December 11, 2007

Desperately seeking

advice on where to buy the perfect pair of black socks.

I've written before about how impossible it is to buy any kind of gift for someone who lives in a small urban apartment. When I get a Christmas present for Urban Sophisticate Sister, I usually buy something like lip gloss, or candy, or a candle — something that can be used up and won't take up any room in her apartment. Usually, I don't buy gifts for grown-ups, but Urban Sophisticate is my little sister, nine years younger, so she doesn't count as a grown-up, even though she is old enough to run for president and would, for that matter, do a far better job as president than the person who currently holds that office. Despite the fact that she has a successful career and a book contract, she is still forced to sit at the kids' table at holiday meals. So she still gets a present.

Anyhow, to get to my point: this year, I've discovered that Urban Sophisticate sister is in need of the perfect black socks. To quote her: "I want black socks that I can wear with my dress boots. They shouldn't be too thick (a la athletic "tube" socks) nor should they be too thin (a la "trouser" socks, which are only slightly thicker than stockings.) I'd say the best thickness of the most desirous socks would be the equivalent of putting two paper towels together. Also, in height they should come up to about mid-shin."

Urban Sophisticate claims that she has searched Big City Like No Other, and the perfect socks are nowhere to be found. Obviously, I'm not going to find them in Snowstorm City either. And I am so incapable of choosing clothes for my sophisticated sister that even a pair of socks is beyond my expertise.

So I am appealing to my readers. If you know of an online source for these perfect black socks, send me a link. Please.

41 comments:

dr zombieswan said...

Personally, I am firm believer that Target has everything. I love their hoisery section. (Frankly, I just love it there altogether.) But I'll bet you can't find them online, cause how would you know for sure they worked?

jo(e) said...

Target? We do have a Target here in Snowstorm Region ....

Well, I never bought a bra online either until Bitch PhD wrote a whole long post about it. So I figured some blogger might be in the know about buying socks online and be willing to educate me.

I buy my own socks at a ski shop, so I wasn't sure even where to start looking ....

Seeking Solace said...

Yep, Le Target is the place to go.

Also, I found some great ones at New York and Co. They are perfect with boots. Not too thick or thin.

jo(e) said...

New York and Co? Is that the store that used to be Lerner's?

I think we have one here. It's in the mall, though, so I would have to have my daughter come with. I am not brave enough to go to the mall alone.

Teri said...

I bought socks just like this--microfiber, some with black-on-black design and some plain...at Target.

Too bad others beat me to the punch on the perfect location!

I love my Target socks--I went back and bought 5 more pairs, in black and brown, because they were so perfect.

Kate said...

I own exactly the kind of black socks you are talking about -- two pairs, really. I have a pair of perfect, black, knee high socks from Boden (www.bodenusa.com) that I can wear with boots. I also have a perfect pair of midcalf black socks from Smartwool. Both are not thin trouser socks, not thick tube socks, just perfect, casual, black socks that so far show now signs of turning gray. I highly recommend both brands!

peripateticpolarbear said...

Well, you know how I feel about SmartWool socks. They are heaven on earth. And they now make knee socks. In black. But I've only seen them in camping stores. I'll do a little searching to see if they are sold online.PPB

hypatia said...

I'm also going to endorse Target for boot socks (thicker but not too thick) - I have 2 different types from there. Some that are black with a gold line at the toe and some that are just tall well made socks (I also have these in stripes and argyle and ....).

And I think eddie bauer has some as well that are a wool syntehtic blend (in my opinion the best for wicking moisture away and keeping your feet warm and being not-scratchy).

Gap used to and eddie bauer now also does carry thicker socks that are wool-synthetic blend in various colors that are fantastic. Thicker even than athletic socks. Great for putting on under work books or for walking to school.

Ianqui said...

Just out of curiosity, does your sister ever go to the Target in Brooklyn (at Atlantic/Pacific)? It could be that she knows not of its existence--I keep hearing Manhattanites who don't have it on their radar because they think it's too far to go to Brooklyn just to go to Target. (Note: I live in Manhattan but by some grace of God I'm only 2 stops from Target.)

That said, I have no further suggestions.

Magpie said...

What she needs are men's socks. Men's black wool knee socks. They are the perfect thickness.

http://www.landsend.com/pp/WoolRibTrouserSocks~119371_-1.html?bcc=y&action=order_more&sku_0=::BLA&CM_MERCH=IDX_00001__0000000063&origin=index

Mefuza said...

If you want to get her Smart Wool from an online source, try Zappos. They offer free shipping and returns.

Here is the link ::
http://www.zappos.com/n/es/d/722435280/page/1.html

Hope this helps.

AAYOR said...

http://www.sockdreams.com

LOVE this site. Kneesocks are perfection.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget UrbanSister is allergic to wool!

zhoen said...

Wow. Never thought socks for Christmas could be so exciting.

Artist Friend said...

These responses are a bit difficult to fathom. Wow.

Nadine said...

I hope people don't start throwing things at me (like socks?), but I haven't had good luck buying socks at Target. They rarely have what I want or they fit wrong if they do.

Good luck!

oliviacw said...

I do have some socks of that sort. They were sold as trouser socks, but they aren't the really sheer kind - more like the weight of nice thick opaque tights. I either got them at Ross, or at Sears. For things of this sort, I find that cheap (a la the recommendations for Target) is often more reliable than a fancier store.

Bitty said...

Clearly the gift here is not the socks themselves, but the discovery of the place where such socks live. In other words, the knowledge is the gift. That takes up even less room than lip gloss. :)

And my grandmother LOVED her Target socks. She went on and on about them and insisted on buying some for my mother...

liz said...

Nordstrom's. They have the perfect trouser sock according to my stepfather.

Kai said...

Target definitely has some and I'm pretty sure I got a pair recently at Kohls as well.

EA said...

I am in total agreement with Magpie. My best dress boot socks have come out of men's wear; not too thick, not too thin, just the right height!

ONEDIA said...

You need to check with http://daddylikey.blogspot.com she is the Dear Abby of fashion questions and knows where to get everything.

O>

Pilgrim/Heretic said...

I'll put in a second vote for Eddie Bauer... I was on a sock quest for years, and finally found the perfect socks there. Super comfy, just the right thickness, and hold their color well.

BerryBird said...

I had the same thought as Magpie and Oneida: mens socks. SodaBoy must have a dozen pair just like you describe.

Patti said...

I only wear wool socks in winter, and no socks in the summer. So I have no idea.

Sarah Sometimes said...

Wow this post elicited a lot of responses! I was going to immediately say Ann Taylor Loft, but Manhattan is peppered with them and surely Urban Sister has tried their socks. But, for the record, I love their boot socks. They are just the weight Urban Sister describes and very soft. True, they are a little higher than calf length, I guess officially knee socks, but after you wash them a few times, voila, they only come up to your calf.

Sarah Sometimes said...

p.s. how fast the year goes. I was just thinking the other day about your post from last year about trying to buy Urban Sister a present in Snowstorm City...now it's a year later and here we are again....

Addy N. said...

Wow! It looks like you have lots of sock advice, but I had idea for future gifts that may meet your requirements (not taking up space, gets used up). I like to send gifts from Zingerman's. They have a YUMMY coffee cake (the original sour cream coffee cake is amazing) and other delicious foods (even bread). Good luck with the socks!

ymp said...

Now I know where to do my own sock shopping! Target here I come!
Thanks everyone.

YourFireAnt said...

Wow! Look at all these helpful comments, Jo(e). You shoulda' asked people to SEND you the perfect black socks. Your shopping would've been done for the next 70 years.

FA

Bardiac said...

You've already gotten several Smartwool suggestions, so I'll just echo in on those.

And meaning no disrespect to your sister, but comparing her to the current national leader is a pretty low bar. There's a stump in my yard that's smarter. It also displays better ethics, as I'm sure your sister does.

Yankee T said...

Target, Target, Target.
I have the perfect black sock on right now. I'm sure by now you've come and gone to the store.

jo(e) said...

Wow. Thanks for all the help, both the comments and the behind-the-scenes emails. I really owe all you readers.

I'll off to buy the socks as soon as my daughter hands in her final project and can come with me ....

I won't be able to post a photo, though, because my sister reads my blog, and I want the black socks to be a surprise.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

"Back socks, they never get dirty the longer you wear them the stronger they get, sometimes I think I should launder them, something keeps telling me don't wash them yet not yet not yet."

A subject totally outside my area of expertise.

I personally like merino wool socks.

I nominated you for a blogger buddy award but you prolly got a million already and have no room for it.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

I get my socks at EMS, REI or DICK's.

Merino wool, nothing like it. Expensive but wonderful.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp;jsessionid=4IMDPAWCXI11NLAQBBKCCNVMCAEFKIWE?id=0040372812554a&type=product&cmCat=froogle&cm_ven=data_feed&cm_cat=froogle&cm_pla=0200702&cm_ite=0040372812554a&_requestid=92868

these are men's compression merino wool. Much of the merino wool doesn't come in black.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

http://www.run79.co.nz/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductID=101050

here's some black ones, except they have a name on the side.

http://www.run79.co.nz/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductID=101050

jo(e) said...

Mary: I should have mentioned in the post that my sister and I are both allergic to wool.

I wear SmartWool socks, but only with a layer of polypro underneath ....

Colleen said...

I think I speak on behalf of Urban Sophisticate Sister when I say she is amazed at the outpouring of insightful comments and suggestions (even directions to the Target in Brooklyn!). Also, whoever "anonymous" is showed amazing perception at pointing out USS's allergy to wool. Also USS would like to announce her candidacy for President of the United States.

jo(e) said...

(Laughing)

Colleen, you are worse at being pseudonymous than I am.

But I will still vote for you for President.

Carlo said...

Good Job! :)