You may have noticed it’s impossible for me to make it through a blog post (or conversation) without a pop culture reference. So obviously, the mere mention of sock couture leads back to the comedic masterpiece The Birdcage.
Nathan Lane’s character Albert, a drag queen, is asked to play it straight before meeting his son’s conservative new in-laws. He awkwardly marches John Wayne-like before his son and partner in a stuffy men’s suit. He’s not doing so well to begin with, but the real “this isn’t going to work” moment happens when he sits down, crosses his legs, and reveals a pair of bright pink socks. “What about those?” Robin Williams’ character asks. Albert’s classic, unapologetic, and completely justifiable reply: “One does want a hint of color!”
Fortunately for Albert, and the rest of us, the world-at-large has since grown more accepting of flashy and fun socks for all sexes (among other things). Now that it’s time to say goodbye to sandals and get those tootsies toasty, consider one of these trendy sock brands to express your signature wit and style.
These attention-getting socks with attitude make great gifts—we got my husband a pair that said “Ain’t No Bad Joke Like a Dad Joke” for Father’s Day and treated my never-on-time friend to a pair that says “Running Late Again” for her birthday. I feel secretly empowered when I wear my “Carpe the F*** Out of This Diem” pair. The phrase is hidden under my jeans, but the colorful design still pops.
Here’s a brand determined to take sassy socks for men mainstream, with collections for groomsmen and individuals. The aptly named #Sockgame collection has everything you need to up yours; there are even ankle, no-show collections if you want to be more subtle about it.
I’m not sure if Happy Socks started the trend, but established in 2008, they were surely at the forefront of it. Men’s and women’s styles in every color for every occasion include striped with sprinkles, mod-argyle, pink with lime wedges, and dots big and small. Show your holiday spirit with a candy cane pair or a very merry gift box set of three.
As witty and whimsical as the above brands but with a slightly more affordable price tag, TeeHee socks are the perfect addition to your casual and dress wardrobes. Get patriotic with an Americana set, go sweet with lollipops and ice cream or try a mega-set featuring the same two patterns in a variety of colorful variations. Bright and comfy no-show packs of 12 are terrific bang for your buck.
Don’t be fooled by their vulgar abbreviation of “Sox”—these babies are straight out of the Smithsonian (There is, in fact, a Museum Collection featuring Mona Lisa, Scream, David, and Starry Night patterns). Patrons of the arts will also appreciate socks featuring works by Norman Rockwell and Botticelli, but there’s also plenty for foodies, travelers, surfers, rockers, history buffs, and more.
What are your favorite fun socks?