Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Get Your Kness Up: Popsocks Are Useful but Unflattering Garments

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Get Your Kness Up: Popsocks Are Useful but Unflattering Garments

Article excerpt

There comes a time, every autumn, when a woman faces a dilemma. She finds herself wearing trousers, with shoes not boots, and she needs an item of hose to cover up that tiny bit of leg that might become exposed. She can't wear tights--overkill, and anyway the static makes trousers cling to tights. She can't wear stockings, unless she's two dates into a relationship, or very stupid (remind me to tell you about the time I wore stockings beneath trousers when I went to the family planning clinic to see a doctor who turned out to be the country and western singer Hank Wangford). So she's left with an item that strikes fear into both women and men: the popsock, or, as it's now euphemistically called, the knee-high.

Popsocks, for that is what I shall call them, are undoubtedly useful. Neither tights nor stockings, they are socks that look like they could be either, until you get far enough up the leg to find that identifying thick band below the knee. Popsocks don't make anyone feel good. The only ones that are acceptable are fishnet ones, because the fishnet is fun and is silly enough to distract, momentarily, from the ability the popsock has to render its wearer immediately, and completely, unattractive. Decent fishnet knee-highs cost about [pounds sterling]7 a pair--think of spending no less. Falke makes good ones.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

But really, what women need is socks--good, knee-high socks that are soft, comfortable and thin enough to look stylish when they peek from yonder trouser leg, but thick enough to be cosy and warm. …

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