by Nathan James February 22, 2019

Tired of Your Over the Calf Socks Falling Down?

Over the calf socks that won’t stay up are aggravating. Not only is it uncomfortable when socks slide down into your shoes, but constantly bending over to pull them up is a pain. Our hosiery experts put together this article to highlight the best dress socks that stay up, and to also explain why your dress socks are falling down as well as how you can keep them up.

Questions We'll Answer
Click to Jump
What are the best dress socks that stay up?
Why do dress socks fall down?
How do I keep my dress socks from slipping?
Why are dress socks that stay up important?
Do Boardroom Socks stay up?

What are the Best Dress Socks that Stay Up?

The best dress socks that stay up are undoubtedly over the calf dress socks. A high quality pair of over the calf socks will comfortably stay up all day without the need for adjusting.

If you are not used to wearing over the calf socks, their length may at first be slightly overwhelming; however, this is a key reason why they stay up on your leg throughout the day. As the name implies, these socks rest over the calf and just below the knee.

over the calf socks that stay up all day

At this length, the calf acts as an anchor to prevent the socks from sagging and sliding down the leg. Due to their length, over the calf socks are also referred to as long socks, tall socks, above the calf socks, or knee high socks.

If you prefer not to wear knee-high socks but still want dress socks that stay up, opt for a pair of mid-calf dress socks. True mid-calf length socks are slightly longer than crew length socks and will reach approximately halfway up a man’s calf.

mid-calf length dress socks that stay up

As the business world has moved to a more casual direction, men’s dress socks have gotten shorter in length. Coinciding with this trend, many manufacturers have begun to further shorten their socks in an effort to combat rising material costs. With this in mind, most dress socks available online and in department stores are crew length and not a true mid-calf length. These shorter socks will fall down much more frequently due to their length.

While mid-calf socks are a great option, keep in mind that they will never stay up quite as well as over the calf socks.

 Further reading...
Why you should wear over the calf socks.
Understanding dress sock lengths.

Two Reasons Why Your Dress Socks Fall Down

1. Your dress socks are too short.

The proper dress sock lengths are mid-calf and over the calf. Both of these types of sock are long enough to ensure they stay up; if your dress socks aren't long enough, it is inevitable that they will fall down. As discussed above, over the calf socks will always do the best job of staying up all day.

2. Your dress socks are poor quality.

While over the calf socks clearly do the best job of staying up, it is important to note that not all over the calf socks are created equal.

One of the most foundational elements of manufacturing quality over the calf socks that stay up is the yarns used in the knitting process. Years ago, sock garters were quite popular as a tool to keep socks up; however, modern elastic yarns have largely eliminated this trend. The key with utilizing elastic yarns in sock manufacturing is using just enough to comfortably keep the socks up while not using so much as to make the socks excessively tight.

This balance is struck by utilizing both a certain type of spandex as well as a certain amount of spandex. The type of spandex is primarily denoted by the denier of yarn. Denier refers to the thickness of the fiber, with a higher denier constituting a thicker fiber and a lower denier yielding a thinner fiber. After determining the ideal denier of spandex, the next question is how much spandex to use in the socks. Again, too much spandex feels restrictive and uncomfortable, while not using enough spandex will enable the socks to fall down.

In addition to spandex, nylon is another fiber that adds elasticity to a sock, enabling it to stay up. Nylon in socks is sometimes referred to as “stretch nylon” due to this elasticity. Most socks are knit to fit a range of shoes sizes (i.e. US shoe sizes 8-12) and it is the nylon component of a sock that enables it to fit so many different sized feet. In addition to its form-fitting properties, the elasticity of nylon allows it to adhere to the leg and further ensure that the socks stay up.

A final point to make here is how the design of the socks impacts their ability to stay up. At Boardroom Socks, one of the reasons our solid-colored over the calf dress socks stay up so well is because of their ribbed design which, in addition to adding texture to the socks, also acts almost like an accordion to help pull the socks in.

How Do I Keep My Dress Socks Up?

The simple and most comfortable solution to this problem is to buy the right dress socks. Hopefully by now we have hammered this point home, but over the calf socks are always going to be the best option to stay up all day. As previously mentioned, mid-calf length dress socks are another option for men who prefer a shorter style of dress sock.

Your other option is much more complicated and uncomfortable: wear sock garters. Believe it or not, you can still actually find sock garters... Years ago, these were quite popular as a tool to keep socks up; however, modern elastic yarns have largely eliminated this trend. At the end of the day wearing sock garters doesn’t actually solve the root cause of why your dress socks are slipping: your socks are too short. And, let's face it, sock garters are bizarre.

how to keep your dress socks up

Why is it Important for Dress Socks to Stay Up?

1. First and foremost, it is important for dress socks to stay up so that you are comfortable. As your socks fall throughout the day, you constantly have to bend down and pull them up. Even worse, if they slide down into your shoes then they bunch up under your feet and be even more uncomfortable.

2. Beyond your comfort, it is also important to keep your socks up from an etiquette perspective. A longstanding rule in menswear is that a gentleman should never expose his bare leg when wearing pants. This is particularly true in professional and formal situations, especially in business. If you are wearing dress socks that are too short, your skin will show when you are seated or crossing your legs.

why your dress socks need to stay up

A special thank you to one of our New York-based customers, Florian, for the above photos.

Over the Calf Socks that Stay Up

Do Boardroom Socks’ over the calf dress socks stay up? Yes, we consistently receive feedback from customers that our over the calf dress socks stay up all day. We believe this is attributed to our yarn expertise, the design of our socks, and our high-quality, American manufacturing.

Our family has decades of global yarn acquisition experience, providing us with an in-depth knowledge of the finest materials to create a premium pair of over the calf dress socks that stay up. In addition to thoroughly understanding the nuances of a variety of fibers, our team’s industry relationships enable us to source the finest yarns at the best prices. In turn, this allows us to provide you with a premium product for a reasonable price.

As previously discussed, the design of our knee-high socks is another key factor in ensuring that they stay up all day. The unique ribbed-knit style of our solid colored socks helps to snuggly pull the socks in against your leg. Not only is this quite comfortable, but it also prevents them from sliding down.

Finally, we believe that manufacturing our dress socks locally is another important contributor in ensuring that our over the calf socks stay up. Each of the manufacturers that we work with are based in North Carolina and are multi-generation family businesses. These artisans are true craftsmen that take tremendous pride in carrying on our region’s history of providing high quality textiles.

Over the Calf Socks that Stay Up

About Boardroom Socks

Boardroom Socks is a small, family-owned company based in Charlotte, North Carolina. We specialize in manufacturing premium, American-made men’s dress socks that stay up. Each pair is designed to be as comfortable as it is stylish. Read our story to learn more and meet the family behind the business.

Nathan James
Nathan James

CEO, Boardroom Socks

Nathan is an eighth generation textile professional, passionate about producing quality hosiery right here in North Carolina. His favorite dress socks are our burgundy merino wool socks. You will also frequently find him wearing our no-show socks. Outside of the office he enjoys fishing, reading and exploring Charlotte with his wife, son and Golden Retriever.

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