Itemized: Richer-Poorer Socks

March 01, 2011


Every week a different FADER staff member will pick a clothing item or accessory that he or she has lately been spending a lot of time with—or would like to—and write a little love letter to it. We would’ve done a column on who we’re dating but that seemed a little bit much. This week Sam Hockley-Smith writes about Richer-Poorer socks.


Guess what! It is really hard to write a lot of words about socks. They're socks. You put them on and they do the job, and then you take them off and wash them. Soon they get holes so you throw them out (hide them in the back of a drawer). But the more I think about it, the more I realize I am apparently a sock dude. I never thought that being a sock dude was a possible thing to be, but there you go.

I have memories of being a kid weirdly adamant about wearing white athletic socks. Other socks were too long, too colorful, too thin. They all felt wrong. I'm not going to say it was the wrong choice, but I will say that I am glad I no longer operate under it. Once I moved to New York, I realized that everyone wears black and gray and maybe dark blue all winter. I didn't realize this because I actually paid attention with my eyes, but more because everyone would talk about how that's all everyone else wore. I did it too. Still do. It's not my fault, it's just the way the wardrobe plays out, you know? I know you know.

But anyway yeah, socks. I like colorful socks now. I buy them like baseball cards. Sometimes I think about if they match the shoes I'm wearing, and then when they don't, I have one of those Holy-shit-I'm-naked-in-class-moments. These Richer-Poorer socks got handed to me one day, and I was stoked. Not that I needed new socks, because I just got some. But you can always, always have more. So here I am. A new, late-winter man. Wearing blue socks with patterns and yellow ones with stripes and lighter blue ones that also have stripes. Socks! I just wrote a bunch of paragraphs about them and our style editor took a really weird picture of himself wearing them.

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Itemized: Richer-Poorer Socks