Every man needs to decide where to make investments in their wardrobe, and socks are an accessory for which a few extra dollars/euros invested will be repaid with better choice, quality and longevity. A few years ago, I wrote a review about Mes Chausettes Rouges, the French sock vendor from Paris and their Mazarin and Gammarelli socks. Back then, I wrote about their cotton socks and a few weeks ago, they sent me another set of socks of different materials, patterns and colors.
Store and Online Shop
If you ever find yourself in Paris, make sure to stop by at their brick and mortar store at 9 rue César Franck which is run by Vincent Metzger and Jacques Tiberghien. They stock 40 colors of socks so you should find pretty much any shade you may be looking for. You can find their online shop here. I really enjoy the fact that these two promote over the calf sock because too many men wear short socks with suits, and a carefully composed sartorial affect is quickly ruined by exposed hairy calves.
I received a beautiful pair of over the calf socks in a lustrous purple. If you ever want to make a statement with a navy suit, this is one way to do it. They are made in Italy from 100% fil d’écosse and are great for the warmer months of the year. Compared to my old Gammarellis I can’t see any noticeable differences. They wore well and I have no complaints. Overall, I think you will be hard pressed to find a better selection of solid colored socks anywhere else and especially if you like bright colors, Gammarelli fits the bill.
For review, I received three pairs of Mazarin socks, one pair in beige ribbed fil d’écosse, another in blue & dark blue striped cotton lisle and a third in a dark green blend of cashmere and silk.
Although the beige socks seem very similar to the Gammarelli socks at first, I could find some differences on the openings and elastics, where Mazarin uses a contrast color and shorter elastics. However, when I wore them, they felt identical and I could not distinguish between them in a blind test. Both are priced at 20 EUR but you have the option to get the Gammarellis in wool instead of cotton. For summer, I definitely prefer cotton while I wear wool during fall and winter. Overall, both Mazarin and Gammarelli seem to be en par in terms of yarn quality and workmanship.
The second pair of cotton socks retails for 23 EUR and features fine blue and dark blue stripes, making it the right choice for a very conservative business ensemble. Interestingly, the elastics are longer than the other Mazarins and the cotton feels softer as well. The yarn is knitted flat and you do not feel the three dimensional texture of the ribbed socks. They also feel thicker and more suited for spring and fall rather than summer.
The third pair is advertised on the website as “Green Cashmere,” but note that they are a blend of 70% dark green cashmere and 30% silk. On the one hand, this makes the sock less expensive and on the other hand, silk reinforces the material for greater durability. Overall, the socks are fantastically soft and a pleasure to wear. At the same time, they are so smooth that while testing them they seem not to stay on my calves after a long day. I suspect it is because they are softer and hence slide down more easily. At 49 EUR a pair, they are less expensive than pure cashmere socks but feel just as soft. I don’t know what kind of cashmere yarn they use but over time all cashmere product are prone to pilling. As such, don’t be surprised to see the formation of little knobs in areas of friction like the heel. At the end of the day, they are not as durable as cotton socks but softer and more luxurious. The choice is yours.
The pair of Bresciani socks I received was light pink with magenta dots and as such it is ideally suited for a dandy, especially when paired with a pink carnation boutonniere. Personally, I think it is an unusual color combination and the changeant effect is best suited to the person who already has a bunch of socks in their drawer and wants something different. The cotton lisle is about as thick as the blue and navy striped on from Mazarin, but I prefer the feel of this pair. Priced at 25 EUR, they are a tad more expensive but at the same time they are more unusual than the other socks here.
All socks come to you in a little red bag and when you order in the U.S. be prepared to wait a bit because they are shipped via the postal service without tracking information. Also, be prepared to pay duties on top of the purchase price if you order from outside the European Union. In the U.S. that’s 16% of the value of the goods. In other countries it may be higher or lower but MCR also deducts 20% of VAT outside of the E.U. so the price stays about the same. It’s just the hassle of dealing with customs.
For solid socks you will be hard pressed to find a larger selection than at Mes Chausettes Rouges. Apart from that, they offer a range of other over the calf socks in different materials and patterns and the quality seems good overall. Shipping is slow but affordable and done via the postal service. If you order from outside the E.U. you may have to pay duties and sales tax but that really depends on your country and has nothing to do with Mes Chausettes Rouges.