• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Sock exchange

Most men's socks are threadbare and more than three years old, a state of affairs that has been branded "a national disgrace" by sock aficionado Mark Hall.

He runs a subscription service called socked.co.uk, which will, for a fee, send you a new pair of black socks every month. "Guaranteed to make you a gentleman" is the company promise. Keen readers of this column will recall that it featured news of a similar subscription service for ties. The difference here, of course, is that you get to keep the socks.

Intrigued by this, I count how many pairs of sock I have and tot up their average age. I stop at 30 pairs and reckon most of them are well past the 36-month mark. Quite a few are older than my kids and at least one pair is older even than their combined ages (12, since you ask).

I could further divide my sock collection into those with holes in the toes or heels and those without, but life's too short to worry about such things – which, in essence, is the kind of woolly thinking (sorry) the survey by socked.co.uk is trying to eradicate as it seeks to place the sock on the fashion pedestal.

Among the other findings, 73% of men said the "distressed" nature of their socks had been commented on, 75% admitted to wearing odd socks in public at least once a week, and a whopping 64% said their socks only got replaced if someone bought them new ones. That "someone", I imagine, is a woman – mum, wife, girlfriend, maybe even mistress.

Staying with the distaff side, 83% of female respondents said their partner was guilty of wearing worn-out socks, 78% said they were ashamed of the fact and 89% said they were a sexual turn-off. (Contrary creatures that they are, 86% of women also admitted that they do sometimes wear their partner's socks, which goes some way to explaining why we men are left with the old, holey, mismatched pairs.)

Now I know I dipped into Hardy Amies's ABC Of Men's Fashion for last week's missive on berets, but it's worth noting that where he had only a dozen lines on the headgear, he devotes a page-and-a-half to socks. Among his words of advice: match your socks to your suit, not your tie; wear ribbed socks if you want to make your ankles look slim; wear socks that come over the calf otherwise they'll sag and show your ankles; and don't ever wear pale socks.

And, for the record, Mr Hall could be on to a winner with his black-socks-delivered-monthly venture. "Young men often wear black socks with almost everything," Amies writes. "I do not find this objectionable. It has a rather pleasant insouciant air." n

Contextual targeting label: 
Automotive

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

123597