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Cozy Socks I Want to Own

OK. Here’s the deal. If you saw the article I wrote two weeks ago on nail polish, you already know that I’m coping with my anxiety about the apparent end of world with retail therapy and — I don’t know what to tell you, you’re either you’re into that or you’re not. But here’s gay socks!

Why socks? Five reasons, brainstormed 100% from the top of my head right now, why cozy socks should be queer culture:

  1. Socks are easily customizable to show off personality, ideal for a workplace setting when you want to flag “I’m a homo” or for when your sitting on your couch with your cats, I do not have cats because I am allergic, but we’re talking about a broader gay audience here
  2. As an accessory, socks are pretty gender neutral if not agender completely? So often when we do fashion content for Autostraddle, we have to approach it with “is there femme content? butch content?” but socks are… socks. And that’s beautiful.
  3. Socks just feel queer, maybe because they are overlooked but provide just the right amount of POP. Are straight people really rounding up socks for each other? I don’t think they are.
  4. Warm fluffy socks padding around on your kitchen floor on a weekend morning are the brunch of footwear. I don’t make the rules.
  5. Ugh… We have feet? (Don’t laugh! There’s no bad ideas in a brainstorm!!)

And so! Without further adieu, you can avoid work by looking at socks. You’re welcome.

Usually on MLK Day, I write personal essays reflecting on the history of Black activism and lessons learned. But see my previous comment re: my current state of mental health about the world haha. That said! You should be calling your Senators today to tell them to abolish the filibuster, which is going to be the first step in getting the Voting Rights Act passed. I can’t emphasize enough that today especially that is the best, most actionable way you can honor a truly great man who believed in the universal right to vote above all else. Yes, I know that was an abrupt transition, but it was worth it. NOW SOCKS!


The Belgian-Waffle Wool–Cashmere Sock by Everlane ($21)

Green socks from Everyone with cream colored toes and heels

I am OBSESSED with this chartreuse (is that a word? did I make it up?) green color.

Cozychic Heathered Socks by Barefoot Dreams ($15)

plush grey

Soft socks in a soft grey. Classic.

Pom Pom Sock by Everlane ($21)

A pair of white socks with pom poms all over

This is giving me ’90s preppy mean girl, and I… I’m surprisingly here for it?

Tie Dye Crew Socks by Cross Colours ($8)

Tie dye blue with Cross Colors written in block letters across the front

SPEAKING OF 90s NOSTALGIA. I want them. I want them on my feet right now.

Step Socks by Mother ($24)

Purple socks say make love, not war in orange font

Ok now I’m all the way down the nostalgia Choo Choo Train and cannot be stopped, but seriously!! These1960s inspired “make love not war” socks!?! IN LAVENDER!! C’mon!!

Everyday Plus Cushioned Socks by Nike ($22)

A group of Black Nike socks

I always buy at least 10 pairs of these at the start of the year, and like clockwork I lose every pair to the washing machine monster. (They also come in the footie version if that’s your jam.)

Cloud Socks by Cloud Sock ($35)

Grapefruit pink old school 90s tube socks

I’ve been promised by the website that these are “The coziest cotton socks” and they come in a literal rainbow of colors. Just look at them? I believe!

Stance Socks by Maliboo ($10)

Black socks with a red/white/and grey ribbon on top.

Socks really don’t have to be fluffy and pink to be cute, there’s a stoicism (can socks be stoic?) that I keep coming back to in this pair.

Cashmere Bed Socks by The White Company ($50)

Bone colored socks against a soft dark grey blanket with a cup of tea in the corner

These are easily the most expensive socks on this list. You and I both know that I do not have $50 to spend on cashmere socks. The idea alone is absurd. But these are the socks I dream of anyway. I dream of their softness and the loose hug of them around my toes, perfect for being underneath a blanket without your feet cramping, for long hours of reading a book and sipping tea on a Saturday afternoon. Perhaps with just a whisper (a whisper, I say!) of snow falling out of the window.

The life I could live.

The Slouch Socks by Hue ($8.50)

And on the other side of the spectrum, just a picture perfect slouchy tube sock. It literally goes with everything.

Custom Pup Socks ($24.99)

a light blue sock with various dog faces all over it

As I already mentioned today, I am allergic to all pets with fur. So these are not socks for me. BUT I am thinking of the greater gay good here, and definitely someone in your life wants to have their cat or dog on their feet with them at all time. We know who we are, as a people.

SVEA Collection by Nordic Socks ($27.99)

A woman's shapely legs in brown colorful wool socks. She's hanging out of a car window.

Much like Pup Socks above, these come to us courtesy of Nicole Hall our A+ and Fundraising Director (support queer indie media!), who had this to say: “They ship from Germany I think, so take a minute, but that’s good news for our European readers.”

Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Socks by REI ($24)

Purple socks wth orange footbeds

And once again, we have Nicole to thank: “Wool socks keep your feet drier than cotton if you’re out in lots of snow!” And listen, they woke up to multiple feet of snow this morning outside their door, so they know exactly what tf they are talking about.

Fisting 101 Socks by Autostraddle ($18)

Autostraddle black socks with hands making various fisting gestures

Yes, yes, you know I couldn’t leave us on our sock journey without plugging some of our own merch, right? I simply must do it.

Here’s the story: I bought a pair of these on the exact day they came out, and after they were delivered to my house they mysteriously… disappeared… right after Christmas. I’m convinced they were stolen by ghosts of lesbians past (or they rolled under my bed never to be seen from again, who’s to say?)

Gay Chaos Socks by Autostraddle ($18)

"Gay" and "Chaos" are printed on black and white tube socks

THESE ARE OUR #1 SELLERS!! So much so that they are out of stock right now, but you can get on the waitlist. And you should! Because you could be wearing these purposely mis-matched socks and living out your own 1980s cheerleader queer fantasy. I want that for you. I want it so badly.


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Carmen Phillips

Carmen is Autostraddle's Editor-in-Chief and a Black Puerto Rican femme/inist writer. She claims many past homes, but left the largest parts of her heart in Detroit, Brooklyn, and Buffalo, NY. There were several years in her early 20s when she earnestly slept with a copy of James Baldwin’s “Fire Next Time” under her pillow. You can find her on twitter, @carmencitaloves.

Carmen has written 448 articles for us.

20 Comments

  1. I’m here for random retail therapy posts.

    And I have so many questions about those cashmere bed socks. Are they just for wearing in bed, while you sleep? Is this a thing? I mean, I wear bed socks, but they’re just the pair of cheap cotton footies that I put on when I go to bed because my feet get cold and I don’t want to sleep in the socks I wore during the day. (And sometimes I wake up with cold feet because I flung off my socks during a hot flash and then have to frantically but quietly burrow through the sheets looking for them without waking my husband.)

  2. Woolen socks are the best! I always used to have cold feet and now I don’t anymore. And they keep my feet dry when hiking (both from external moisture and sweat.) so no blisters.

    I am currently working on knitting a pair of stockings, a year ago I started knitting socks and can’t stop. Keeping my hands busy helps with anxiety. Kneehighs on 2mm needles with a crochet lace edge should keep me occupied for a while.

    (My yarn tip: onion nettle – organic wool and 100% biodegradable. Very nice to work with.)

      • Good luck on that! It’s a lot of fun to do. Wouldn’t recommend it as a first knitting project, but it’s not as hard as it looks.

        I’d suggest trying different methods and heel types to compare which ones fit your feet best. (I like a classic French heel.) Oh and the Finchley graft is much easier than the Kitchener stitch.

        • I also have been wanting to try knitting socks! Or gloves, haven’t decided which will be my first DPN project. Noting down your tip about heels & the Finchley graft! (if you have a favorite ‘starter’ sock pattern/method, I’d love to hear it:)

          • Hmm, for a first dpn project perhaps a pair of fingerless mits on bigger needles can help you to get a feel for it. You need to make sure you don’t get laddering at the crossings, although a certain amount is inevitable and will even out after finishing. One of my favourite patterns is Vancouver Fog, by Jen Balfour, with some cables. I’ve made these in like two evenings, they knit up pretty fast. (But I’ve been regularly knitting for over a decade.)

            For socks I’ve tried a few basic patterns and I like the French heel, they fit my feet best. There’s a ton of videos on how to make this one. Since you work this over the half of any even stitch count, you can make it in any size. Just measure the ankle/cuff size and calculate the stitches you need from a swatch. When you have picked up the stitches on the side of the heel flap knit them twisted to prevent holes and create a pretty finish.

            General sock knitting tips:
            – Most sock yarns have about 25% synthetic yarn added to them for strength. I’ve been trying to make a 100% biodegradable wardrobe so have found a brand that uses nettle fiber instead. (Onion. Haven’t worn them yet, but it looks good.) There’s also a brand that uses biodegradable nylon. (Admiral Hanf by Schoppel Wolle. Worn them frequently for a year and they’re still great!)
            – Take into account that with wear socks will often stretch about 5% from the original size. So knit them a tad tight.
            – Wool is easiest, because it is naturally stretchy. Knitting fitting cotton socks or stockings is more complicated.
            – For extra durability knit your socks tighter than you would normally knit. I’ve gone down 0,5 mm in my needlesize too.
            – There is an oldfashioned technique called running the heel (find Sally Pointer on youtube) that is supposed to strengthen the socks. I haven’t tried it yet.
            – Make sure your cast on (for cuff down socks) or bind off (for toe up socks) is nice and stretchy. Personal favourites are Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind off and Jeny’s stretchy slipknot cast on.
            – Prettiest cuff/ribbing imo is made by using combination knitting (east and west orientation).
            – Make sure you save some of the yarn for repairs and darning.

            I should start a gay knitting & crafting column here :) I love it when we can reappreciate these crafts and also take them out of the classic straight female corner and show that they are for everyone!

  3. I got matching darn tough socks with my partner for our wedding outfits, and it was wonderful. I am so here for fun socks

    Also, Hank Green / Complexly has a company where they make cool socks but it’s a subscription so you get one per month. And all the proceeds go to charity. awesomesocks.club is the website

  4. GenXer over here going, “This is our time. Our time.” at the slouch socks. The 80s welcome you back with a glass of lemonade in a clear plastic glass with lemons on it, and a smile on its face.

  5. I feel like wool socks are queer coded in the same way that Subarus and berkenstocks and muck boots and organic farming on your community land project are queer coded. They are functional and comfortable and reliable and not trying to impress anyone but yourself. Ideal for your Vermont getaway with your maple sugar mama.

    Darn Tough socks are made in Vermont and have a lifetime warranty and are my very favorite Christmas present.

  6. when I first started dating my girlfriend, for christmas my mother got us the custom pet socks but with each other’s faces on them (so i can wear socks of my gf’s face and her of mine), so that’s another fun very gay option for the pet-averse!

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