Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Wardrobe Wednesday: Sock it to me

The recent tease of warm weather here has made me start thinking about short sleeves, bathing suits and sandals. Thoughts of sandals led to thoughts of socks and my love/hate relationship with this article of clothing.

When I was in high school, I COULD NOT WAIT to start wearing nylon stockings. Pantyhose had not yet come about so we wore regular stockings held up by a garter belt. Now men may think garter belts and stockings are sexy, but I can assure you as one who wore one of the damned things for several years, they are anything but. But I digress.

My senior year in high school, I was privy to the newfangled pantyhose. You see, my father worked in a hosiery mill and was able to get some for us. They were un-dyed, so I remember my mother dyeing them in the washing machine. We had nude ones, darker tan ones and even navy ones. No more garter belts! Yay! And pantyhose made mini skirts much nicer to wear. No more worries about flashing the tops of your stocking where the garters were fastened. Life was good.

Fast forward forty years, and I cannot tell you the last time I wore pantyhose. It might have been my son's wedding in 2005. I hate the things. In the heat of a southern summer, they should come with a health warning: CAUTION! Wearing these could cause you to sweat to death.

So what do I wear now? Socks! The very things I couldn't wait to get rid of back in my high school days. And as I put away a load of laundry last weekend, I realized I have more socks that Carter's has little liver pills. Here's a sampling from my sock drawer.

Angora blend socks on the left and fleece on the right. Maven Linda introduced me to fleece socks several years ago and OH MY GOSH! Talk about comfy and warm!

White Thor-lo on the left and World's Softest Socks on the right. I love the Thor-los because they have a compression band around the arch and just make my feet feel great. The world's softest ARE pretty darned soft. And they're pretty warm too. I also have the Thor-los in a quarter top sock to wear with tennis shoes in the summer.

Black dress socks with various designs. On the left we have gray and white dots and on the right are pink flowers. These go great with black dress pants and some sort of ugly, boxy but comfy shoes.

More socks to wear with slacks. On the left are my "coffee" socks. Kinda funkyk, huh? And on the right are hearts. I don't reserve them just for Valentine's Day, especially since I have decided I'm no longer going to celebrate Valentine's Day. I can wear them with jeans and various tops to match the various colors of the hearts.

Argyle anyone? It's made a comeback and I have a sweater that matches these socks. The stripes are just fun, though I wonder if those horizontal stripes make my feet look fat.

I'll be glad to retire my socks soon. This winter's bitter cold has had my tootsies covered with socks a lot. I was re-doing part of my closet a few weeks ago and re-positioned a hanging shoe rack that holds about 8 pairs of sandals. I long to wear them and let my feet breathe. I'll admit publicly that one pair is Birkenstocks, those ugly sandals that are designed to make your feet feel good while they look like hell. The rack also holds three pairs of Teva mush flip flops. If you haven't tried these, RUN to get a pair. They actually have an arch support in them and even with my foot issues (plantar fasciitis and Morton's neuromas) I can wear the Teva mushes with great comfort. And in the interest of full disclosure, I also own two pairs of Crocs. I know... I am running the risk of being voted out of "The Cult of the Shoe" by making the public admissions.

But before I break out the sandals, I have to follow the rules for wearing sandals, which I have posted below for everyone's benefit. Heed them or run the risk of having folks talk behind your back.

Rules when wearing sandals and open-toe shoes

Just a friendly reminder, it's that time of the year again. Please raise your big toes and repeat after me:

As a member of the Faux Paux Sisterhood, I pledge to follow The Rules when I
wear sandals and other open-toe shoes:

~I promise to always wear sandals that fit. My toes will not hang over and touch the ground, nor will my heels spill over the backs. And the sides and tops of my feet will not pudge out between the straps.

~I will go polish-free or vow to keep the polish fresh, intact and chip-free.

~I will not cheat and just touch up my big toe.

~I will sand down any mounds of skin before they turn hard and yellow.

~I will shave the hairs off my big toe.

~I won't wear pantyhose even if my misinformed girlfriend, coworker, mother, sister tells me the toe seam really will stay under my toes if I tuck it there.

~If a strap breaks, I won't duct-tape, pin, glue or tuck it back in to place hoping it will stay put. I will get my shoe fixed or toss it.

~I will not live in corn denial; rather I will lean on my good friend Dr. Scholl's if my feet need him.

~I will resist the urge to by jelly shoes at Payless for the low, low price of $4.99 even if my feet are small enough to fit into the kids' sizes. This is out of concern for my safety, and the safety of others. No one can walk properly when standing in a pool of sweat, and I would hate to take someone down with me as I fall and break my ankle.

~I will take my toe ring off toward the end of the day if my toes swell and begin to look like Vienna sausages.

~I will be brutally honest with my girlfriend/sister/coworker when she asks me if her feet are too ugly to wear sandals. Someone has to tell her that her toes look like they've been dragged behind her car on the way to work and no sandal in the world is going to make her feet look good.

~I will promise if I wear flip flops, that I will ensure they actually flip and flop, making the correct noise while walking and I will swear NOT to slide or drag my feet while wearing them.

~I will promise to go to my local beauty school at least once per season and have a real pedicure (they are about $15 and worth every penny). I suggest spending another $15.00 and get an even better one.

What's your favorite pair of socks? Or favorite pair of summer shoes? Do you follow "The Rules?"


PM's Mother said...

Oh, you dear child -- you never had the pleasure of wearing full-fashioned stockings. This was hosiery knit flat and had a seam up the back that was h*ll to keep straight. This was before Lycra (stretch nylon yarn) was invented. Once stretch yarn was invented the popularity of circular knitted (seamless) hose increased.

I will say though, full-fashioned hosiery was very, very sheer (and very, very easy to snag and run.)

Believe it or not, I have several pairs of (new) full fashioned hose in the neat little boxes that hosiery used to be packaged in (I know it's dangling) that I have saved for posterity. It is quite possible that your father knitted them. Ask me sometime and I'll show them to you.

PS: Watch some of the old black and white movies made before 1955 and you can possibly notice the stockings with seams up the back.

Cheryl said...

I don't have the wonderful array of socks you have. I wear blue, black and brown, depending on the outfit. I will have to try the Tevas.

Angel said...

LOVE MY TEVAS!!! And I have to admit that I sometimes run out without touching up my polish. Sigh. I'll take one rap on the knuckles...

Can't wait to wear my flip flops again!!!! If I can beat my daughter to them...


Maven Linda said...

Oh, heaven.

I have an enormous array of socks. White socks. Black socks. Fleece socks. I even have camouflage fleece socks so you can't tell I'm wearing them :-). Funky socks. Socks with toes.

And sandals. I, too, own a pair of Birkenstocks. BUT -- they're cut smaller than the usual Birkie, and they're actually cute. Would I have bought them if they weren't? I have probably twenty pairs of flip-flops, in different colors. Sequined flip-flops, decorated flip-flops, flip-flops with flowers, and of course the all-wonderful Teva Mushes.

Do I obey all the summer feet rules? Honey, I wrote half of them.

Kimberly Lang said...

I got a pedi last week ... just in time for it to turn cold again.

And I own a lot of sandals. Thanks to Maven Linda, many of them sparkle.

This winter, though, I discovered the pure joy of cashmere socks. Aaah.

Instigator said...

*Hangs head in shame* I'm guilty of breaking the only touching up the big toes rule. But, really, when you're in a hurry... Okay, I promise not to do it ever again. Or, I promise not to let you catch me doing it ever again. ;-D

I have a huge sock drawer, but most often I grab a plain pair of white ones on the way out the door. My socks are often the last thing I think about.


Playground Monitor said...

No, I never had the pleasure of wearing full-fashioned stockings but I can remember my mom worrying about whether her seams were straight. They DO look very chic, especially with classic-styled clothing.

LOL @ Maven Linda. I can believe you wrote the rules.

I will be checking big toes once warm weather is here to stay.

Playground Monitor said...

I found some cashmere socks on sale for 75% off right after Christmas. Yes, pure joy. And warmth!

Smarty Pants said...

I do have a lot of socks, silly socks, crazy socks, a million pairs of white socks, including the dreaded toesocks, which I love. I was very happy to find socks that actually fit me at the sock outlet store. They're normally too small. Hooray. :)

But I cannot wait to get my flip flops out of hiding. I'm tired of my socks. I have 2 pairs of Tevas and one pair of Yellowbox. No birkenstocks. They're too expensive to be so ugly. I have one pair of crocs I got for the Disney trip, but I don't like how they feel.

I got my season opener pedicure last week. My toes are ready to be free! Now, if it would just stay warm enough that they don't turn blue with freezing...

Smarty Pants said...

Oh, and you can buy modern hosiery with those seams, they're just hard to find. I had to be in a wedding once with a 20s feel and we all wore stockings with the seams down the back. Sexy, but yes, quite irritating to keep aligned.

Donna B. said...

I think you forgot the A number 1 cardinal rule of sandal wearing. NEVER EVER wear socks with sandals! There's something so wrong about it...

robertsonreads said...

Yes, I pretty much follow the rules and have been wearing sandals for the past 2 - 3 weeks.