“Find out why we think menswear socks startup Southern Scholar occupies a unique niche in the world of men’s dress socks”
Inspired by a “love for dressing up and looking nice, down to the details,” Kevin Wohlman founded Southern Scholar as a side hustle just one year out of college while working in a Big 4 accounting firm. Southern Scholar offers a subscription-based model that sends one pair of socks per month to customers. The company allows customers or gift-givers to prepay for a 6 or 12 month subscription or choose to be billed on a month-to-month basis.
“Our target customer is any guy who gives a damn — any guy who takes pride in how they dress and pays close attention to detail,” Kevin told Modern Fellows in an interview. “We target the modern gentlemen of the world and let their love for the product and passion for looking good spread the word.”
Southern Scholar provided socks to Modern Fellows at no cost for the purpose of a review. Having had the chance to wear and wash the socks that Kevin provided, here are 3 ways we think the socks really shine:
1. Materials: Kevin boasts that “there is nothing on the market that compares to our blend, and that is intentional.” He spent a year and half testing and sampling different material blends before ever producing Southern Scholar’s first sock for sale, ordering samples from more than three dozen manufacturers in all different material blends. Kevin eventually landed on Southern Scholar’s “Signature Material Blend,” a unique combination of threads including Polyester, Viscose Rayon and a touch of Nylon-Spandex for stretch. Together, they result in a silky texture that are extremely comfortable and retain their color.
2. Colors: We love colors around here, but socks these days tend to fall into extremes of “dull and dark” or “wild and bright.” There aren’t very many companies that fill the void with a dress sock that is colorful and interesting without being loud. Southern Scholar’s colors and focus on small patterns, lines and dots strike a great balance for office attire that many other brands miss.
3. Fit: Southern Scholar advertises that their socks are “engineered to better fit your foot and leg and stay up on your calf all day,” and they deliver on that promise. One of the major shortcomings of many proper dress socks is that the thin material slinks down and bunches on your ankle during the day (which is why this writer tends to prefer thicker socks). One of the things that makes Southern Scholar different is that they don’t use any cotton or wool in their blend. The blend they formulated does a terrific job of staying put all day on the leg.
“Each sock we create is designed specifically around a business casual and business professional outfit,” noted Kevin. Southern Scholar offers suggestions about options for wearing the sock. “It wasn’t until I started working on building the company that I truly learned and appreciated what a well designed dress sock could achieve. Now, however, there is nobody out their who loves and appreciates a good pair of socks like I do,” said Kevin.
His focus on perfecting a good pair of socks has attracted members from college students to retirees and across a spectrum of businessmen, lawyers, school teachers, car salesmen, accountants, investment bankers, photographers, artists and athletes. While the company has pursued paid and organic social media campaigns, pop-ups, retail deals and influencer marketing, Kevin noted that “our #1 growth channel has been organic word of mouth from our members.”
By: Jake Colvin of Modern Fellows
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