A few months back while at MRket I finally got the chance to sit down and chat with Kirby Allison of the growing online luxury clothing accessory mecca Kirby Allison’s Hanger Project. Perhaps overdue since I have reviewed his wooden hangers before (and they are very nice hangers, in case you are wondering). But anyway, during our meet Kirby was extremely excited and passionate about the sock collection that was soon to debut on the Hanger Project. And I in turn became excited because he said the socks would be of high quality and over the calf. Two claims which I can now validate.
In short, Kirby was nice enough to send me three pair of the over the calf Palatino 830 socks ($32.50); navy, light gray and dark gray. I spent a few weeks wearing the socks around and washing them to try to get a good feel of how they will wear. So far they are great. They stay up and do not bunch around the ankle; which is the primary reason for wearing over the calf socks. The cotton is extremely soft and fine (unlike many socks, these are 100% cotton, which I think provides for a softer feeling sock). They fit very well (Hanger Project has 7 different sizes so nearly every mans foot should be able to find a properly sized sock). And they so far seem to be of very solid construction, at least as much as you can say for socks. And frankly, that is most of what I ask of for good socks.
From the photo you will see that where the sock stretches the most you can see a bit of the skin beneath, which is a result of the sock being so thin. Which I do not think is a flaw, but rather the intended design of the socks. At first this bothered me, but upon seeing the sock in the mirror from afar I really couldn’t really tell, so there really was no longer an issue. The reason for the socks being so thin is part for comfort, part for breathability and part of the fineness of the cotton and knit (240 needle knit which is very fine). In the summer months in particular, over the calf socks can wear quite warm; perhaps one of the reasons we do not see them much anymore. So I think this breathability will be crucial for comfortable wear in warmer weather.
In closing, I think the initial sticker shock can be dissuading for some men, understandably so. But as far as socks go, these are certainly some of the best I have ever seen, on par with those from Bresciani and Pantherella at least. That said, they are priced comparatively to socks from other fine makers. And although most of the socks in the mid calf market are of decent quality and lower cost the same is not true for over the calf socks. They are almost always of high quality and higher price. I think because they are only sought out by men who really care how they dress who want finer quality and are willing to spend for it. So next time you are in the market for some solid colored over the calf socks I highly advise a visit to the Hanger Project, I doubt you will be disappointed.
Justin L Jeffers
PS – When cleaning the socks, make sure to hang dry them, do not put them in the dryer.
Note: FYGblog did receive product in the production of this post. However, the utmost effort was taken to present the product in an objective and unbiased manner. To critique when appropriate and to give credit when credit is due.