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Thread: Nordstrom OTC Merino socks catching on dress pants?

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    Varsity Member facelessghost's Avatar
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    Nordstrom OTC Merino socks catching on dress pants?

    At the main site's recommendation, I've got 5 or 6 pairs of the Nordstrom merino socks--I've been wearing them for a year or two, I don't love them as much as Joe,* but I like them a lot and I'm about to buy a few more pairs. But I've found that whenever I wear the over-the-calf version with wool dress pants (or light, dressier chinos), my pants catch on my calves and hang a few inches above my ankle unless I continually pull them down.

    It's not a big deal--the obvious solution is to wear the standard mid-calf length with suits and dress pants, and that's what I do. But then you lose out on the awesomeness of over-the-calf socks, which is that they do not slip down. Ever.

    Anyway, is this just me? Are any of you wearing these without problem with your suits? Just curious.


    *If you're wondering why, it's because the foot part isn't really foot shaped, which leads to some bunching in the shoe, and the toe seam can be a bit scratchy. Also, the mid-calf socks tend to slip a bit more than other socks I wear (because my calves aren't large enough, I suppose). But wool socks are great, and on sale these are the best value I know of, so overall it's a win.

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    Super Moderator LesserBlackDog's Avatar
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    I have big meaty calves and I like to wear tapered trousers so over-the-calf socks do not work for me. The friction between the fabrics will cause my pant legs to bunch up around my calves.

    Most of my socks, I don't have an issue with them slipping down. Maybe you need to try out some different sock styles or sizes? I like to wear medium weight wool socks (basically the socks that hiking brands market as "dress socks" but are basically slightly thinner hiking socks in conservative colors).
    Ben

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    Varsity Member mebejoseph's Avatar
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    Same problem. I purchased one pair to give them a try--but I won't buy more. Mid-calf socks seem to work fine for me and don't cause a problem with holding up my pant legs. As long as no skin shows when you're sitting, crossing legs, moving around, you're good.
    Intentionally overdressed for almost every occasion.

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    It depends on how tight you like the lower legs of your trousers (and maybe a tiny bit on if your climate generates a lot of static). My suit trousers have a minimal taper so require just a light shake of the foot, and only on rare occasions.

    However, the sock fabric also matters. A smooth-woven wool will grab less than a rough weave, but over time --especially in a washing machine-- that smoothness can be lost. A delicates garment bag in a top-loader is a reasonable substitute for hand-washing. A wool-nylon or wool-silk blend can help, by being intrinsically both lower friction and more resistant to wear. Heck, pure silk is so frictionless that OTC or sock-garters are practically required. (And can be so thin that UK superior court judges are required by tradition to wear two pairs at once, as Queen Victoria disliked seeing the leg hairs poke through a single layer.)

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    Varsity Member Sideswipe's Avatar
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    I only have one pair of the Nordstrom socks but I've had this issue as well - no idea why, as they're smoother than my AE wool OTCs which don't have this problem. My solution has been to fold over the cuff of the sock on itself (not sure if I'm describing that well), which seems to help more often than not. Again, no idea why this works, but it seems to, and the socks are long enough on me that I don't lose much if any of the over-the-calf awesomeness.
    “There are moments, Jeeves, when one asks oneself, 'Do trousers matter?'"
    "The mood will pass, sir.”

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    Never happened with the old Nordstrom socks but it happens all the time with the new ones! Glad to hear I'm not alone. Bring back the quality Nordstrom!

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    Same thing happens to me, so I'm not really a fan of the Nordstrom OTC (don't like the blend and they are too thick/hot). I much prefer the Pantherella OTC socks. They are thinner and much more comfortable in summer months. And I think (although I'm not 100% certain) that although they are a blend, they have more wool and less nylon; at least it feels that way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LesserBlackDog View Post
    I have big meaty calves and I like to wear tapered trousers so over-the-calf socks do not work for me. The friction between the fabrics will cause my pant legs to bunch up around my calves.

    Most of my socks, I don't have an issue with them slipping down. Maybe you need to try out some different sock styles or sizes? I like to wear medium weight wool socks (basically the socks that hiking brands market as "dress socks" but are basically slightly thinner hiking socks in conservative colors).
    Same (17" calf). The OTC catch, especially in the Spier and Mackay Contemporary/Banana Republic Athletic fits. Although I find the foot portion to be a little too long.

    Regular thin wool/cotton mid calf slip (feel like the hanging on for dear life memes), but the mid/heavier weight ones from hiking brands generally work (although then my feet are a bit too wide/thick for Italian cut shoes).
    Last edited by 77Pat; July 20th, 2019 at 04:00 PM.

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    Same here. They are too thick and chunky. My favorite wool socks are from Joe Merino. They are thinner than the Nordstrom socks, and have enough elastic in them to stay in place.

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    My issue with Nordstrom socks the foot part. As someone else mentioned, the foot is long and wide making the socks basically unwearable. I do like the way smartwool socks fit my feet, but they aren't OTC length.

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