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Best Men’s Weekend Bags

At the end of a long week, there’s nothing quite like a weekend away from it all to unwind. Whether you’re heading for a B&B in the country, a slick city break, or a chic beach, arriving with your toothbrush and boxers in a few tatty carrier bags isn’t the start to the weekend you’re after!

So, we have done the research for you and present the FIVE of the BEST WEEKEND BAGS on the market today:

5. A lively one to kick off; this Liberty print is for the brave, but if you can pull it off it’s a nice change from the usual fabrics

4. Real leather and ‘carry on’ size for a plane, it’s a classic style and this is a good bag for the price:

3, This bad boy is ideal if you’re an Italian Duke or just like Victorian luggage. If you’re going on holiday with Sophia Loren, and you’ve got a manservant, it doesn’t make sense to carry your Marko John’s in anything else:

2, This all leather beauty by Moore and Giles isn’t cheap but should last for years and age beautifully if treated right:

1,  And the winner is… At number one is this stylish canvas number, Made In Britain (in Cumbria actually), and nicely finished with lots of classy details (brass feet, leather base panels) it’s a cracker and just right for a weekend away:

So, there we have it, have a great weekend wherever you’re going and don’t forget your socks!

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MJs in PUG, Stow on the Wold

PUG, Stow on the Wold

We are delighted to announce that Marko John’s Socks are now available in PUG, Stow on the Wold, for a limited period of time.  PUG stands for Pop Up Gallery.  Their site is here:  The shop is a fantastic space, regularly graced by beautiful things proudly made in Britain:


“P.U.G. ON THE SQUARE is an exciting new retail concept in one of the Cotswold’s most attractive market towns – Stow-on-the-Wold.

P.U.G. is dedicated to promoting and selling Pretty, Useful Goodies designed and made by local Cotswold or British craftsmen and women. It is ever-changing with new collections arriving every few weeks and takes the form of a year-round programme.”


Here’s what MJs look like in PUG right now:

MJs on display in PUG
MJs on display in PUG
MJs in PUG, Stow on the Wold
MJs in PUG, Stow on the Wold


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Home from Glasto

The line up this year was immense. From the incredibly still Rolling Stones to Chase and Status and Mumford and Sons, it was a showcase of some of the world’s finest talent. Not muddy this year but still plenty of Hunters wellies worn as they have rightly earned their place in the Festival Chic Hall of Fame by now. Plenty of stylish madras and linen, all variations of denim, classic and hardwearing, neon aplenty, leather shorts for the brave (and clammy, presumably), sunburn common and fond memories – hopefully – for all. There is no doubt, however, that whatever the personal highlight, the joy of the first shower, the first sleep in fresh linen sheets, the first morning not heralded by the furnace-like heat of one’s tent, are all contenders. The quiet, the tea, the shower, the first pair of fresh MJs.. These are Monday’s headliners; we hope you enjoy the show..


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One of the best things about wearing sandals

We love wearing sandals.


Love wearing sandals.
Love wearing sandals.

But, one of the best things about wearing sandals is taking them off & pulling on a fresh pair of MJs.  Feels. So. Good.  Particularly early in the summer when feet are soft from being tucked away all winter.

The only thing I’m not sure about is which of these is better: pulling MJs onto feet tired from skiing all day, or pulling MJs onto feet that have been in sandals all day…

Pulling on MJs in the evening.  Bliss.
Pulling on MJs in the evening. Bliss.
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Made to Make

Here at Marko John’s we (as you’re probably aware by now!) take socks seriously. We are proud of what we do and for me personally there is a particular joy in the fact that our socks are made by hand by actual, real-live people.

Today, most of the things we use in our daily lives are not made by hand, or even probably in the same country you’re reading this in. This is of course not all bad. But something in me still wants to celebrate the handmade things. Not only because the quality far exceeds what is possible in mass-production, but because of something inherent and essential in the process of making.

Lately I’ve been reading Tolkein on Fairly Tales (available from Amazon here). His apologetic is interesting and he has useful things to say about various art forms and their respective achievements.

What really struck a cord, however, were his thoughts on the making of art and things generally. Why we do it. Why all societies, all peoples, always have been fascinated by, indeed preoccupied with, making things, even those that do not have a daily ‘use value’, but are there just because.

There is something in us as humans that drives us to make, to create. Tolkein calls such activity ‘sub-creation’ and I like that phrase. His term reflects the fact we are made to be makers by our maker, in His image and likeness. Our desire to make is part of our deepest identity and purpose.

This all seems a bit grand to then speak of socks! But at the smallest, lowest level, even the craft of making socks is, according to J.R.R., a minor act of sub-creation. Made by makers made by a maker.

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Fable-ously British


Britain has an insuperable heritage when it comes to making clothes and footwear (and many, many other things of course). We are very good at it. World-famous for it. And have been, it seems, for a very long time indeed. It is of course terribly unBritish to blow our national trumpet in this manner but there, I said it.

Brands love to affiliate themselves with Britain, Britishness, the Union Jack etc, because of what it says about the item to the customer: quality. This got a little out of hand during the Olympics when everything was being wrapped in our old flag before being put on the shelf. Even certain Champagnes suddenly donned neoprene British jackets, which is extra odd given the extremely strict laws in place to protect the particular provenance of that famous fizz.

Anyhow, while it’s (fairly) easy to spot that Champagne isn’t British, it is distinctly less so when it comes to other things.

Take, for example, this tweed blazer from Jack Wills (above). Huge letters bellow to us that this is not only British, but “fabulously” so! Gosh, like turf from Twickers, or a slurp of the Thames, this is British! ..Or, is it?

The second tag on the jacket is not present for branding purposes, but purely to meet the legal requirement that the country of manufacture be disclosed (even if at a fraction of the size of the other country on the label).

If not made in Britain, how is it British? In ‘style’ (whatever that means)? Well, no, I don’t think that’s sufficient: Firstly because our heritage of craftsmanship and the great tradition of quality we enjoy was never solely about something so flimsy as style; And, secondly, on their own terms, what the branding and presentation (and style!) of this product is seeking to imply to the customer is that it is deeply, authentically, shockingly British, of British provenance, won the Second World War singlehandedly, definitely made in Britain and by none other than HRH the Queen. I mean, what else are the Fulham and Salcombe street addresses there to achieve?! The ‘made in China’ tag is as small as it is legally allowed to be. It is whispered, like an embarrassing under-the-breath admission. If it were allowed to be smaller, or inside the lining, or absent, it would be. I’ve been to Devon a great many times (and I am hugely fond of it) but I am yet to stumble across the doubtless handsome village of China. Perhaps somewhere on the coast between Dartmouth and Salcombe?

It is very interesting that they specifically chose the adverb “fabulously” to described the extent of their Britishness, because although the intention is obviously to slide the brand to the top of the Britishness continuum, the word of course also shares the same root as the verb “fable”; which means ‘to fabricate or invent’.

This is not to say that JW is the only faux chap out there; unfortunately, the high street is full of such charlatans!

So, take care out there and keep an eye on that tiny give away label; sadly you might be surprised that some things you thought were British are even less so than my opening paragraph.

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Picnic Chic


February hardly seems the time to talk about picnics. These short, dark days and rain-filled streets make being outside less than jolly. It seems forever since the last summer and daydreams about the beach begin to feel wholly fantastical, as though such days were only ever myth.

And that’s exactly why I love seeing the spring/summer lines filling window displays and websites this time of year; the juxtaposition of gay pastels against the grey skies of London offer hope and a reminder that February too shall pass.

Brooks Brothers have launched their spring summer 2013 range and (quelle surprise) it’s looking good; neatly tailored blazers for him and her, smart lines without being too stuffy, and trousers cut to the correct (i.e. MJ-visible) length. A splash of floral prints freshens things up, like a cool summer breeze, and with plenty of lovely accessories, duffels and weekend bags, dreaming of summer picnics suddenly feels right again. I, for one, cannot wait.

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Welcome to our new site!

Hello and welcome to the new Marko John’s website!


Thanks so much for stopping by, we hope you like it – as ever, we love hearing from you, so any thoughts or questions about the new layout, please do get in touch.


We have lots of new and exciting MJ’s coming up for you this year; we are honoured to be introducing some more Oxford College socks, there are more stripes, more colourways, and we’re exploring new blends of fabric too – so watch this space! To be kept up to date with all the MJ’s news, special promotions and latest products, please like our facebook page here, follow us on twitter and instagram, or drop us an email at and we’ll make sure you don’t miss out!


The MJ’s VIP Club is a great way to keep your sock drawer top drawer! And with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, perhaps a cheeky hint to your loved one along the lines of not wanting to get cold feet might do the trick. Yes, I agree that’s tenuous; safer to point them straight to the right place, or if you want your MJs sooner, grab a set of seven in a beautiful magnetised display box.



However you buy your MJ’s and whichever your favourite style, we are grateful to you all for continuing to enable us to do what we do best.



Here’s to a cracking year ahead!



Best wishes,