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Let’s talk about socks, baby…

A row of men in business suits showing their bright, multi-coloured striped socks. Photo by Zac Suhar on StockSnap.
Photo by Zac Suhar on StockSnap.

Apologies if you’re a Salt-n-Pepa fan, but I couldn’t resist. If you don’t know what I’m on about, “Let’s Talk About Sex” is a catchy song from the early nineties by American hip-hop band, Salt-n-Pepa1. The opening line, “Let’s talk about sex, baby“, seemed the obvious choice of title to pun for my first post. If you’re not a fan of puns, I should warn you there’s likely to be quite a few more to come in the life of this blog. Socks have an uncanny way of lending themselves to puns.

A blog devoted entirely to socks?

Our socks work hard for us. They have the holes to prove it. But they also wield a lot of power. Without socks, some shoes are an unwearable footsore (hello blisters). And conversely, socks with some shoes can be something of an eyesore.

So our selection of hosiery can make or break an outfit or cause others to draw unintended conclusions about us. The wrong socks can even affect our performance in the sporting arena.

And yet, does it also seem to you that socks don’t get as much attention in blog land as shoes do? 

To test my hunch, I conducted a very unscientific experiment by means of a Google search with the primitive keywords of “shoes blog” and “socks blog”. And the results were a staggering 58,500,000 results (0.58 seconds)  for shoes, compared to a lowly 13,100,000 results (0.64 seconds) for socks. I’m inferring that the extra time for fewer results means that Google had to work harder to find those 13 million hits.

But fear not! SockShine is here to give the humble but mighty foot protector a little more of the limelight. (Along with 13 million others it may be said, but let’s not get distracted by mere details.)

My sad sock story

Ever since I was a child, I had big dreams of owning my own sock company. I had the name and tagline all lined up: Sockolate, treats for feets. I even owned the domain sockolate.com for years. But to my shame I never acted on it, I let the fish moths nibble away at the dream.

And feast they did until a few months ago, when I somehow overlooked the domain renewal and bam. In the flash of a fish moth’s tail somebody else snapped up the name . There ended my decades long procrastination. In a whimper. Because for some reason, without the name – my name! – my imaginary global sock enterprise just doesn’t have the same allure.

I was irresponsible with my grand idea. As Elizabeth Gilbert writes2 in Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear:

Ideas are driven by a single impulse: to be made manifest. And the only way an idea can be made manifest in our world is through collaboration with a human partner. It is only through a human’s efforts that an idea can be escorted out of the ether and into the realm of the actual. Therefore, ideas spend eternity swirling around us, searching for available and willing human partners… The idea will try to wave you down (perhaps for a few moments; perhaps for a few months; perhaps even for a few years), but when it finally realises that you’re oblivious to its message, it will move on to someone else.

The Sockolate idea can well and truly be forgiven for not wanting to hang around with me any more!

So instead, I’ve decided to turn my sock empire ambitions to blogging about socks. Because really, why should shoes get all the news?

What can you expect to find?

Well, here are some of my ideas so far:

  • Roundups and features of sock brands whose wares I lust after.
  • Spotlights on indy sock designers. I might even be brave enough to approach them for interviews.
  • Sock etiquette and how to avoid committing a sock faux pas.
  • What determines a high quality sock.
  • Where are socks manufactured?
  • What’s trending in socks and hosiery.
  • The best sockscriptions (that’s not my pun!).
  • Running socks. To steal a line from Fawlty Towers3, there’s enough material there for an entire conference.
  • What to do with old socks. Who doesn’t love a sock monkey?
  • Socks for yoga and Pilates. Because I’m a bit of a Pilates nut.
  • Sock packaging. Because I’m also a bit of a junkie for clever design.
  • How to organise your socks and stockings. (Spoiler alert: mine are all simply shoved into an overflowing drawer.)
  • How can socks help to save the world? This one may be a bit ambitious!

So, is there something in particular you’d like to hear about relating to socks? Do you have a favourite brand you’d like me to keep an eye out for? How do you like to express yourself through your socks? Let me know in the comments.

A blog about socks but also about life

Socks are one of life’s simple pleasures. I’m a bushwalker (aka hiker if you’re not in Australia) and one of the sweetest delights is slipping on a clean pair of socks at the end of a long day’s wet and muddy or scratchy dusty footslog.

In fact, as well as being a simple pleasure, socks are a basic comfort that most of us take for granted.

So whilst the subject of this blog may appear to be frivolous, I actually intend it to be about more than “just” socks.

What if we brought a more mindful approach to getting dressed, bringing our attention and intention to the moment, the sensation, of slipping on our socks? Can we then take that awareness of feeling good with us during the day? And what other simple pleasures or basic comforts do we tend to overlook in the course of an ordinary day?

These are some of the other questions I hope to explore through SockShine. Will you join me? I’d be honoured – and greatly encouraged! – if you’d sign up for my newsletter.

Footnotes
  1. Here’s a clean, extended version of Let’s talk about sex by Salt-n-Pepa on YouTube.
  2. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert.
  3. The Fawlty Towers line was from Season 2, Episode 2, The Psychiatrist. I’m still trying to track down a good youtube clip for this segement, if you know of one.
SockShine
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Casting more limelight on the humble but mighty sock while also illuminating ways to live simply, fully and meaningfully.
  1. Well done. I even accessed and read this in the Faraday Cage called Stockholm Natural History Museum. Is there a prize for being the first comment, like having my favourite socks darned?
    1. Only for one sock, for the first ever commenter on this blog. Looks like you’re in luck. I might even write a post about how to darn your own socks, so that way can mend the other sock.
    2. Surely anyone answering to the name of King will be smart enough to darn his own socks? I’m on the lookout for some good Peruvian socks; the Inca ruins are ruining mine. How about a blog post on good fast-drying travel socks please Sockshine?
      1. That’s an excellent suggestion, LC! Thank you. Lucky you to be visiting the Inca ruins, despite the sock destruction. I think the idea of being a King is that there are minions to perform such worldly tasks for you. Even if it is 2017!
  2. As an avid sock knitter and general sock enthusiast, I find your blog so delightful! You have really thought through a lot of possible sock topics. I am inspired!
    1. Thank you, Amy! It’s wonderful to “meet” a fellow sock enthusiast 🙂 Your comment absolutely made my day. And you’ve also inspired me to get on and write my next post. Are there any topics you’re interested in that I missed?
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