Socks, simple yet so necessary.
We take them for granted. When they get a hole, we’re done. No one darns socks any more…we just toss them out, or use them to dust the coffee table.
People do dust, don’t they?
But socks are vital – at least to most of us.
And socks have been around since the stone age in one form or another. I know Fred, Wilma, Barney and Betty never had socks or shoes for that matter, but socks are nothing new.
In the 1960s, socks went out for a while. Sandals came in, and socks and sandals are sooooooooo Eurotrashgeeky.
And at one point, while at a college with too many rules, I got demerits for NOT wearing socks with my sandals.
I never wear socks with sandals!
But, I usually wear them with shoes.
The first socks were made of animal skins. Big surprise, the loom was a long way off, and Wilma never had one.
The Egyptians had knitted socks as early as the 8th Century BC.
And the Greek poet, Hesiod wrote about socks made of matted animal hair – ewwww – but they were usually worn by actors in Greek Comedies. Gotta love those costume designers!
In the Middle Ages, colored cloth tied around the legs and held UP by garters were the vogue. Only the rich wore them.
By the 15th Century AD, knitted hosiery was around. Usually, each leg was a different color, and the breeches, or pants and socks were all one piece…ergo…tights!
Knitting machines didn’t show UP until the 1590s and hose, or socks became more affordable.
During the 1800s, knitting mills allowed everyone to have them.
The word sock comes from the Latin word, ‘soccus’ , which means light covering of the foot.
And we have that word because men’s trousers became longer, and the tights or stockings were unnecessary, so since they were shorter, so was the name.
Now, socks can and usually are a fashion statement.
Some of them not so good.
But, through the years, socks have played a role in culture.
There were the “Bobby Soxers” – girls who swooned over Sinatra and Elvis.
The Red Sox, The White Sox, Christmas Stockings, panty hose, Leggs.
And, we can’t forget Socks the Cat.
So, as cooler weather approaches, and you slip on your warm socks, just remember – There’s a whole lot of history at your feet!