The London Sock Exchange has partnered with the James Bond series to release a collection of six 007-themed sock designs.
Each sock features a repeating motif related to James Bond, and the motif is woven into the sock with the utmost detail. The level of detail somewhat resembles that of an 8-bit video game, with just as much charm. On the inside of the sock the construction of each motif can be seen in the ends of the yarns.
The London Sock Exchange gifted me the Double-O Gift Box and the Agent Gift Box, each valued at £25 for three pairs of socks, which is a reasonable price for high-quality socks even without a 007 connection. Individually, the socks cost £10 a pair.
For those complaining about the luxury prices of Bond-branded clothes from N.Peal and Orlebar Brown, these socks are far more accessible 007-branded wearable wares.
I’ll be the first to admit that these are not socks that James Bond would wear. Socks from British luxury brands like Corgi and Pantherella in plain colours would be the way to go if you want expensive Bondian socks. But the world does not need 007-branded plain black or grey socks.
These socks are like a much classier, more subtle graphic t-shirt. The motifs are small enough that will not be immediately identifiable from eye level. And when standing, socks should not even be visible. They’re great with casual outfits, but the more adventurous man could wear them with suits.
These socks are made from either a blend of cotton, nylon and elastane or a blend of cotton, nylon, polyester and elastane. They’re a 200-needle fine gauge, with a hand-linked toe and a honeycomb welt at the top. They’re very comfortable, and the woven motifs are not felt against the foot or ankle while wearing the socks.
The six socks in this collection each feature a unique design relating to the Bond series.
The Double-O depicts James Bond in his quintessential black dinner suit, pointing his gun up in a pose that Pierce Brosnan was often pictured in. Bond’s light brown hair here recalls Roger Moore. This design is on a mid-blue background.
What truly impresses with the design is how James Bond’s dinner suit is made with both black and grey yarns to highlight the shape and give a three-dimensional look to the motif. Bond’s white shirt cuffs stick out from the ends of the jacket’s sleeves, and this level of detail can be seen throughout the collection.
The Shaken features martini glasses filled with olives on a charcoal ground.
Without the the other 007 socks next to it, this one is not obviously connected to James Bond. Sure, it features his most well-known libation, but there’s nothing that exclusively ties this design to James Bond. So if you’re looking for a James Bond sock that does not tell the world you’re wearing a James Bond sock, but you frequent happy hour, this is the one for you.
The Oddjob sock has an image of Goldfinger henchman Oddjob throwing his flat-topped bowler hat across a minty green ground. This is the only sock that depicts a character other than James Bond himself.
Green socks are easy to wear, pairing well with both brown and black shoes. Socks don’t need to match one’s trousers, or anything else, and green complements many trouser colours.
The Agent portrays a black-haired Sean Connery in his ivory dinner jacket in Goldfinger, holding a gun across his chest. It has the subtle detail of a red boutonniere, showing the care that was put into designing these socks. The sock is on a pink ground, which picks up the red carnation.
The pink colour makes this sock the most difficult to wear without drawing attention, but it would pair well with light-coloured trousers in the summer.
The Chute recalls The Spy Who Loved Me‘s pre-title sequence, with Bond hanging from a Union Flag parachute on a sky blue ground. This is one of the most fun socks of the collection.
Like The Shaken, The Chute is not so obviously Bond, but it is an image taken directly from Bond that Bond fans would recognise. It’s something Alan Partridge would notice and appreciate, but perhaps not the average person on the street. The London Sock Exchange does not get Bond wrong!
The Thunderball features a cross-legged Sean Connery from the Thunderball poster holding a speargun in his red wetsuit, white shorts and purple swimfins on a light grey ground. The fins on the original poster are blue, but the overall look is not compromised.
The two sets of socks arrived packaged in nice cardboard boxes, wrapped in tissue paper with an elegant presentation. A tag wrapping the top of each pair of socks describes each design with suggestions for how to wear them. The socks have a small 007 tag further down the socks. A postcard with a still from Dr. No was included, adding to the experience unwrapping the socks.
I noticed that the labels are not printed consistently; the printed type does not always line up with the embossed type, and the colour of the printed text varies between labels. Perhaps the greys on the labels are supposed to be varied (they match the ink on the labels to other socks in their range), but when the socks come packaged together the colour variation does not look purposeful. The inconsistency in labelling does not mirror the care put into each pair of socks. But this is a small criticism, and after the socks are fully unpacked the packaging is forgotten.
The bar at the end of one of the plastic fasteners used to secure the 007 tag to one of the socks was stuck through a loop of yarn and was very difficult to remove without damaging the socks. I am not sure if I was able to remove it without damaging the sock, but I will know if the sock suffered after I wear and wash it.
As someone who appreciates detail, these socks blew me away. All of the designs work incredibly well in a small scale on these socks, and I am in awe with the execution of the designs. As someone who doesn’t usually stray too far from what Bond would wear himself, these socks are something I make an exception for. The designs are subtle enough that I don’t feel self-conscious wearing them. Indeed, when wearing the socks I forgot I was wearing 007 socks, which is the way it should be when wearing any clothes.
The price is superb, and I’m surprised they don’t cost twice as much. They’re something that is accessible to the average 007 fan both in price and product, and I am very glad that The London Sock Exchange was up to the task.
My only complaint is with the packaging, which I feel should be more consistent to reflect the quality of the product and the luxury experience.