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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tired of explaining for the multi-thousandth time that men do not wear Knee-Highs, women should not patronize our Over-the-Calf pages, and there is no such sock as "The Short Kind", I have written a Definitive Guide to Sock and Hosiery Terminology.

What is a Socquette? Have men ever worn Thigh-Highs? Is Denier the proper measure of the yarns used to knit socks? What length does Jessica Alba prefer to wear? And what the heck is the difference between Mid-Calf and Long Anklet? Here's a hint: There isn't any.

Though the Guide cannot be formatted to fit a forum page, following are a couple of excerpts. The complete Guide can be read . And for a special AskAndy deal, see the bottom of this post.

Single Top Cuff: The "Cuff" of socks is the more elastic, more densely knitted top section. Its purpose is to keep the socks from falling down. Shown in the photo is the more commonly used single cuff. These are usually about 2" long.




By way of contrast, The Double Top Cuff: Shown in this photo is the less frequently seen double cuff which is generally used only for select men's socks. These range from 3"-4.5" long.
It is worth noting here that, no matter which cuff is used, Mid-Calf socks have nowhere near the stay-up ability of Over-the-Calf or Knee-High socks due to the physics of the shape of the leg.



A Special Deal for AskAndy Members Only: Between some 40 years of knowledge and months of research, we've made the guide as complete as possible for the commonly used terms without going to the point of hyper-technical boredom. Nonetheless, sometimes the most obvious escapes notice. After reading the Guide, did you you note something glaring by its omission? Find something you believe to be incorrect?

Here's the deal: If you did find something amiss or missing, e-mail it to me along with your mailing address and shoe size. If we agree with your suggestion, we'll send you a free pair of Sea Island Cotton socks and another of 100% Merino. No Catch. No Fine Print. We're not great believers in Fine Print.

Just click my name at the top of this post to send me an e-mail. Be sure to put "Sock Guide Suggestion" in the subject so you don't end up in the Spam folder.


Excerpt and photos Copyright © 2011 Kabbaz-Kelly's CustomShirt1. All Rights Reserved.
 

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Alex, I had not checked in to your site in quite a while. Fantastic stuff, especially the luxury socks page. Are the cashmere cableknits a one-off or can you get them on a regular basis? Same question for the rest of the cashmeres, if you have this info.

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Alex, I had not checked in to your site in quite a while. Fantastic stuff, especially the luxury socks page. Are the cashmere cableknits a one-off or can you get them on a regular basis? Same question for the rest of the cashmeres, if you have this info.

Thanks again!
Thank you for your kind words.

Except for the basic solid colors in cotton & merino and a few of the standard designs like pin-dot, herringbone, birdseye and the like, all of the other socks are commissioned by us. Some are from the makers archives and many we design here in-house.

More specifically to your question, I do not think of any of the cashmeres are on our 'discontinue' list - certainly not the cableknit. I believe that we are discontinuing one of the (men's) cashmere & silk blend designs, but that's about it. The rest are slated to continue.

Regarding availability: We commission the spinning of the coming Fall's cashmere yarn collection each year in January. The yarn is ready by June and sock knitting begins in July. So ... if a certain color runs out in April, no more will be available until late August/early September. Given that we have a large clientele Down Under, May and June is when colors usually begin to run out as they prepare for their Winter.
 

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Well whoever designed the cableknits, that's close to genius territory imo. The cables help pad the sides of the foot, and the interim area looks like it would act as a heat escape at the top of the foot. Great stuff, now I just need to prepare a budget. ;)

Also one unrelated note, my last several pair of cashmere Pantherellas have been (at least to my eye) identical in fiber quality and construction to what I've always received from them. IMO you should give them another try and consider updating the comment on your page if you feel they deserve it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Also one unrelated note, my last several pair of cashmere Pantherellas have been (at least to my eye) identical in fiber quality and construction to what I've always received from them. IMO you should give them another try and consider updating the comment on your page if you feel they deserve it.
I would not dispute that the Pantherella cashmeres are the same as they have been making for the last decade or so.

Cashmere is a noble fiber, but it is available in a wide variety of qualities, each having its attributes and detriments. Some cashmeres are soft and weak. Others are slightly less soft and much stronger. The secret to a longer lasting cashmere sock is to experiment until the best blend of the different cashmere qualities is attained.

For example, the China White cashmere of Mongolia is very soft. It is also very weak. Certain cashmeres of New Zealand and Afghanistan are ever-so-slightly less soft ... but ever-so-much stronger. In order to realize a longer lasting yet very soft sock, many of our socks are made from a blend of China White with 10% Afghani and 10% New Zealander added for durability.

The same thing applies, by the way, to merinos. There is a particular merino wool grown in New Zealand called Antelope. It is not only SuperFine in the micron arena and unbelievably soft to the touch, but it is extremely strong.

The problem in all of the above is seen in the area of cost. Custom-blended cashmere and Antelope merino come at a very hefty price. It actually costs about the same as the current retail price of the socks you mentioned just to make many of our cashmere socks. However, if one sock gives you 15-20 wearings and another 40-50 wearings, paying double for the latter is actually cheaper.
 

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Alex, do the cableknits use a blend or are they 100% Mongolian? I wear these mostly for comfort at home so durability isn't a concern. The Pantherellas are downright amazing in that regard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Alex, do the cableknits use a blend or are they 100% Mongolian? I wear these mostly for comfort at home so durability isn't a concern. The Pantherellas are downright amazing in that regard.
They are a blend. As one who owns dozens of Pantherellas, I can tell you that the cables are equally soft. Additionally, they have more "cushion" and, as you noted, the non-raised areas permit a good degree of breatheability.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh come on now guys. Someone's gotta have a suggestion or correction! And I've got all these free socks ready to mail ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you, Taliesin!
 

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All I could suggest is mirroring there what's been said here regarding blends. It would be nice to know which models are blended. But lack of this info definitely isn't a deal breaker in my book.

Also, if you don't offer quantity discounts I'd suggest doing so, and noting it on the site. Most guys I know buy their socks in large lots, and rarely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
All I could suggest is mirroring there what's been said here regarding blends. It would be nice to know which models are blended. But lack of this info definitely isn't a deal breaker in my book.

Also, if you don't offer quantity discounts I'd suggest doing so, and noting it on the site. Most guys I know buy their socks in large lots, and rarely.
Every one of our 32.500 socks details the exact blend of fibers as well as applicable shoe sizes. We do offer quantity discounts, also detailed on the site, and have for the last 11 years. We also offer Free Shipping and always have.

Might I offer you anything else, sir? :icon_smile:
 

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Alex, honestly I looked for info on quantity discounts and didn't find it. A lot is going on on most of your pages. :) Can you please give a direct link?

Also I was going to ask this via PM but I figured others have had the same question. What accounts for the hefty premium on the $200 OTCs? I think most people (ok, I) would expect to see something thicker at that price point. Is the cashmere fiber length or width different on this model, is there something special about the construction etc. I'm trying to find an excuse to try some. Help! :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Alex, honestly I looked for info on quantity discounts and didn't find it. A lot is going on on most of your pages. :) Can you please give a direct link?

Also I was going to ask this via PM but I figured others have had the same question. What accounts for the hefty premium on the $200 OTCs? I think most people (ok, I) would expect to see something thicker at that price point. Is the cashmere fiber length or width different on this model, is there something special about the construction etc. I'm trying to find an excuse to try some. Help! :smile:
The discount is automatic in the shopping cart as follows: 6 pairs same sock brand=5%; 12 pairs=10%. Larger orders over $20,000 go into a special private discount category only obtainable by e-mail.

Though I could go on for hours about the Zimmerli cashmeres, I'll just say this: A few years back I introduced Zimmerli to a somewhat nutty (in a good way) sock maker. He had always wanted to try making a 260 needle cashmere sock of ultrafine (fine in the extremely thin sense) cashmere yarn. With their penchant for the best, Zimmerli went for the idea. That is the reason they are not thick.

However, even though we have sold hundreds of pairs, they are somewhat of an example of conspicuous consumption and come with the following caveat: The cashmere is pure China white. Average is about 8-9 washes. And ... those are cold, woolite, hand washes. The most I've ever gotten from a pair is 15 washes. That was when I had Cleopatra's ex-handmaidens sprinkling rose petals in my path and the socks never touched the ground - much less even got near a pair of shoes.
 

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Thanks Alex, useful info as always. That last paragraph sold me on trying them. Next you'll be claiming it's entirely coincidental that the finest grade of cashmere is called the same thing as the finest grade of heroin. :)

Durability is a good thing, but I think it's a mistake to worry about it for this particular item: IME most buy them for comfort above all else, durability isn't expected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks Alex, useful info as always. That last paragraph sold me on trying them. Next you'll be claiming it's entirely coincidental that the finest grade of cashmere is called the same thing as the finest grade of heroin. :)

Durability is a good thing, but I think it's a mistake to worry about it for this particular item: IME most buy them for comfort above all else, durability isn't expected.
If comfort is your thing, you need to try . I discarded everything else. Period.

Caveat emptor:The socks don't come with the handmaidens.
 
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