Canadian Fashion Connection – McGregor Socks

Latex counter model of the maniacal smiling sock - typically found in chain stores that carried Happy Foot McGregor socks in the 1950s

Latex counter model of the maniacal smiling sock found in chain stores that carried ‘Happy Foot’ McGregor socks in the 1950s

McGregor Socks was founded in Toronto in 1928 by brothers Jack and Nathan Lipson and brother-in-law Joseph Doran. Although none had Scottish roots, the name was chosen to capitalize on the stereotype of the frugal Scot.

In the late 1930s the company created a cushion-soled health sock sold under the name ‘Happy Foot’. This became the company’s best known brand, and is still being made today.

By the 1960s the McGregor brand had expanded into women’s and girl’s legwear and today holds licenses for Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Reebok, Chaps and IZOD.

The company is still family owned and head quartered in Toronto, with manufacturing, sales and distribution centres located around the world in 75 countries.

The company has a very informative page on their website that covers everything you could ever want to know about hosiery.

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.
This entry was posted in Canadian dress, Men's fashion, underwear and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Canadian Fashion Connection – McGregor Socks

  1. Deb says:

    Did not know they were Canadian. Jeff’s favourite socks. Thanks Jonathan.

  2. Nancy says:

    I have been familiar with the McGregor brand all my life and we wore them when we were younger and identified them as Canadian Brand. I did not wear socks much for years but re-started buying them last year to wear in boots and jeans etc . So I went to the Bay and purchased several pairs of McGregor socks for my Mother and myself mid-calf without elastic around the top? They were great whenever we wore them. So this year we pulled them out and noticed that upon putting a pair on that the soles were almost bare in a couple of spots and upon examining the other pairs they were all the same! These are definitely not the good old McGregor docks! Now I am not my good old self either but at $9.00 per pair and for only a few wearings this is ridiculous! Obviously times have changed and I will not be repurchsi get their product! I went to website and in the contact us you get an international map not a referral to an email site maybe too many complaints do you think? I do.

    • Jonathan says:

      It seems to be impossible to get a hold of anyone in any company’s ‘complaints’ department anymore. Generally speaking, the quality of most materials used in fashion is rarely as good as it once was.

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