It’s Time for an Honest Talk about Decorative Socks.

They show up at least twice a year, usually pulled out of a gift bag and unwrapped from brightly colored wrapping tissue.  Of course, I act excited and make an appreciative comment about the thought behind the gift, the odd color, or the unique design. Maybe it's ducks wearing top hats or little Santa Clauses playing guitars, or perhaps it’s just the argyle pattern with a fuchsia coloring, but I will dutifully say, “Thank You” and then put them back in the gift sack and wonder how long they’ll sit in my closet before I take them to Goodwill. 

I’m not anti-decorative socks.  On the contrary, I’m all for personal expression and creativity, and I’m in no way advocating that we all wear the same footwear.  Nobody wants to live in a world without footwear diversity. 

It’s the quality of the decorative socks that leaves me cold – literally.  These socks are subpar at best in all aspects and need to be removed from our existence.  For starters, most of these socks won’t outlast last the season they are made to promote!  They are cheaply made, and you can abandon all hope of at least enjoying the softness of cotton or the warmth of wool.  You’ll get a synthetic poly-blend sock at best!  And when it comes to fit, most of these socks forgot that human beings have heels.   Oh sure, they might have a slight crook just far enough away from the toe so they could keep a pitching wedge snug in your golf bag.  There are even some Geneva Convention-violating decorative socks that have individual toe sections!  If Podiatrists around the world aren’t planning a class action lawsuit I don’t know what to think. 

So, what’s a foot to do?  As long as people keep gifting these monstrosities, the workshops in the underworld will keep churning them out.  I suggest scented candles for those tack-on / tacky gift situations but feel free to come up with your own idea.  As for the socks, HCPL has a lot to offer on the subject.  From making to upcycling to looking fashionably fabulous, HCPL is “sock-ed” full of titles to tickle your toes.  

Upcycling Old Clothes

Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible

Custom Socks


Make, Sew and Mend