Mischief. Mayhem. Socks.
Welcome to Sock Club.
The first rule of Sock Club is: You do not talk about Sock Club.
The second rule of Sock Club is: You do not talk about Sock Club.
Third rule of Sock Club: You have to wear socks.
And the fourth rule: If this is your first night at Sock Club, you have to wear mismatched socks.
“Love is like a pair of socks. You gotta have two and they've gotta match”.
As insignificant they might seem, socks have saved a lot of people with cold feet. Socks are multifunctional and heavily underappreciated. They are one of the first garments made by man. Yet somehow they are never listed on the “Basics-List”, while they are the most basic thing everyone needs in their wardrobe. Even the Greeks knew that... when they invented them in the 8th century BC.
I must admit things have changed since then, but the idea of the sock never has. The Greek made them from animal skin, the Romans (who basically have stolen everything from the Greeks, with some assumptions here and there) weaved them from fabrics and manufactured them with felt so they were more comfortable.
The Egyptians on the other hand went for wool. A tradition that later would be unfold again in 1589 with the invention of the knitting machine by William Lee (although, for some unknown reason, people prefered to knit by hand and dear Willam died as a poor man. After his death of course people accepted the new technology).
In the 17th century another kind of knitting machine arrived. Now it was possible to not only make socks, but also stockings with the same machine.
The first sock-knitting ateliers arised in the 18th century in England. There even became a developement on factories where only socks would be produced.
After 1800 most socks were created mechanically in silk, cotton or wool. In 1864 William Cotton invented the full-fashioned machine. At the same time the circular knitting machine came on the market. However this circular wonder only could knit straight up. As a result socks would hang loosely around your leg.
The invention of nylon in 1940 meant a revolution. Nylon can be brought into the wanted shape by heating and is easy to dye. For the first time in history socks were colourful and elastic. Due to this, they became popular as a fashion statement (perfect example: The 60's with Mary Quant's stockings and naturally Michael Jackson and his moonwalking pair).
“Socks play an incredibly important role in a man's life!”
Since then it all has gone upwards with socks and I'm a big fan. Not a day I go without wearing or at least touching a sock. I've got an elaborate collection to be proud of. And I most definately will advice you to put them on your “Basics-List”, they are great!