Two years ago my friend Jorge gifted me a pair of socks with embroidered reindeer, snowmen, pine trees, and the phrase, “Happy Holidays” arrayed on them. He didn’t believe I’d actually wear them, but I do. I store them at the left side of my socks drawer so I can easily find them in December. This year, I wore them once to commemorate Xmas in July. Why not wear socks that are quirky gifts from a pal, even if they’re out of season?
I’ve had a thing for socks ever since boyhood. I was an outfielder on a Little League Baseball team. There was a ritual of dressing for each game that I repeated for good luck. I was compelled to put on the long, white socks, next–the green, stretchy fabric jersey, then the stirrup, belted pants. I topped it off with the green and white baseball cap. I’d grab my glove and gather with the rest of the team. The main superstition was that I always had to put on the socks first. It seemed to work.
In case friends are looking for holiday gift ideas for me and are reading this post; I have all the underwear and socks I’ll ever need. In fact I have entire dresser drawers dedicated to each. Both of them are stuffed beyond their designed capacity. Every year, I have to rotate the socks by removing all of them, then placing them back into the drawer in reverse order. This allows me to easily choose socks that haven’t been worn for a long time.
That said, there is something mildly decadent about removing brand new socks from the packaging. I don’t cut the paper label ring. I enjoy separating the ring’s glued segment by hand. I’m not fond of the new practice by manufacturers of packaging socks with injection molded, one-piece, plasticized rings that require scissors to remove them.
I own a few pairs of orthopedic socks to wear on days when neuropathy flairs up at my feet. They’re quite uncomfortable, but I wear them out of necessity. I change out of the medical socks as soon as possible because I much prefer conventional, soft cotton socks. The orthopedic socks are important reminders to pay closer attention to diet by cutting back on carbs. Also in my opinion, orthopedic socks are ugly.
I have three pairs of thick, woolen, “tactical” boot socks that were gifted to me a few years ago. They’re too thick to wear with sneakers and conventional shoes. I would need to purchase boots half-a-size larger to wear those socks as intended. That seems foolish, so instead, I wear them to bed at night in the winter. The boot socks prevent my feet from becoming chilled while I sleep.
One men’s fashion trend I do not understand is the wearing of loafers without socks. I tried going sans socks with loafers a few times. The clammy feeling of the shoes without socks felt distractingly uncomfortable. It also seems unhygienic. I prefer to wear a pair of crew socks with loafers; this just feels better.
The main feature that I seek in socks is length. While ankle-length socks are more fashionably correct, they fail to cover the lower leg the way that proper socks should. The extra length provides warmth and support for carefree, all day comfort. I believe that people should wear the socks we prefer even when we dress to the nines. Good socks that fit properly add to self-confidence and happiness.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes the actor, Daniel Radcliffe. “I always saw Michael Gambon wearing madly psychedelic socks, and I always thought that’s it is one of the few areas where men can really express colour and have a bit of a dandyish quality to their outfit.”