When I was growing up, socks were probably the least important article of clothing we wore. They were not selected to make a statement or to be cute; they were worn to absorb sweat or cushion feet from the harsh interior of shoes.
If dressing up, we wore dark socks that matched our slacks or shoes to create a continuous line down the leg. Black, brown, dark blue, dark gray. Occasionally, one might have seen an argyle, but that was rare. And suspect. Some people matched the color of their socks to their solid-color shirt or tie, but that was about as creative as we were when it came to male hosiery. And even more suspect. If dressing casual, we went white. It was that simple. Oh, the length may have changed over the years, but white sweat socks were the accepted norm from my youth to my f-years, my forties and fifties.
And then it happened. Young men rebelled against the establishment; they challenged the system. Can you imagine that? They began wearing black socks, god forbid, for everyday wear. With shorts. With jeans. With sagging, baggy pants. With Utilikilts. And I hated it. Hated it!
Black is formal. It is dressy. White is casual. It is athletic. That’s the rule, the norm. And that is all there is to it. End of discussion. I’m not gonna argue with you about this, Punk!
But things got worse. Socks with pictures of super-heroes, cartoon characters, food items, cars, teen idols, holiday icons, and hearts began appearing everywhere, draping the ankles of America like fir trees on the Cascade foothills. Oh, yes. There were socks with fir trees on them. Specialty stores focusing on socks moved into malls, crowding out traditional sock stores like Black and White Socks R Us. Unusual colors, hues foreign to feet suddenly covered them. The world of socks had gone crazy.
I, however, refused to join the movement. No puce or lilac anklets for me. No images of the solar system peeking from under my pants. No stripes in school colors for this man. Not even rainbow striped socks for Pride. My socks will be white or black, thank you very much.
But then I saw a pair of statement socks I had to have. They made me laugh. They filled me with an odd sense of pride. They were Skyline Socks reflecting Seattle’s skyline, complete with Space Needle. I bought a pair of pink and white ones as a friend’s birthday gift and a pair of blue and green ones for Seahawk game days. But that is the only pair of freaky…and yes, cute socks are F-R-E-A-K-Y socks…I have, because I do not like where the World of Socks has gone. It disgusts me. I hate it. Hate it!
In fact, if I ever see a close friend wearing cute socks or statement socks, I very likely will sock him or her so hard it will knock their socks off.