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Nylon socks for men: They exist in Europe, where can I get them here?

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The question: A couple of years back while in Europe, I found some men would wear nylon socks instead of the awfully warm cotton/nylon/whatever mixes out there. They are perfect for formal evening wear, when going sockless isn't an option. I haven't found a "man version" of these socks anywhere and feel a little shy about visiting the women's hosiery department. Can you help?

The answer: Almost all socks have some nylon in them; nylon is a cheaper and sturdier replacement for silk. The most expensive socks are all-silk. I suspect you're referring to a very sheer nylon that looks a bit like women's stockings. The best silk can look like this, too.

I had a visiting professor from France once who wore these with low-vamp loafers. The entire class, distracted by such apparent cross-dressing, stared with absorption at them all term, to the great detriment of Rousseau. It wasn't something middle-income Canadians could really handle. We did not know that sheer socks are generally seen as the most dressy of men's hosiery and are most often worn with black tie. Even then - you should know that there is a hint of the pimp and the mobster about such flash (there is a joke in The Sopranos about "guys in see-through socks"). If you are absolutely certain you want them, you can order a wide variety online: Google "men's sheer socks."

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Russell Smith's latest novel, Girl Crazy , was recently published. Have a fashion question? E-mail

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