The DePaulia

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What socks say about your personality

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Kim Castle, owner of The Socks Shoppe, shows off her striped pair. (Jeramie Bizzle / The DePaulia)

Kim Castle, owner of The Socks Shoppe, shows off her striped pair. (Jeramie Bizzle / The DePaulia)

Socks are like modern day mood rings that tell people about your character. People who wear the basic white and black socks play by the rules, and are reserved. Bright colors mean you’re focused and ready to handle business. Stripes mean flirty, and patterns such as novelty socks or checkered mean you want to stand out and be noticed. Like a mood ring, the pair you wear can help build confidence when you’re with people, or can make you lazy like staying at home.

Recently, more people are breaking away from their habits of wearing black and white socks — and becoming more expressive because of the change. Whether it’s a pair that are rainbow colored, warm and fuzzy, or have characters and symbols, socks have become a must-have for any outfit.

Stores in Chicago are capitalizing on the trend by selling different eye-catching designs. Kim Castle, owner of The Sock Shoppe at 4010 W. 63 St., said customers prefer the ones that are not only comfortable, but fun.

“I have some that look like Converse shoes. Those are my favorites, but I also have some with different designs and I love my striped ones a lot. Anything that is different is fun, so we carry something for everyone,” Castle said.

 

Chicago resident Partee Wesley said that people judge you by the smallest things, so your socks have to be on point all the time.

“You can’t wear mismatched socks. Guys who are trying to impress the girls will make sure they’re matching. A single guy would probably spend more on socks then he should compared to a married guy,” Wesley said.

What makes socks popular is because socks allow people to make a statement without verbally expressing their views. Customer Kathy Becker said her granddaughter has socks that support breast cancer awareness and peace, but also said that it takes more than just socks to express your true self.

“She wears stuff that shows her personality. I also like my USA socks because they are comfortable, but it’s really about the clothes. Socks can’t do all of that unless that’s all you’re wearing,” Becker said.

According to The Atlantic, the sock industry makes $200 billion in the apparel market. The reason is because socks take away the focus from simple fashion such as a white shirt and jeans, and instead add color and even art to the outfit.  For some, they’re considered male lingerie.

The sock industry has an uncertain future, but it is helping more people, especially men, break out of their shell.

“I get a lot of men changing from the traditional socks to something with more character,” Castle said “It is just a good time for socks now.”

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