If you’re looking for high-quality, long-lasting dress socks, the brand Boardroom Socks checks that box, among so many others.
Boardroom is a family-owned men’s socks manufacturer based in North Carolina. We’re going to cover their thoughtful no-shortcuts approach, which is unique even among high-end clothing brands these days.
We’re also going to look into their emphasis on domestic manufacturing, community, and how that results in high-quality products in this (not sponsored) brand profile and review.
But first, some quick history!
Brand History: Fulfilling a Need in the Market and in Society
Boardroom Socks was founded in 2010 by Mike and Carol James. Coming from seven generations of textile professionals, and with his own 40 years of buying and selling yarn under his belt, Mike was looking to fill a gap in the market: High-quality American-made dress socks.
Fortunately, this was (and is) in line with James’ values, and the values of the business. Boardroom is equal parts about bringing back premium US-produced socks and supporting North Carolina’s textile industry.
Today, Boardroom is still a family operation. Mike continues to use his expertise in yarn, Carol is the CFO and also designs, and their youngest son, Nathan, is the CEO.
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From the yarns they use to their meticulous design, Boardroom Socks’ commitment to quality traces all the way through the production process. Each pair of socks is hand-inspected before being shipped to your door.
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Why We Love Boardroom Socks
Here are the reasons we think Boardroom Socks offers a compelling value proposition:
- They have a serious commitment to sticking to high-quality and American-made products.
- They offer a variety of designs and products for different needs and personal styles.
- Their website offers effective support and education tools.
Let’s dig into each quality a bit more deeply!
Premium and Long-Lasting Materials
Boardroom uses a mix of both natural yarn and synthetic yarn, in order to get the benefits of both. However, unlike most manufacturers looking to cut costs, Boardroom makes sure that the proportion of synthetic material doesn’t surpass the natural yarn.
The result? Better breathability and temperature regulation, and a silkier-looking, higher-end product.
They use just enough nylon for durability and fit, but not so much that the socks feel hot or suffocating. Spandex at the band also helps with fit, while ensuring that everything stays in place as you move throughout the day.
A rarity with most present-day sock manufacturers, Boardroom actually reinforces the heel and toe.
This practice provides a significantly longer life for the socks. Still, most brands skip this step because it’s complicated, expensive, and time consuming. A lot of extra yarn of different types is needed for this process.
Boardroom mainly uses two kinds of natural yarn. They use pima cotton, a premium material often associated with high-end
James sources the finest yarns from all over the world, and all of the manufacturing happens right in America. From the high-end material and fortified construction, the level of quality here isn’t just rare for the US, but all over the world.
The Benefits of American Manufacturing
Boardroom really taps into the generations-long traditions of North Carolina. They employ both skilled craftsmen and modern technology to get the best of both worlds.
European dress socks usually use machines with 200-needle counts, which results in super thin socks.
This definitely makes them dressy and comfortable, but not long-lasting. Boardroom uses 168-needle count machines, providing a happy medium of lasting durability without compromising the luxurious feel and comfort. They’re also slightly thicker.
The local factor doesn’t stop at supporting their home textile factory too. The shipping boxes, packaging material, and labels also come from domestic small businesses. The socks are even dyed across the street from Boardroom’s warehouse.
A Range of Easy-To-Find Styles
While Boardroom came about because Mike James could no longer find the American-made over-calf dress socks he always wore, this brand offers a literal universe of styles.
There’s over-calf, mid-calf, and no-shows, as well as several colors and patterns. We’re talking stripes, polka-dots, tweed-patterned, sprinkles, and more.
They also make elegant gift boxes that come with six pairs of mixed or similarly-colored socks.
So how does one find the right pair or pairs for them?
Support and Educational Resources on Boardroom socks’ Site
As with any good website, Boardroomsocks.com allows you to search for socks by narrowing down the selection via individual features. Their blog is uniquely helpful though, since few brands have the sock-specific expertise that their team does.
There’s even a detailed guide that helps you choose which dress socks are best for you. Want to make sure your socks last as long as possible? Check out their cleaning and maintenance best practices.
Boardroom is all about supporting their community, and part of that is sharing knowledge, instead of bogarting trade secrets for profit.
Some of Our Favorite Picks from Boardroom Socks
Here are a few styles we recommend, depending on the occasion!
Black Merino Wool Over-Calf Dress Socks
A true essential, this black merino sock is Boardroom’s number one selling style since they launched in 2010.
The ribbing gives it a classic look, and also helps keep the socks up as you’re moving throughout the day. Plus, this is their most versatile option and can be worn with dress trousers or jeans.
Perfect for low-profile sneakers, boat shoes, or loafers, Boardroom’s no-show socks are built to stay on your foot despite constant movement.
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“Comfortable, breathable no-show socks designed to stay on and stay hidden. These are the ideal socks for loafers, boat shoes, sneakers and other men’s shoes. Sport the casual, bare-ankle look without forgoing the comfort of wearing a pair of socks.” –Boardroom Socks
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They come in four neutral tones and are made with odor and moisture fighting merino.
Navy Pima Cotton Mid-Calf Dress Socks
Boardroom makes cotton mid-calf socks in a range of great colors, with this navy version being one of the most versatile.
It’s a solid, neutral-enough shade that’s appropriate with
American Flag Navy Merino Wool Mid-Calf
Honoring Boardroom’s commitment to American manufacturing, the US flag motif is complemented by a navy background.
The breathable and moisture-wicking merino make this sock a year-rounder, with primary colors that would be at home by the beach or lake, or indoors for a cozy happy hour or game night.
Some Boardroom Socks FAQ
If this is your first time hearing about Boardroom Socks, or maybe you have a few sock-specific questions, hopefully we can provide some clarity!
Where is Boardroom Socks from?
Boardroom Socks is located in North Carolina, with a mailing address in Charlotte and a warehouse in Granite Falls.
Are mid-calf socks the same as crew?
Mid-calf socks are a bit higher than crew-length ones and are considered to be dressier.
How do men wear mid-calf socks?
Mid-calf socks are meant to cover your legs completely when wearing dress pants, even as you sit or cross your legs. If you have trouble keeping mid-calf socks up, you may want to consider over-the-calf socks, which, you guessed it… cover your entire calf and end right below the knee.
What are the sock lengths?
Quarter length socks are usually between four to six inches, while crew socks are usually between six and eight. Mid-calf socks, typically at 10 to 12 inches, and over-calf socks, at 17.5 to 18, are dressier than their shorter counterparts.
Of course, a man’s height and proportions add a bit of variation to how these lengths wear.
Quality and Commitment To Community
The best part about Boardroom Socks is that their commitment to local industries is directly related to their search for premium quality. One motive doesn’t have to compromise the other!
Which of the socks above do you love the most? Have you tried any other of Boardroom’s offerings?
Let us know your thoughts! Feel free to DM us on Instagram anytime!