Jenni Lee knows it’s the little things that matter most. “I created Comme Si for those who live for the details,” says the marketing exec turned Brooklyn-based designer, who launched a collection of luxuriously simple menswear-inspired socks this spring. “As a working woman in New York who cares about her style, I put on specific jewelry and pick out a bag, but I didn’t feel like there were any socks on the market that fit that lifestyle.” After all, as she adds with a laugh, “not everyone is looking for pineapples printed on their socks every day.”
To that end, the 31-year-old has followed the path that Phoebe Philo charted at Céline. Her designs may be minimal, but nevertheless come with details “to make them wearable” (and instantly covetable) “for women.” Made from breathable ribbed Italian silk and Egyptian cottons, Comme Si’s single style falls just a few inches above the ankle—a leg-lengthening “flattering hit,” she notes. The nine semi-sheer shades are equally considered and deeply personal, reflecting her childhood as a Korean-American in Arizona: a mossy green recalls the saguaro cacti that lined her front yard; a midnight hue takes its cues from the indigo used for traditional hanbok dresses.
“I’ve always worn socks to be seen,” says Lee, who, until recently, would source and stockpile specialty numbers found throughout her travels in Europe and Asia. Now, she lets her own made-in-Italy designs, which are thin enough to slip into any shoe, peek out from Nike Air Force Ones or accent embellished Tevas. “Socks are like a fine accessory; an intentional touch to your outfit, not just an afterthought,” she explains.
Below, a look at Lee’s “traditional with a twist” style, plus her tips on upping your sock game.
Good fabric comes first, even when it’s for your feet.
My family is from Korea, and anytime we traveled to Asia or Europe, I’d always try to find really nice socks. I always feel them by hand first because everything I wear has to be really soft. I believe that clothes should make you feel comfortable, literally and figuratively, so you’ll find a lot of cashmere in my closet, [whether it’s] a Prada collared top or a Bobby Jones golf sweater that I stole from my dad. If I buy something that doesn’t fit well but I still really like the material, I’ll get it tailored.
Look for super-versatile items (like socks!).