Started by two entrepreneurial brothers, A&E aims to craft a sock that caters to sophisticated men’s fashion, but maintains a good sense of humor. Influenced by their youths as sneaker-heads and their grandfathers entrepreneuring spirit, great style, and commitment to quality craftsmanship, they set out to create a sock that was not only highly functional but also a wearable work of art. Made from American supima cotton, A&E socks are designed to reflect the many patterns found throughout New York, the city Sage and Cody call home. One pair may reflect the high and iconic spires of the Chrysler building, while another takes its roots in the design of manhole covers. After a year of hunting down the best materials, test driving blends, and building partnerships with the family-owned craftsmen who help them bring their vision to life Cody and Sage have been up and running for the last two years and continue to grow their following. Given their standing as a company that specializes in making men look their best, down to the last detail, we thought they might have a few recommendations on how their socks can enhance your day-of-outfit, or the outfits of your groomsmen, without making them look like a barbershop quartet. So we sat down with them for a Q&A about their socks, their fashion expertise, and their thoughts on what to wear while tying the knot.
What is important about the groom having recognizable accessories? And how do socks come into play here, especially in relation to more traditional accessories like cufflinks or bowties?
What is important? Since the groom’s outfit must be timeless and must enhance the presence of the partner, the accessories of the groom are great opportunities to display individuality or to more subtly complement their partner. Bowties and cufflinks, no matter how subtle, are accessories that stand out because of their location on the body. A pair of socks is an intimate accessory loaded with potential. Its aesthetic impact depends not just on its colors and patterns, but on its exposure and visibility. This added dimension makes socks unique . The amount of exposure isn’t variable when we evaluate the impact of a bowtie or a cufflink. In this sense, socks are more dynamic and more versatile. You can’t partially expose a bowtie or a cufflink. Our socks balance the traditional with the modern, and footwear and accessories are things to which attention is increasingly being paid. The colors of our socks should complement the outfits of the groom and groomsmen, and NEED to compliment and elevate the bride or partner’s, but can provide a necessary pop color. Accessories in a contemporary wedding need to be just as polished as attire and attention to the little things is increasingly expected. Mind the details, gentlemen.
What makes socks a great option for helping to unify the wedding party? And how can the choice of socks that the groomsmen wear convey the mood of the wedding?
When it comes to unifying the wedding party, socks, especially ours, make bold statements through their vibrant colors and captivating patterns.Imagine the striking diamond pattern of our Mambas, currently in black/white, space-dye blue, and orange/silver, on the ankles of all the groomsmen–there exists unity in pattern, but uniqueness in color.No matter how bright your socks, or how bold your outfit, the mood of the wedding is dictated by the quality of the soon-to-be-weds’ performance of unity and love. To this end, pick the socks that:
- enhance your look.
- make your partner look better.
- demonstrate the strength of you and your partner’s bond.
- allow you to feel comfortable and proud.
- have the quality to last like your life-long romance.
There exists a happy medium between the brightest orange and purest black. A softer lavender demonstrates a quiet confidence, an ability to be creative, but an understanding of the importance of this rite of passage.
We all know women use lingerie to elevate their outfits, even if it is not easily visible it makes them feel more confident and can affect the overall appearance. Can socks do this for men? As in, can they serve as a fun confidence boost for a nervous groom?
A fresh pair of socks, like a fresh pair of kicks, if well-coordinated with the outfit, can definitely boost confidence, but remember, IT’S OKAY TO BE NERVOUS! Socks are , for men, the equivalent of lingerie. They are a deeply personal item that you can show when you want to and hide when you don’t. No matter how much you choose to expose, you know what lies beneath, and confidence will radiate regardless.
Assuming that your socks can serve as a unifier for the groomsmen, is it ever appropriate for them to each wear their own unique pair of your socks instead of matching?
YES!! Unity doesn’t mean “identical!” In fact, uniting through pattern or color choice will make your entourage look less like one tacky package, and more like well-dressed groomsmen.In all honesty, we are sometimes averse to matching [our socks]. To ensure your groomsmen don’t turn into the barber shop quartet of the wedding, as the groom, give your crew a few options from which to choose, and make sure your pair stands out from the rest! Bold socks can most definitely be the accessory that aesthetically binds the groomsmen, regardless of whether you go for a tight match, or a more individual aesthetic.
You said initially that you can learn a lot about a man from how he covers his ankles. What exactly can a sock convey to the wedding guests?
A bold pattern or color, when worn with ease is a clear sign of confidence. Individuality and creativity also shine through when you take pride in the way your style choices are unique. Attention to detail and quality are the tenets of our brand and a great matching/complementing of sock pattern/color with the attire of your partner is a sign of unity, a demonstration of care, and a marker of the strength of the bond you share.
Assuming that certain socks are more appropriate for certain situations than others, can you give us a few examples of which of your socks are most appropriate for different wedding events?
In the context of a traditional wedding . . .
It’s the dinner before the Dinner, so live it up, dress like you’re excited for what’s to come, and whip out a pair of our Hudson Yellow. The bright contrast of black and yellow combined with the intricate line-work inspired by The Highline is a great choice to show your overflowing eagerness to tie the knot.
Our Downtowns in turquoise are a beautifully patterned with a more conservative zigzag, but the cool turquoise adds a little flare that any pre-wedding brunch requires. In a slightly more casual setting, it’s easy to dress the turquoise Downtowns down, roll your cuffs up once or twice and show a little color! Lighten the mood with these happy, upbeat, bright threads.
A pair of Mambas, in black and white is a perfect formal accent to a well-fitting suit. The Mamba does come in bolder colors if you’re feeling like adding a splash of color and pattern, but the black and white options are timeless and sure to force double-takes. Let your groomsmen rep the loud colors; for you, the groom, keep it tight and timeless.
Throw on a pair of our Rafs, in space-dye lavender, to show off your creativity and individuality without overpowering and commanding too much attention. The cool lavender is an intimate touch to add to an outfit for such a gathering. This Raf is the perfect balance between brash and bold, and quiet and calm.
It’s like speed-dating for your future wedding party guests, so have a little fun, lighten the mood, and throw on a pair of the Forrest Blues in blue and white. These will make your guests’ eyes buzz, draw them in, and position you perfectly to warmly make introductions and break ice. The Forest Blue is a great option for a less formal gathering; the black and white version you can save for the reception.
We were thinking that groovy socks could make a great groomsmen gift – do different patterns of your socks speak to different personality types? Can you give us a few examples?
We definitely have patterns and colors that attract certain types, though our patterns all come in a black/white color, so color-choice is really what sets the base-jumper apart from the jaywalker.
Turn formal garb into party attire by tearing off your black, circulation-cutting gold-toes and throwing on a pair of our Hamiltons! Be bold, be brash! These socks emit positive vibes and evoke the brightest smiles. Your partner better be wearing an equally bold color, because these will steal the spotlight.
You just passed Level Three of the CFA exam!! But you’re not like every other young professional in finance, are you? Set yourself apart by tossing on a hypnotizing pair of our Dowtowns in black and yellow! The vertical chevron catches and holds attention. So hike those cuffs up before your interview and woo HR with your smarts and your socks.
It’s your special day, maybe the rehearsal dinner, maybe the real deal, but it’s time for you to shine! More though, it’s time to help your partner shine. Repping too bold means diverting focus away from your PIC. This is the first time you need to perfectly execute the performance of your partnership. With a pair of our Rafs, patterned in more subtle herringbone, you can blend in a little more while still sporting socks that force double-takes.