The Confident Elegance of an Uninhibited Husband

Trish Clark's picture

With Christmas shopping over and now an important birthday coming up I am all out of gift ideas for the man who has everything. He is too old for a first parachute jump, has too weak a stomach for an aerobatic plane ride and has just given up alcohol, so a case of fine wine is out of the question. Though he doesn’t have a snail farm, a corn popper or a giant mug with ‘world’s best husband’ scrawled on the side and the only tech gadget he might need is a robotic housemaid. On closer investigation I discovered this highly exciting invention exists in North Korea (uniform optional), and so far has been programmed to do only a few minor household chores. Maybe I should put it on hold for next year when I am sure Amazon will have them on sale and their work-load will have drastically improved.

In the meantime I hit the web for some good old inspiration. This was when I happened across the website of an ecclesiastical tailoring store in the centre of Rome, promising that by shopping here, all male religious will miraculously aquire ‘the confident elegance of an uninhibited prelate’. This could very well be a good look for a husband.


Gamarellis Rome



As I browsed the website I noticed Cardinals’ cassocks with small, closely-spaced pink buttons, silk, violet hued Bishops’ birettas and for nuns, humble habits which come in a choice of two colours. While none of the above would achieve the look I am after for my husband, I scrolled down the page and came across what at first seemed an unlikely prospect, what with Christmas not long gone. Socks! There were dozens of them, in every shade and hue of the rainbow and not a holy sole to be seen with football stripes or a golden toe. I soon became enamoured of a dashing pair of Cardinals’ scarlet hose and a brilliant purple pair of snazzy Bishops’ socks, ignoring the Papal whiter than white set and the boring old Parish Priests’ black, K-Mart variety.


Gamarellis Socks


Gamarellis Socks


Gamarellis Socks



These saintly socks are made by the Gammarelli family of tailors and dressmakers who have been supplying clothes and vestments to the Vatican and convents and monasteries around the world, since 1798. Gammarelli socks are knitted with the best soft, ultra-fine wool or Egyptian cotton lisle, cover the calf and come with reinforced heels and toes. Quality and something special for just under €20.00 for a pair.

As I write, two pairs of the saintly scarlet and purple variety are winging their way from Fuimicino to the northern suburbs of Sydney where I anxiously await the promised transformation. Maybe I should have bought some extra pairs to sock away for Christmas!

Gammarellis is hidden away in the corner of a little square off the Piazza della Minerva (near the Hotel Minerva) near an avenue of shops specialising in religious goods and clothing.

Gammarellis socks are available online at

Gammarelli                                                                                                                    Via S Chiara, 34                                                                                                              Rome

Stark and Sons                                                                                                                1st Floor                                                                                                                     16 rue de la Paix, 75002 Paris
Tél: 01 42 61 66 41



Trish Clark is author of Good Night and God Bless: A Guide to Convent and Monastery Accommodation in Europe, Vols I and II, both published by Hidden Spring, an imprint of Paulist Press NJ. We've interviewed Trish about Good Night and God Bless.  She writes a monthly column for Wandering Educators as the Travel with a Spiritual Twist Editor.


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