In the late 1990s, Samy Liechti doffed his shoes in a meeting with Japanese clients, exposing his socks as holey and mismatched. This led the Swiss entrepreneur to found Blacksocks, a men’s dress sock specialist. It makes most of its foot coverings in Italy using high-quality wool, cotton and synthetics, and sells them direct to consumers via blacksocks.com. German-language consumer report magazines have lauded Blacksocks’ superior performance in tests simulating shoe-like conditions, including moisture and repeated friction. Liechti says the socks are tested for 35 washings and will last longer if hung to dry. However, as everyone knows, what truly plagues the sock owner is mysterious laundry loss. Blacksocks has a time-saving solution for that: the “Sockscription.” For an annual fee, customers can have socks sent to them automatically every three or four months; sock-scribers pay $10 a pair depending on the style chosen. (A “trial pack” of three pairs is $32.) When a male customer finds an agreeable option in “something as boring as socks,” Liechti figures, he’ll stick with it.