The Preferred Sock of Italian Men
Looking back at some of the early conversations I had with my wife shortly after I met her in Florence in 2014, I recall her asking me to describe the type of socks that I wear. I found this strange. An inquiry into whether I wear boxers or briefs would have been more understandable coming from a woman interested in intimacy, but socks? Did she want to know if I wore colored socks? “I usually wear black or blue socks,” I told her. But that was not the answer she was looking for. Finally I understood what she was asking: whether I wore long socks or short socks.
After telling her that I wear long socks, I soon figured out that her definition of long socks was different than mine. To me, short socks were ankle socks, and long socks went up half way between the ankle and the knee. However, to my wife, short socks went up half way between the ankle and the knee, and long socks were in fact knee-high socks. “KNEE-HIGH SOCKS!” I shouted. “No way,” I said. “I never heard of a man wearing knee-high socks.”
My wife became disappointed. “I prefer knee-high socks on a man,” she said.” Since then she made a point of introducing me to the knee-high sock through an Italian store that specializes in them called, “GALLO” (www.theartofgallo.it). To make a long story short, unless I am wearing sneakers, now I only wear Gallo knee-high socks, and I love them. I love the length because they never fall down, and I love all the great designs that GALLO has to offer. My son also loves them and he is not even 4-months old yet! See the picture below of me and my son hanging out in our matching Gallo socks.
Unfortunately, unless you are in Italy, they are extremely difficult to find in department stores. The most I was ever able to find was a pair of solid black men’s knee-high socks in Macy’s, but as far as cool designs and colors, I am not even sure if they exist in the United States, which is why I always stock up on long socks every time I visit Italy.
My enthusiasm for this new discovery naturally led to many conversations over the course of the last two years with Italian men and American men. The reality of it is that American men typically do not wear knee-high socks, while Italian men do, as it has been a part of their culture for generations, and also an important accessory in Italian men’s fashion. There is also a funny stereotype in Italy for men who wear “short” socks. As my friend, Diego, from Verona explained to me this month, Italian men make fun of other men who wear short socks by calling them “sfigati”. While a “sfigato” has a vulgar literal definition, it is essentially a “loser” who cannot get girls. LMAO!
As a fun exercise, I am curious to know your opinion on this. In the first featured image above, do you prefer the “Italian-style” long sock on the left, or the “American-style” short sock on the right? Please indicate your nationality, sex, and sock preference. Are there any other American men besides me who prefer the knee-high socks? Any Italian men who prefer short socks?
July 16, 2020
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