The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

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Socks and the Art of Noticing

How a simple article of clothing can become the first step to self-expression
Even+an+accessory+as+seemingly+small+as+a+pair+of+socks+can+be+a+critical+step+on+one%E2%80%99s+journey+to+self-expression
QUINCY REYES
Even an accessory as seemingly small as a pair of socks can be a critical step on one’s journey to self-expression

Santa Claus gave me a pair of socks when I was 13. I hated them. 

Imagine looking to your left and watching my wide-eyed, nine-year-old brother unbox a sparkling new MacBook Air while I pulled white and red candy cane patterned white socks from my stocking. It didn’t help that my parents hit me with “Santa Claus isn’t real, son” minutes later.

As I reluctantly shoved my disappointing gift into my drawer, little did I know that it would start my lifelong love affair with fun socks. Socks are the unsung heroes of our daily attire, often overshadowed by flashy shoes or stylish shirts. It is so easy to put our heads down and keep walking, leaving socks to end up going unnoticed.

For me, socks have become a metaphor for the simple act of noticing the little things.

Collecting socks and my hobby of acquiring all sorts of prints and patterns started as a way to subtly break the Catholic school dress code; I still wore the gray socks mandated by the school, but my gray socks had green leaves printed on them. Now at Fordham where I do laundry in McMahon Hall, it’s a lot easier to tell which socks belong to me: the checkered or striped socks, adorned with bowls of ramen or rubber ducks floating in a bathtub have to be mine. 

There’s no room in my drawers for white or no-show socks. To me, those are the definitions of fashion crimes. No-show socks are the Benedict Arnolds of the sock world and they betray the essence of what socks mean: rebellion, expression and a zest for life. 

No-show socks sneakily peek out momentarily, only to slide down your heel. Their disappearance into the dark recesses of your shoes leaves your poor ankles exposed and defenseless.

For me, socks have become a metaphor for the simple act of noticing the little things. When I wear my socks, I don’t just see them as tubes of fabric covering my feet; I see an opportunity to spark a conversation and to connect with someone over a shared love for the quirky and unexpected. 

It’s fascinating how a compliment on a pair of fun socks can lead to a genuine conversation with someone, a moment of connection in an otherwise busy world.

Wearing socks with different patterns is a deliberate act of rebellion against the mundane, and a stand against a world that often rushes past the little details. They become weapons in a fight against conformity, against the sea of indistinguishable black and white socks that fill laundry rooms and sock drawers across the world. Every pair I wear makes a statement: I choose to stand out in a world where many insist on blending in.

It’s incredible how society conditions us to overlook the small things, to fixate on the grand and the glamorous. In doing so, though, we often miss the charm hidden in the everyday, the poetry written in the details. I learned this with my first pair of fun socks, those seemingly insignificant swaths of colorful fabric that started a rebellion and a revelation.

I’ve built a wardrobe of narratives, with each sock adding a chapter to the story of Quincy.

Embarking on the journey of becoming a sock lover had its fair share of hilarious missteps and delightful surprises. I remember being in high school and wearing what I thought were palm tree socks. I thought I was trying to bring a touch of tropical flair to my day, but my enthusiasm quickly turned to embarrassment when my friends pointed out that they were, in fact, weed-printed.

It wasn’t until my first semester at Fordham that I learned to embrace the treasure trove of socks that I had amassed. While using my foot to open a door, someone walked past and complemented me. I wasn’t expecting them to also roll up their pant leg and show that they too had their own quirky pair of socks: alligators that seemed to bite up their ankles. This unexpected connection over socks opened my eyes to the possibilities of fashion. 

Now, it’s always a highlight and a treat whenever I stop by Argo Tea to chat with one of the employees Rosemarie, as we always share a conversation about our fun socks.

My socks are not just footnotes in an outfit; they are the exclamation points, the bold statements and the unexpected twists. It’s amazing how something as small as a pair of socks can redefine an entire look. They can elevate a simple pair of jeans and a T-shirt from mundane to marvelous.

I’ve discovered the power of a well-curated sock collection, turning an overlooked part of getting dressed into a canvas for self-expression.

In a world dominated by trends, my sock drawer is a sanctuary of timeless expressions. Fashion trends come and go, but my socks remain steadfast, each pair a testament to personal style. They are not dictated by seasons or runways; they are a celebration of what brings me joy. Every sock in my collection tells a story. The vibrant colors and whimsical patterns have become silent storytellers of my personality, my experiences and my evolution. Some socks scream louder than others. My blue and pink “I love my beagle” socks might tell you that I have a soft spot for my furry animal companion. The day I wear socks with ice cream cones might hint at my sweet tooth. I’ve built a wardrobe of narratives, with each sock adding a chapter to the story of Quincy.

In essence, socks are the underdogs of fashion; while shoes often steal the spotlight, socks quietly work their magic as sartorial rebels, acting as the unexpected bursts of color or pattern that challenge the status quo. Socks do more than just keep your feet warm; they inject personality into your stride. 

Socks are more than just foot coverings. They’re more than just tubes that slip easily on your toes. They are statements, they are stories, and they are an artful celebration of the joy that can be found in the simplest of things. Here’s to socks — the whimsical weavers of tales. Here’s to socks and the journeys they invite us to embark upon, one step at a time.



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About the Contributor
QUINCY REYES, Online Editor
Quincy Reyes (he/him), FCLC ’24, is The Observer’s esteemed online editor. He previously served as an assistant copy editor and is currently double-majoring in journalism and film and television with a concentration in television. Born in New York City, raised in Honolulu and schooled in Manila, Quincy has picked up a taste for adventure and a love for storytelling. When he’s not exploring the city with a cup of black tea coconut bubble tea in his hand, you can find him sorting through his collection of funky socks, searching for New York’s best bowl of ramen or screaming at his laptop while watching “Survivor.”

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