Tokyo's Anonymous Ism label is one of the modern masters of sock design. The brand elevates the lowly foot sweater by using surprising materials, a variety of fits, bold patterns, and unexpected splashes of color. While the chunky, winter-ready socks in mix-and-match Fair Isles, stripes, dots, and cable knits are fan favorites, we're also admirers of the brand's basic mercerized-yarn crew socks. They're stranger looking than you'd expect – and that's a good thing.

Thin enough to be worn with dress shoes on those occasions when sturdy boots and heavy socks just won't do, these socks retain Anonymous Ism's signature playfulness, but look great with a modest pair of monkstraps. And mercerization, a technique developed by Englishman John Mercer in 1844, isn't just a fancy word: The process creates a super strong yarn that also takes dye more easily. That means those bright colors are actually a sign of quality. [$22; unionmadegoods.com]