The Struggle with Socks

March 14, 2016

Two recent happenings have led me to write this post. First, the rain. Every February the sun peeks its shining face out from the perpetual gloom that we have all been living in here in the PNW. We get a few gloriously bright days and everyone starts to feel a spark of hope—spring is coming! But February is a liar and, inevitably, with March returns the rain. So. Much. Rain. And the rain is here now. Secondly, I just had to wash every single textile in my entire home and would like never to do laundry, ever again. Perhaps I’ll share more about that later, but for now suffice it to say I am verrrry familiar with my wardrobe inventory.

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I struggle when it comes to socks. It’s the details! I am a dreamer, an idea person, and the way I approach my life (and my outfits) leaves a LOT of room for thoroughness and intentionality. In fact a few weekends ago I ended up having to borrow socks from a friend after spending hours considering my outfit for a concert, but neglecting the functional detail of socks in my boots. I think having and wearing socks shows maturity—if good style is meant to look effortless the mature stylist has already covered all of the basic details to create a base for the more exciting parts of the outfit (same philosophy as skincare > makeup). But it takes effort to purposefully spend precious “clothing budget” dollars on good socks for different shoes. It takes effort to find a matching pair in the morning—I mean it is its own step in the process of getting ready!

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Most days I start with what inspires me—a new top, a fun dress, a favorite pair of jeans—and put my look together from there. I turn to accessories and shoes last, trying on different combinations to see how it all fits together. When the winning pair of shoes are on my feet as I am hurry out the door the last thing on my mind is socks. This is laziness! And carelessness! And it presents me with some practical problems—especially if I am not between the months of June and September.


Thus I have come to regard socks as a reflection of basic self-care, and myself a rather immature stylist in this way. In a practical sense socks keep me warm, dry, and clean, and I am realizing how much it sucks that I don’t have a good habit of wearing them. Mostly because my feet are always freezing-ass cold. Always! My poor, pedicure-deprived feet live in a near-constant state of clamminess that then makes the rest of me slightly uncomfortable all day. (I imagine this works the same way as when you put a sleeping person’s hand in warm water and then they pee the bed—the body is connected.) Also, it said something to me that I happened upon so many pairs of socks in my laundry in the midst of my suffering. Why am I cold and clammy if I have so many socks?

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My cute little girls’ socks from Costco! So much more fun than the Women’s!

In fact I have all of these socks because I decided last summer that it was time for me to get serious about them. I was about to turn 25 and “socks are a sign of maturity” I told myself—a sign of my being a “real” adult who takes care of the details. I went to Costco and since the women’s socks were boring and only came in a four-pack (for the same price!) I bought the little girls’ variety pack instead (thank you, God, for my small feet!). I would like to point out the irony of buying little girl socks as an exercise in responsible adult-ing…Whatever. The girls’ socks were cuter and I thought I had a greater chance of actually wearing them with the two extra pairs. And yet, here I sit, in a pile of clean socks with clammy toes. I continue on with the struggle. Someone once told me that the condition of your car is a reflection of how your life is going, like, if your car is a smelly disaster with fruit mold growing in the backseat, then you probably aren’t taking very good care of yourself. That’s how I feel about socks. Each damp, soggy, sock-less day is a reminder to me that I still have a lot of room to grow up and take better care of myself.

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The only caveat to my sock struggle is wool socks. When I am at home there is nothing I love more than to curl up with a hot tea I am about to forget to drink in a pair of wool socks and watch TV.


By Courtney

Author of PrettyRX, a lifestyle blog.

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