​Socks appeal

On this Father's Day, we've got Dad covered head to toe, as Mo Rocca explains:

Gretchen Spittler and Tony Trinchera, of Rochester, N.Y., have been married for six years. Gretchen adores Tony from head to toe ... well, almost.

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V.K. Nagrani

Rocca asked Gretchen, "How does Tony look when he's dressed up?"

"Oh, I think he cleans up nice!" she replied.

"But if there's one element of his wardrobe that isn't working, what is it?"

"Tony has trouble with his socks," she laughed.

And Tony concurred. Like a lot of American men, he doesn't seem to give a darn about his socks.

He says he'll wear one pair for "years. If I'm walking on a tile floor and I can feel the hole right there on my heels, then I know it's pretty much done."

But for Tony, a college professor, finding dress socks that fit properly is no mean feat.

He described the shape of his feet as "flippers."

"I don't know if this is fair, but it almost looks like you could fit a sixth toe in the width of his foot," Gretchen said.

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President George H.W. Bush shows off some Nagrani socks.

V.K. Nagrani

So, do socks matter? "Absolutely," said Vivek "V.K." Nagrani.

And the menswear designer should know. His socks have been hailed by the fashion world, and have adorned the feet of an American president.

Rocca asked, "The man who's wearing carefully-chosen socks is sending a message that says what?"

"That he pays attention to detail," Vagrani replied. "You naturally will start to think of that person a little bit different. You start to almost see an insight into his personality."

"Maybe that person's a bit creative, an out-of-the-box thinker?"

"Yes. And this is what gives the man an opportunity to quietly express himself."

Nagrani sells his brand of high-end hosiery for men out of his New York City boutique.

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V.K. Nagrani

Prices start at $35 a pair, using only the best of fabrics ("You can buy cashmere anywhere, right? Which is great. Why not baby alpaca?"), precision design ("This is a substantial amount of stretch band that still keeps the sock up and in place -- it actually feels like someone's massaging your foot"), and for any occasion.

Nagrani has even created a sock designed for leisure space travel.

"So this is one small step for man, one giant leap for sockwear?"

So, when did people start wearing socks?

"From the Stone Age, from the beginning of time," said Steven Frumkin, a dean at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology.

"The Egyptians are the first, I believe, where you can actually find a knitted form of a footwear that went in-between the skin and the sandal."

Socks became commonplace in the 1500s with the invention of the knitting machine.

Rocca said, "My father would always wear black, sometimes blue, socks. I don't remember him ever wearing a pattern sock."

"I think if you go back to the '20s, there was the wealthier people that wore socks that went along with their outfits that they wore," said Frumkin. "Plain, simple men wore black socks."

Men today have a STUNNING variety of socks to stuff in their drawers.

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V.K. Nagrani

But, Frumkin says, it's often the women in their lives who are footing the bill when it comes to more adventurous sockwear.

"I mean, if you look at some of the socks that are out there today with the funky little patterns that are out there, I don't think most men would think about wearing them," Frumkin said. "But I think they wear it because that's been given to them as a gift."

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V.K. Nagrani

Which brings us back to Tony and Gretchen -- and designer Vivek Nagrani.

"Wow, that's a situation," Nagrani said of Tony's "very atypically-shaped" feet. "Why don't we have you try on a pair of red socks?"

Tony jumped in with both feet.

And would he now consider something with a pattern?

"I think so, if it was the right pattern ... you know, if it wasn't something too --"

"Those are snazzy!" said Gretchen.

Rocca asked, "Gretchen, is this the man you met nine years ago?"

"He is much more open-minded than the man I met nine years ago!" she laughed.


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