Putting on one’s socks, for many, is the last step in getting ready and heading out the door — second to putting one’s shoes. But in general, little thought is likely given to socks, aside from them being a matching pair — if that — and the appropriate color for the outfit.
But to Aman Advani, socks — dress socks especially — can make or break your day and you might not even realize it. They can fall down, get sweaty and provide only a thin, often uncomfortable barrier between your foot and a dress shoe.
Let’s face it, the athletics socks you might prefer to wear won’t “go” with your work attire and also probably won’t to fit into your shoe comfortably. Both are unlikely to provide significant odor control too.
That’s where Advani and the still relatively new start-up Ministry of Supply believe they might finally have a solution.
You might remember Ministry of Supply’s wildly successful Kickstarter campaign for a next-generation, no-wrinkle, sweat-free dress shirt. The company raised more than $429,000 in one month, exceeding their initial goal of $30,000 on the crowd-funding site.
Following suit, their new sock — ATLAS: Performance Dress Sock — which packs a bunch of engineering and technology into it’s design, has also well exceeded the initial Kickstarter goal of $30,000 with more than $140,000 raised and still 11 days left in the funding campaign.
“Personally, the first thing [I would do] when I got home from work was peel off a paper thin dress sock,” Advani, co-founder and head of operations for Ministry of Supply, told TheBlaze in a phone interview, letting a bit of his disdain for traditional socks come through in his tone.
You might be surprised at how familiar you are with the odor eliminating agent used in the sock. It’s something many Americans seek out every morning in its liquid form to drink: coffee. The fabric of the sock is fiber polyester with carbonized coffee inside it.
It’s the same idea as smelling coffee beans in between smelling different colognes or perfumes in a department store — it cancels out the odor.
“Atlas is like a Brita Filter for your feet: made of carbonized coffee it filters and absorbs sweat and odor,” the company states on its Kickstarter site.
Check out this brief science lesson about the sock’s materials:
Socks to Advani are “one of the boldest displays of fashion meets function.” Unlike pants or shirts, the sock covers the foot, which actively carries a person from one place to another. Ministry of Supply states that people walk three to five miles on the average work day, presumably wearing their dress shoes and socks. So it’s a more important wardrobe piece than you might have thought.
According to Advani when it came to tackling the design of an odor-free, comfortable and fashion forward dress sock, it involved taking into account where a person’s foot moves; where it expels moisture; where it therefore needs wicking; and more.
After 50 or so concepts and about a dozen physical iterations — two years of total design and four to six months of prototyping — the Atlas sock from a “purely technical standpoint,” according to Advani, “makes you just want to put it on.”
Although it might not look like it, Advani said it feels like walking on a thick athletic sock.
Watch the company’s video about the sock’s design:
The larger plan for the clothing design company, which was founded by “engineers, designers, material scientists and customer experience junkies” at MIT in 2010, is to “fill out the entire men’s wardrobe” with comfortable and exceedingly functional performance clothing, Advani said.
Ministry of Supply brings a “heavily engineering[-based] mindset into the fashion world,” according to Advani.
Ministry of Supply currently sells much of its merchandise online but also has a showroom in Boston and is expanding pop-up stores to New York and San Francisco this year.