itch even on long days. No noticeable slippage at the cuff either. I’m generally used to wearing mid-calf socks and I like that slightly longer length because with those, irrespective of your sitting position, no skin peeks through. The crew length that SocksBakery have should work for most people, but if length is something you’re particular about, this may be noted. The Royal, Fintech and Havana are my clear personal favourites in terms of looks and versatility, while the Happy Reindeer works well too, as the reindeer isn’t visible when wearing shoes. The Royal, in particular, has richer colours and more lustre, because it uses mercerised yarns. Each of these has helped me add a bit of subtle fun to my outfit and contribute some cheer to the day when colours are revealed.
Now onto the controversial issue of pairing these funky socks.
How you can pair funky socks with your outfit
I’m all for adding a bit of colour and pop to men’s daily outfits, which can often be quite unimaginative and unadventurous. But for the talk of expressing yourself through accessories like socks, you should consider if your choice is actually helping you express something. Wearing colours and motifs for the sake of individuality tends to not look very flattering. So my suggestion is to carefully consider the dressing situation and your own personal style.
My rules of thumb are:
- There should be at least something tying your socks with the rest of your outfit. The colours need to play off of something – whether your shoes, jeans, khakis or shirt. No harmony is no-go. Like the Havana works great if I pair my raw denim Korra jeans with a white shirt.
- I wouldn’t wear something overly colourful with a suit. Some accents on a neutral colour work fine, but too much pop in a formal setting doesn’t work at all. I would stick to something like the Royal.
- Pops of colour or quirky patterns work better with more casual outfits, more so when the rest of your attire is conservative and smart. I’ve liked wearing the Fintech with grey chinos and a blue tee.
- If you’re going to wear something funky and adventurous, thinking it through is really important. Measure the situation and your outfit.
Ultimately, stick to your instinct, don’t force it and do whatever feels effortless.
Some things that make SocksBakery different
Making socks isn’t easy, and that explains why there aren’t that many brands or manufacturers that come to mind when we think about this footwear item. So it’s great to see a young brand like SocksBakery step up to the task and offer better socks to men, with well thought-out designs put together in a limited collection.
I like that they don’t go generic with their themes. When you look at cryptocurrency, Silicon Valley and Steve Jobs, you can tell that they’re targeting the start-up generation in a very focused manner, whose casual dressing ways have contributed heavily to the growth and trend of funky socks.
SocksBakery invest in R&D as well and are working on socks with advanced yarn that retains anti-bacterial properties up to 150 washes. This is about three times the industry standard, I’m told by the brand. At the same time, they are looking to enter other niche categories like health and sports too, signalling a lot of intent.
The brand wants to be responsive and close to its customers, and they accomplish this with a prompt and efficient Whatsapp set up. You can use this medium to ask questions, place orders, give feedback and address any other issues you may have. I have said before in a chat with Bombay Shirt Company that smaller brands have a large customer service opportunity to differentiate themselves and SocksBakery is trying to capitalise on that too.
SocksBakery’s socks are priced between ₹299-599 and can be bought online on their website SocksBakery.com. Check out the entire collection here. They are direct-to-consumer and online-only, with free shipping in India on all orders. All socks are offered in crew length, and designs with stripes and dots can be ordered in ankle length as well.
Pricing is largely at par with other brands in the space. Striped socks are ₹299, dotted classics made with lisle cotton and some patterns are priced at ₹399, while the intricately designed theme socks like Fintech and Silicon Valley are ₹599. You can even pick up boxes with an assortment, such as their Luxury Gift Box with six pairs for ₹2,400. It’s got a pretty good mix.
Definitely Curry readers can get a 10% discount by using code DEFINITELYCURRY10, valid on all orders above ₹500. Check out the collection.
SocksBakery have a limited but versatile collection of socks that go from subtle and classic to really colourful and quirky. It’s great that within this selection, they offer something for everyone. Quality and finish feel very good and they’ve held up well over the course of a few washes while I sampled them for this review, without complaints of slippage or discomfort. SocksBakery’s execution of colours is on point, picked with the right kind of restraint, and the socks do well to add some pop and fun to your look.
It’s true that most men don’t experiment much with their socks. But with the quality-pricing-service mix on offer by this homegrown Indian brand, it’s a pretty good opportunity to change that.
What did you think of these funky socks for men from SocksBakery? What do you have trouble with, when shopping for socks? Let us know in the comments below. And if you found this story interesting or useful, please spread the indie brand goodness by sharing it!