Wednesday, September 03, 2014

A Bit About Socks

Note:  This was originally posted to my Epinions account.

Every so often, I like to write about a totally random topic. Today, I’d like to take on the random topic of socks. Socks are a relatively unappreciated piece of clothing, often taken for granted. At their most functional level, they serve as a barrier, reducing or even preventing friction between your shoe and your foot. Those that don’t wear socks may end up with all sorts of sores and abrasions on their feet depending on what sort of shoe they wear. Take it from me; this is not pleasant. Socks are a very important part of your wardrobe.

Socks come in many colors, styles and sizes. Many are made of cotton, but you can get socks in synthetic materials such as Nylon. Some are meant for casual use while others are meant for sports. There are even dress socks meant for formal and business occasions. There are two baseball teams, the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago White Sox, but those are just their names. I don’t think that there’s any actual connection to or endorsement of socks other than what the players wear.

Most people wear casual socks, which are used with regular sneakers. Usually, these socks are meant for sports such as tennis, but do well for everyday use. Casual socks range in size from ankle-high to knee-high, although I prefer those that go up about six inches above my ankle. I once tried ankle-high socks, but I felt like I wasn’t wearing anything at all. I would imagine that those that go up to the knee offer more support, but I really couldn’t see wearing those.

If you work or if you’re going for a job interview, you might want to wear dress socks depending on how you dress. Women who choose to wear a skirt often don’t wear dress socks. However, those that wear slacks often do. These are socks meant for occasions when you have to get dressed up. For some reason, you can’t wear just any socks. You need special socks that match the rest of your outfit. (Tell me how many times you’ve noticed the color of someone’s socks when they’re wearing slacks.)

Dress socks come in a wide variety of materials and colors. As I said, you have to match them. It will probably take you a while to find a material and style that you feel comfortable with. It took me years to find a pair that didn’t cause my big toes to curl inward, thus making my feet very uncomfortable. Now that I have to wear dress socks on a regular basis, I’m glad I have several pairs that I can wear for 8 to 10 hours at a time.

You might also have to wear formal socks if you ever need to wear a tuxedo. I don’t really know if or how these differ from dress socks. Every time I’ve needed a tuxedo, I’ve rented it and the rental came with a pair of shoes and a pair of socks. I don’t know if these are simply a cheap pair of socks or if they’re something special that you have to wear with the shoes. If someone knows what the difference is, please let me know.

You may be wondering how you can purchase a pair of socks. Any place that sells shoes should sell socks, as well. Wal-Mart and Target also have a wide variety of them. Yes, they do come in different foot sizes, so be careful. The size of the sock is usually given as a range of shoe sizes. (The package might be marked as men’s sizes 10-12, for instance.) If you’re not sure of your shoe size, check the tongue of your shoe, which should have a tag. This tag will tell you your shoe size. Since socks do have some stretch, you’ll find that you have a little leeway.

There seems to be some debate as to when to throw out your socks. Some people think that you should throw out your socks as soon as you have any sort of hole in them. Others seem to think that you can get away with wearing them a bit longer. The choice is yours. After all, they’re your socks.

I’d like to see Epinions list more socks for review. I’d actually write some reviews, but I usually have a hard time remembering which set of dress socks is which brand. I was going to talk about wet socks and argyle socks, but I’ve decided against. After all, nobody likes a wet sock. Or is that a wet blanket? (Maybe it’s an argyle blanket.) Anyway, I’m going to leave you with a Web site to look at.

The Bureau of Missing Socks

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