We all know I have an affinity for over the calf socks, as should any suit wearing man. Their functional superiority over mid calf socks is unquestionable. But unfortunately for us men, there are not a plethora of suppliers. Enter Mazarin and Gammarelli via Mes Chausettes Rouges (19.90 euro for cotton and wool, 49.00 euro for cashmere), which is the only establishment outside of the two brands shops to offer the socks. Both brands have rather respectable pedigrees.
Mazarin supplies socks for the L’Academie Francaise and was originally created by the Stark family whom also runs Stark & Sons, which makes suits for the Academie. Mazarin came about when Alain Stark wanted to provide green socks to match the green tailcoats of the men of the Academie, ‘vert academie’, to be exact (pictured below). But they have since expanded to many colors in cashmere, cotton and wool.
Gammarelli supplies the signature red socks to cardinals (pictured below), purple socks to bishops and black socks to priests. Oh, and white socks to the pope. Need I say more?
Both brands share a similar construction, 240 needles and hand linked toes. However, Gammarelli socks are produced outside of Rome and Mazarin outside of Milan. Regarding longevity, I have owned a pair of red Gammarelli socks for over a year and they have thus far worn and washed well. I expect the Mazarin socks that Jacques Tiberghien of Mes Chausettes Rouges sent me to hold up similarly well.
Given the socks are 100% cotton or wool, there is not much stretch to them, but they come sized so I find that they fit very well (socks are sized US2-14). My only complaint would be that the socks are almost too long, Mes Chausettes Rouges has them listed as ‘knee high socks,’ which is accurate. Fortunately, they can be rolled down so there really isn’t a problem. Both brands socks are ribbed, solid in color and look elegant when worn.
If you are in the market for some quality over the calf socks, I recommend you look into Mazarin and Gammarelli socks from Mes Chausettes Rouges. Although some may balk at a $30 pair of socks the value of them is sound. The styling is simple and elegant and the quality is solid. For years to come I expect to wear my red socks.
Note: FYGblog did receive product in the course of this review. However, the utmost care was taken to maintain an unbiased and objective point of view.