You may have noticed while scrolling through your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media pages, or even walking down the street, that socks have taken on some new styles and looks. They’re colorful, they’re patterned, they even have animals and food on them. Socks and their purpose are changing and people are loving it. GQ has explained that, “Statement socks are like a stylish man’s best kept secret.” This secret is getting out and has played a major part in increasing money spent on men’s clothing this past year.
The earliest known pair of socks to be discovered are dated back to around 300-500 AD. They were originally created to keep feet warm and protected from cold and other harsh conditions. For the most part, socks have served the same purpose throughout the many years since then. They have mostly been thought of and used as a necessary commodity, without much thought about potential fashion statements they could make with different styles except in a few instances. Sock fashion just wasn’t as important. In recent years that has changed quite a bit, and socks are serving a purpose to better tie an already stylish outfit together in just the right way.
Where socks have been joked about as being the classic bad Christmas gift for years, they are now becoming an important and desired accessory by many men, and even teenagers. When dressed in formal wear, socks are becoming like ties for men by adding a little extra color or pattern that contrasts the rest of the solid-colored suit or slacks. They give the rest of the outfit, and the man wearing it, more personality in a way. That desire to add more personality to an outfit is causing many men to take notice and jump onto this new fashion trend. This, as a result, has caused sock sales to increase drastically in recent years as well.
With high-profile individuals such as George H. W. Bush wearing his eye-catching pink socks, Dwyane Wade with his new sock line at Stance, or Rob Kardashian’s new sock designs at Neiman Marcus, socks are now in the spotlight of men’s fashion and are likely going to stay there for awhile. To take advantage of this new importance of “statement” or “bold” socks, there have even been a number of new businesses started in the past year or two that sell only these styles of socks. These new businesses and colorful socks aren’t just for men; in fact, they also sell women’s socks, but men have become the new market that is growing more and more rapidly. Since men already wear socks more often than women, this new trend in more stylish, colorful socks is increasing the demand even more.
However, the increase in sock demand and new startups selling these socks aren’t just doing good for the fashion world. They have also created the opportunity for some of these businesses to help those in need. As of right now, Bombas.com, for example, has donated 278,798 pairs of socks to the homeless and others who are in need. They have partnered with Hannah’s Socks, a non-profit organization whose mission is to get as many socks to those in need as possible. Similar to Tom’s shoes, Bombas donates one pair of socks for each pair purchased. Socks are the most requested item from homeless people and homeless shelters. These new charitable organizations and efforts by these businesses and other individuals, like Josh York of York Apparel, are a great help to those in need and show what great opportunities are now out there because of this new demand for socks.
Sock popularity is growing so much so that even some long-standing fashion faux-pas, like wearing socks with sandals, are starting to change. Though it hasn’t quite caught on like the colorful sock trend, wearing socks with sandals is starting to become more widely accepted and normal. People seem to have such a strong desire to wear and show off their socks, that they are even starting to break such basic fashion rules as this. While not everyone can yet pull it off or feel comfortable with this style, many are starting to try it out, including celebrities, such as Rita Ora (below), and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.
One new startup taking advantage of the growing popularity of socks is Taft Clothing. For Taft, the color and style aren’t the only important traits to think about with socks. They set out to make socks that focus on comfort and fit, as well as looks. Taft believes that new sock designs and styles are also important for socks that people may not even see, such as their no show socks. They specifically design only no show socks in various colors and patterns that can both be worn with shorts and casual wear, or with suits and other formal wear. To express the need for quality design in socks, even when they don’t show, Taft Clothing uses the slogan: “Just because it doesn’t show doesn’t mean it’s not important.”
From the design details, one can see that they really mean that. The toes and heels of the socks are woven with acrylic fibers for increased durability and protection against rips and tears. They are also made with high-quality moisture wicking cotton so the socks aren’t sheer or fragile, but comfortably cover your foot and provide a seamless barrier to your shoe. Then, one of the most important features of their socks is in the heel.
One of the main frustrations that goes along with wearing no show socks is the fact that the sock often slides down your heel and then bunches up underneath your foot. This can happen over and over throughout the day until many people get sick of fixing the socks and just decide to simply avoid no show socks altogether. To solve this problem, Taft decided to add a silicone pattern to the heel to make sure that the socks always remain in place. Those are just some of the important details put into the sock which make them as durable and comfortable as possible. With these designs created to give socks better quality and their bold/colorful patterns, Taft’s socks definitely fit in well with the statement socks trend.