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Autumn of socks

Bought a pile of Tesco socks, despite my objection to Tesco on their strategy of absurd drama-mongering press releases, like the Marmite thing. Honestly, Tesco always run that kind of story and people always fall for it and share the latest story that is 100% calculated to catch the eye by being zeitgesty and a bit controversial,  support the Tesco brand narrative that they are the champions of cheapness and then softly and silently vanish away afterwards like a boojum.  All Tesco news stories are boojums, except for the odd one that they'd prefer you not to know about, involving accounting scandals.

Anyway, I went to the women's sock section, and it was full of small, elegant and often rather frilly or decorated socks.  None of them looked warm.  You could buy plain black ones, but they were thin and clearly designed for wearing with Smart Womanly Shoes, not stomping through mud in boots.

So I went to the mens section again and stocked up on thick, warm socks in attractive shades of blue, purple and green, for noticeably less than it would have cost me to buy thin chilly Woman Socks.  Fortunately I am blessed with relatively large feet.

FEET HAVE NO GENITALS, TESCO.   I really don't understand why all socks are not presented in one row, going from Very Small to Very Big. I don't object to the existence of thin socks with sparkly kittens on, but I reckon that at least 80% of dogwalkers I meet are female, and there was not a single sock in the 'women's  section' that was well-adapted to that sort of life.


ETA: yeah, yeah, I know.  Don't give them money and then go away and moan about them on the internet : take the money elsewhere to someone who does it right.  But I'm SO lazy and also I have this internet right here to whinge into! 

Comments

( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
puddleshark
14th Oct, 2016 09:12 (UTC)
Hear, hear!

Votes for Practical Clothing for Women!
bunn
14th Oct, 2016 17:33 (UTC)
More than that even, I just don't see why socks need any kind of sex-coding. Nobody sets up a Cornflakes for Women or Toothbrushes for Men section. Socks are the same kind of thing. All you need to know is how big.
puddleshark
14th Oct, 2016 20:00 (UTC)
Nobody sets up a Cornflakes for Women or Toothbrushes for Men section...

Not yet. Give it time. I'm reminded of Bic introducing special Biros for Women - the reviews on Amazon were highly entertaining...
r_blackcat
14th Oct, 2016 09:21 (UTC)
Oh yeah, socks appeared to be an international problem :)
My feet (as all the rest of me) are small, so sometimes I have a problem to buy plain, one-coloured socks.
A friend of my friend (f2m) once got arrested for the fight with a seller, who refused to sell him men's socks (he didn't look quite manly back then).
bunn
14th Oct, 2016 17:38 (UTC)
8-o Wow. The idea that anyone is so invested in what socks someone else wants to wear enough to refuse to sell them socks is something of a shock to me.
r_blackcat
17th Oct, 2016 09:05 (UTC)
Yeah, even for Russia it's not VERY common. Not unheard of, alas. This f2m was shocked as well, I suppose. Being a true man in heart, he wasn't able to lie that he needed socks for his brother\father, so he did the manly thing - get to fight :P
songblaze
15th Oct, 2016 05:02 (UTC)
Yeah, finding single-colored socks with small feet can be a nuisance, can't it? I don't have any theoretical objections to multi-colored socks, but I have tremendously sensitive feet, so all the loose yarn ends from color changes are extremely uncomfortable and make socks unwearable for me. Just horizontal stripes I can do, but dots or vertical stripes or anything more ornate than that ends up being intolerable.

My annoyance is that the brand of socks I wore and loved for about a decade suddenly changed about 5 years ago now. They were the only socks that fitted my feet correctly. The biggest child size is too small, and the standard women's size is too big, unless I go to non-cotton socks, but I can't stand having sweaty feet so non-cotton socks are not an option (well, unless they are something like bamboo - still breathable and wicking and all). These were pretty stretchy (for cotton socks anyhow), so they would fit me without stretching and average footed women when stretched. But they went to a bigger, less stretchy sock, and I didn't know they were changing over until a while after (because I am not hard on my socks, so absent my fiance losing them while doing the wash, I rarely need new socks more than every 3-4 years), so I couldn't even find any of the old socks online.

Sadly, the only socks I've found that are comfortable enough nowadays are painfully expensive - I don't want to pay $12/3 pairs for the low cut socks and $20/3 pairs for ankle socks. It's terribly unreasonable, but they're the only thing that fits. And my fiance has lost most of my good socks (including almost all of my first pack of the expensive socks), so I currently have about 6 pairs of socks I can wear, two of which are brightly colored and thus hard to match with clothing. I think once we buy a washer and dryer (planned for during the stupid sales next month), so that we're not using a laundromat, I'll buy more of the expensive ones. Until then, it's just asking for my fiance to miss them at the bottom of the washer or against the front side of the dryer.
r_blackcat
17th Oct, 2016 09:43 (UTC)
Oh, I understand what you're talking about. Luckily, my feet are not that sensitive, but finding the fitting size is still a problem. Different brands seems to have very different opinions on what a number of a size is, so if number 23 of this brand is ok, it doesn't mean that number 23 of that brand will fit also. And I somehow get in this gap when 23 is too small, and 25 is too big (at best. At worst I may buy different pair of socks and discover that number 25 is too small, and 23 is too big, sometimes even of one and the same brand). It's a total chaos in size number in shops (or at least it was some 5 years ago in Moscow). One day I just came to a big shop with a ruler, bought some 5 or six different pair that seem to be of the right size, sit down right here, beside the cash desk, get off my shoe and tried them all. And then went in again to buy more of the brand that really fit.
So, american socks love to play hide-an-seek with their owner too? Really, no other item get lost in laundromat so often than socks. Even handkerchiefs don't behave this way! If you put 3 pair of socks in a landromat (which means 6) you'll end up with 5 after the wash is over. Well, usualy. In rare case it could be 7. And how they love to crawl into duvet cover! My friend supposed once that they have they own socket universe, where they depart sometimes. But some of them return at unexpected moment! Only sometimes they miss a little bit their landromat-portal, because once in a while here comes a sock (usually only one) which is too big for me and too small for my father :)
PS: Bamboo socks stretch? Thanks for the tip, may come in handy!

Edited at 2016-10-17 09:51 (UTC)
thesmallhobbit
14th Oct, 2016 09:21 (UTC)
Packs of plain black socks are also for nurses and their sensible black shoes. When the daughter was training I bought multiple packs. As a mark of defiance she moved onto black socks with coloured heels and toes, which couldn't been seen.

Tesco - home of healthy eating (Haha). We've got a Brownie trip there coming up - I hesitated about arranging it, but decided it was a free trip and we might as well get something out of the giant local store, since it's not likely to increase its sales when it already dominates the area.
bunn
14th Oct, 2016 17:51 (UTC)
I don't object to the sale of sensible thin black socks. I own some, even. But the complete absence of thick socks suitable for outdoor activity in the women's section seemed pretty damn odd (leaving aside for a moment the general oddness of there actually being a women's and men's section rather than just sizes).
eglantine_br
14th Oct, 2016 10:31 (UTC)
I recently bought men's sneakers for the same reason. Really, the things intended for men are less likely to fall apart with reasonable use. They just last longer. I also am blessed with large feet.

As I get older I am more and more likely to shop in the men's section. I am less tolerant of having my money wasted.
bunn
15th Oct, 2016 07:51 (UTC)
I've done that too. It is convenient to fall into the small man / tall woman category!
wellinghall
14th Oct, 2016 10:47 (UTC)
adaese has bought "mens" socks before now.
bunn
15th Oct, 2016 07:52 (UTC)
I wonder if the assumption is that women will buy stuff even if it is branded 'men's'?
howlin_wolf_66
14th Oct, 2016 12:16 (UTC)
I like your Tesco layout plan better than the one currently in use! :-)
bunn
15th Oct, 2016 07:53 (UTC)
When I rule the world there shall be only ONE sock section!
ladyofastolat
14th Oct, 2016 12:29 (UTC)
With smallish feet, I wear women's thin black socks, and when I'm going out on a walk, wear a pair of thick walking socks on top of them. But I fled in disarray last time I looked at a display of women's socks, since none of them were just "socks." Instead, they had a confusing array of adjectives which caused me to lose confidence and worry that these adjective socks had some hidden feature that meant they wouldn't work properly with normal shoes. I wonder if men's sock displays are full of adjective socks, or if they get the chance to buy just socks.
bunn
15th Oct, 2016 07:59 (UTC)
I *think* the only adjective applied to the socks I bought was 'men's' although they may also have been described as 'warm'.

But they only went down to size six.
bunn
17th Oct, 2016 20:40 (UTC)
Modifying my previous answer having checked. The most comfortable soft and squishy socks were labelled 'lounge socks' and the socks with polar bears on them were labelled 'cotton' and 'antibacterial'.

I agree these labels are confusing which is why I ignored them.
topum
14th Oct, 2016 16:29 (UTC)
I still get my socks from Pakeman Catto & Carter (and all of my brothers do too). They don't do ladies' but one of my sisters in law liked them so much that she kept stealing them from my brother until it dawned on her that she could buy their men's socks for herself and she does now. And they are not shy with the colours either.
helflaed
14th Oct, 2016 17:31 (UTC)
If you know someone who has a Costco card, their hiking socks are great.
bunn
15th Oct, 2016 08:06 (UTC)
I'm sure I don't, sadly - Cornwall is not blessed with that sort of shop. We do have farm supply chains, but see above about I was lazy :-D
dhampyresa
14th Oct, 2016 22:14 (UTC)
Fortunately I am blessed with relatively large feet.

When I had to buy Emergency Socks on my recent UK trip the only size I could find that'd fit me was "Boys: 7-10" so I ended up with Iron Man on my feet.

All this to say, buying socks can be a surprising hassle. It's socks! It shouldn't be that hard! And yet.
bunn
15th Oct, 2016 08:07 (UTC)
Iron Man Feet!

I hope the socks had superpowers...
dhampyresa
16th Oct, 2016 21:21 (UTC)
I hope the socks had superpowers...

Sadly not.
rustica
14th Oct, 2016 23:04 (UTC)
Can I add to this - Wellington boots! I have really chunky calf muscles (no, really, I do; it's the only part of me that's solid muscle) and there's not a single knee-height pair of wellies anywhere that I can wear. I have to wear ankle-height-wellies instead and stay out of the mud. What's the point of wellies when you have to stay out of the mud?? I can't buy the men's wellies because I wear a size 4 shoe. Any welly big enough to fit over my calves doesn't come in a small enough shoe size to fit me.

What do other women like me do - do they buy men's wellies, and men's socks, and pack the space in the socks and the wellies with extra pairs of men's socks? (Maybe that's what those thin pairs of women's socks are for, now I think of it!)
bunn
15th Oct, 2016 08:15 (UTC)
Oh, I have this problem too. Even with big feet (7's), knee high boots often don't fit around my calves.

Have you tried a riding/ agricultural shop? Wellies for horsy/smallholding types seem to be more generous in this department and often have adjustable bits on the calves.
rustica
16th Oct, 2016 06:24 (UTC)
Ooh, useful information, thank you! I shall go hunt.
apel
16th Oct, 2016 16:58 (UTC)
Socks are a bit of an issue for me too. I like my socks colorful and going up well over the ankle. Most people here in California wear no-shows, which are way too cold for me. So I buy socks on eBay. I have yet to find light blue ones that I like, though. They all seem to skew toward turquoise and I prefer either a true blue or one that's toned warm.
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )

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