It is easy to get carried away with socks and I certainly have. As perhaps the least expensive part of a man's wardrobe, socks are relatively painless to accumulate until they overflow every available space (at that point it is time to check oneself into some sort of care center, though with the general decline in availability of services around men's clothing it may be difficult to find a reputable institution).
There is no requirement for excess of course. A man needs only a week's worth of navy (never black) over the calf hose in wool and another in cotton. The problem sets in when he reads Flusser or some other source exhorting him to wear socks that are colored like his trousers to add length to his leg line. And patterned. Plain will never do. And, once those first pairs of gray birdseye arrive, one in wool and one in cotton of course, then it is obvious that a single shade of gray is not enough to wear with mid-gray flannels as well as dark gray twill. The slide down the slippery slope has begun.
To those men who already find themselves in the midst of this addiction, I can say only that you should wash your own socks, in cold water on the delicate cycle and line dry in an area with air circulation so they do not become stiff. Do not relegate this task to the housekeeper or spouse, for he or she will inevitably find reason to sneak that new cashmere and silk pair that cost more than a good lunch with wine in with the regular laundry and they will expire after only a wear or two. But with proper care of the sort mentioned, on the other hand, they should last indefinitely, and alleviate one's guilt over spending so much on a fleeting pleasure.
Wash your own socks. Or stick with navy blue, in both cotton and wool.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Photo: Paul Smith