The history of the men’s sock is long and colourful.
Socks for men were first mentioned in “The Conquest of Gaul”, the account of the Roman invasion of what is now France, written by Julius Caesar himself. In this classic tome, Caesar writes that “I was latterly forced to discipline a centurion of the 7th Legion for wearing socks with his sandals, a heinous crime for which there is no other sentence except crucifixion”.
After the fall of Rome, the habit of sock-wearing fell into disuse, until Victorian entrepreneur Sir Robert Sock encouraged their use as a means of finding a market for his textile mill, a fault in the machinery meaning that his company could only produce tubes of cotton, which were cut to length and sewn up at one end. Prince Albert warmed to the idea, and the rest is history.
The history of sock-wearing has not been entirely plain sailing, nor has their use been universal. It is only recently that the Russian armed forces have adopted the wearing of socks. Before this change, feet were wrapped in “foot cloths”, and may explain why the Soviets lost the “cold” war.
Socks for gentlemen are now a part of everyday life, and no longer a luxury that only a few rich Victorians could afford. For example, a subscription for high-quality men’s socks from socked.co.uk can cost less than £20 per year, and will let you step out in style.
Celebrity Wearer: Prince Albert