Socks: the cornerstone of class


How a man presents himself shows the concern that man has with his society. The bedrock of this societal concern, of course, is clothing. If we continue this set pattern of proportional reduction, the logical conclusion is that the final and most basic element in a man’s regard for society comes right down to the socks.

Consider this scenario: you are an attractive young woman on a date with a dashing young man. The piano is playing lightly, the food is exquisite, and the man across from you is nothing less than debonair. You discuss sophisticated subjects, ranging from French politics to the mistresses of Norman Mailer. You sip wine. Maybe you dance, slowly, holding each other and laughing playfully.

Eventually you reach a point where you’ve run out of Mailer mistresses and French politicians to discuss. You go back to his place for a nightcap. The next thing you know, he’s standing naked in front of you, wearing only his socks and a sheepish grin. But something is wrong. You can’t go through with it. You wail, you dress, you run! We’ve all been there. We’ve all experienced this.

Poor taste in socks. It sabotages our evenings, haunts our mornings, follows us vengefully for all the hours between like a wraith of disgust and disappointment. Those yellowed, fading foot coverings. Stained, ripped, unmatched, or sweaty. They are the very cornerstone of a man’s ability to hold himself up to women, to unabashedly present dignity and class. And yet, so few men realize this. So few see the significance of their sock selection. It is a sad world we inhabit, when a man takes longer to select a necktie than a sock.

But this is our world. And I am your fashion Jesus, the messiah intent on saving you from sin and damnation. So hear my words: you, reader, have a personality. You are an individual. You deserve to be recognized. You have certain inalienable rights. And one of those rights is to impress members of the gender you are attracted to. The best tool you have for this is a fashionable selection of socks.

I have met many men in my travels on this earth. I have encountered boys who pass themselves off as gentlemen, who attempt gallant and refined behaviour, who fancy themselves worthy of a woman’s attention. I have met the rough and adventurous Indiana Jones types, the subtle and suave Colin Firths of the world. But all too often I have lifted their trouser legs and felt pangs of disillusionment, cynicism, and distaste. I have scowled at these men. And they have cried in response.

The legendary film director Timothy Burton has claimed he cannot write a screenplay without wearing striped socks. Indeed, argyle or polka dots would mean his creative demise. The comedy writer Tina Fey refuses to be seen in public without a pair on. Even the late H.M. Munro once claimed that his socks “compelled one’s attention, without losing one’s respect.” And this is the balance that should be striven for.

Find a sock that suits you. What kind of person are you, reader? Are you fun? Are you sombre? Playful, contemplative, bouncy, intellectual? Decide this, and then progress to colours that fit your personality. Pink for the daring, black or grey for the conservative, green for the showboats, red for the Boston baseball fans. Finally, choose a pattern. What kind of message are you trying to convey with your socks? Striped socks can display creativity, argyle sensitivity, or solid for those in solitary captivity. The choices, and the interpretations of your choices, are endless.

I have alighted from fashion paradise to bestow these wonders to you and your kind. I have spoken, and you have listened.

J.H. Ramsay



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