As a Gemini, and a woman of a certain age, with a mercurial personality and strong opinions about how I want to dress… I reserve the right to change my mind, in a big way, about what I will wear. And that’s what I’ve done recently. I’ve changed my mind, big time, about socks.

It all started a couple of weeks ago when I was sick to death of my winter clothes. Aren’t we all? And I went against one of my long held fashion rules about visible socks with pants. I embraced change and decided to try wearing socks with my fall loafers, mostly so I could get out of boots, and not freeze my ankles. I tried navy socks with my plaid Rag and Bone pants, a navy cashmere Uniqlo turtleneck, and my burgundy Paul Green loafers. Surprisingly those navy socks solved my winter wardrobe fatigue. And now, after a successful sock shopping trip, it would appear that I am all about the socks. Ha. When I change my mind I go all the way, folks.

Standing in the sun room in white Lafayette shirt, black Vince leggings, black Stuart Weitzman loafers, and black and white polka dot socks from Simons.
My new black and white polka dot socks with a white shirt and black pants.

Before I met my buddy Liz for lunch at Nordstrom last week, I shopped for socks at Simons in the Rideau Centre. This was my first time shopping at Simons. They had more socks than you could shake a stick at, as Grammy Sullivan used to say. Patterned socks, polka dot socks, solid colour socks in every shade you can imagine. I demurred on the socks with the unicorns, similarly the ones with lobsters, and hovered briefly over the ones with llamas before moving on. Eventually, I bought three pairs: black with white polka dots, lavender with white polka dots (thanks Dottoressa for the inspiration), and bright red. I’m kind of wishing I’d been braver and bought the ones with the tiny camper vans. Wouldn’t Hubby have been tickled? And now that I’ve worn the ones I did buy, I might order some more on-line. I guess you could call this going hog wild over socks. You can check out all the socks at Simons here if you’re interested.

On the chaise lounge, wearing white Lafayette 148 shirt, black Vince leggings, black Stuart Weitzman loafers, and black and white polka dot socks from Simons.
Focus on the polka dot socks.

I tried my new socks with my old black Stuart Weitzman loafers, black Vince leggings, my white Lafayette 148 cotton shirt, and my pink Vince cashmere sweater. But I won’t be wearing either of these outfits outside for a while. We have piles and piles of snow just now. The slush and salt will ruin my shoes. Still, there’s always book club, or dinner at a friend’s house, when I can wear my boots, carry my shoes in my bag, and do the big sock reveal when I arrive.

Lounging on the sofa in violet Vince sweater, black Vince leggings, black Stuart Weitzman loafers, and lavender socks from Simons.
My new lavender socks with my Stuart Weitzman loafers, black leggings, and my pink cashmere sweater.
The venerable Chateau Laurier in Ottawa, with the windows of Zoe's restaurant and bar.
The venerable old Chateau Laurier Hotel where we had afternoon tea as our mid-winter treat.

And yesterday when I met my friend Susan for our mid-winter treat, afternoon tea at the Chateau Laurier hotel, I wore my bright red socks with my Stuart Weitzman ankle boots and my black leather pants. The socks were hidden under my pants, but I knew they were there. And felt eminently more cheerful at the thought.

White uniqlo down jacket, black leather pants from Holt Renfrew, black Stuart Weitzman boots, bright red socks from Simons.
White Uniqlo jacket, black leather pants, black boots, and cheery bright red socks.

Because I arrived downtown a bit early, yesterday, too early for our reservation for afternoon tea, I strolled through the Rideau Centre. And I began to notice that I was wading in a veritable sea of black winter coat clad shoppers. Everyone, it seemed, was wearing a black coat. In fact, except for shop windows, there were few signs of colour anywhere. No bright scarves. Or even colourful hats. How depressing, and depressed, everyone looked. Now I’m not going to be silly enough to suggest that a pink scarf or a bright red pair of socks will cure what ails us when we’re suffering from too much winter. But my goodness… it can’t hurt.

Colourful desserts and sandwiches on the afternoon tea tray at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa.
Our tea was yummy. The scones were to die for… and the carrot cake..

Our tea yesterday was yummy, as usual. I’m lucky that my leather pants have an expandable waistband. There’s nothing like a treat to dissipate the mid-winter blues. And the thought of those cheery red socks under my pants helped too. They provided just the pop of colour my winter weary soul needed. Even if no one else could see them.

In fact, new red socks, afternoon tea with cranberry scones and Devonshire cream, and a gossipy chat with an old friend was just what the doctor ordered. Maybe instead of simply enduring, plowing through winter, head down, in a black coat, we need to lighten up a little. Treat ourselves. Buy the red socks. Or even the socks with the lobsters.

Okay… maybe not the ones with the lobsters. I might be all about the socks these days, but let’s not go crazy.

How about you my friends? What do you do to lighten the mood when you are royally sick of winter?


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From the archives


When the Skies of November Turn Gloomy

I'm reading lots of great books this gloomy November. Curling up with a good book and a cup of tea is just the ticket to get through November.

Travel with Wendy to Scotland

Today we're taking a holiday from Christmas stress, and Covid stress to travel to beautiful Scotland with someone who knows the country well.

Scenes from a Day Out in Merrickville

This week my friend Liz and I had a day out in Merrickville, Ontario. Sunshine, historic buildings, antique shops. What could be better?

46 thoughts on “All About the Socks.”

  1. Hi Sue,
    Ha! I love all sorts of socks! Right now I’m into bulky socks with my Blundstones.
    I can’t change my coat colour, but I can shake it up by wearing different colourful scarves.
    All of a sudden the days are getting longer…that gives me hope in the middle of winter. Plus we had two days of a February thaw and the sun was glorious. It’s the little things that get me thru…lunch with a girlfriend sounds perfect!
    Grin and bear it, my Mom would say. Tough love! ?

    1. Grinning is easier when I know I have on red socks. Ha. Not thinking to much of spring… yet. Knowing there will be at least another month of winter. Still… I remember one March Break back in the nineties when it was 20°C. And we had planned to ski on our holiday!

  2. Thank you for mentioning 🙂 Your polka dots socks are classics,but this red colour…….perfect!
    My recipe for winter refresh are red leather gloves in the same nuance as your socks-I feel happy just looking at ( red gloved) my hands. I’ve lost one of my old red gloves this winter but have found new ones (buying health food-I think I’ve mentioned it somewhere already)-they are even a croatian brand
    This afternoon tea is wonderful-this morning (before going out for Saturday coffee)I would change my coffee for tea in a minute-I adore scones and clotted cream

  3. Buy spring flowers. Start moving stuff around in the house. Buy new candles in yellow and green. Look at places to go on holiday. Imagine sitting in the garden with my morning coffee in just a few short weeks. Invite people round for Sunday lunch. Nothing big but all heart-warming.

    1. We’re currently planning our fall trip… but somehow it doesn’t help. We won’t be sitting in the garden with our tea for another two months. At least. Candles will have to suffice:)

      1. Ha! Two months is optimistic, right? I’ve spent some very chilly weeks in Ottawa in May. . . .Although by mid-June, you’ll be warmer and have more garden activity than we can muster in July or August — never seen tulips grow so fast!

  4. Yes to snazzy socks . I’ve some black & white spotty ones in my collection too plus some glittery ones . Like Dottoressa I have some interesting gloves , small grey leopard print velvet ( not a big leopard fan normally ) & some wild patterned knitted ones – love fair isle patterns . Just little touches to brighten things up . What really cheers me when I’m impatient for spring are the carpets of snowdrops around . Not just filling the bottom of our garden but everywhere on our dog walks . It won’t be long now , everything is waking up out there .
    So nice to have a voice again .

    1. I love Fair Isle patterns too. Ad I said to Dottoresa… I may go wild and but new colourful gloves since I lost my black leather ones recently.
      P.S. Happy that you are not muzzled anymore. Wonder how many more readers will find their voice here again. 🙂

  5. Wish I had seen those socks at tea. I indulged in a box of comfy ones at, of all places, Chapters, our national Canadian book store chain. I love socks and will head over to Simons to replenish my dwindling stock soon.
    A number of years ago, my sister was living in the American south west. She came to visit in winter, wearing a black coat but was appalled by the colours not in evidence anywhere at the malls. Of course, she did not have to shovel snow off her car or risk slush being sprayed by passing cars.

  6. Definitely loving your socks Sue! Especially the lavender ones, styled as you have with your pink sweater . I’m thinking Dottoressa may have started a trend! 🙂 I’m going to look for a pair.
    I confess to having black and grey coats but also a bright golden trench coat and a bright green coat … I used to wear this a lot but not so much lately. I try to brighten up the overall look with scarves, hats and gloves … I especially like colourful fingerless gloves 🙂 and I’ve recently bought a uniqlo light puffa jacket in mauve that I can wear under my darker coats.
    Everything’s looking great with your new blog format , Sue. Very fresh, modern and easy to navigitate. So a win win from my perspective, especially if it’s easy to comment … good to see Wendy back! 🙂
    Hope it’s all been hassle free for you and your tech guy, since it’s been up and running.

    1. Thanks, Rosie. I bought my Uniqlo down jacket in white just because it was so much cheerier than black. It IS good to see Wendy back… with a voice again, as she says. Hopefully there are more readers who had trouble commenting who will now be able to join the conversation. It was lots of work changing over… with the requisite number of glitches along the way… but so worth the effort.

  7. Sock lover here. I simply hate cold ankles. I vote for the llamas and/or the camper van ones–Hubby could use a lift this winter, too, eh? While I do have several black coats, I always wear them with a pretty, colorful scarf so not quite as drab as they might be. And, like Annie, planning a holiday for later in the year is another way to break winter’s grip on my mood.
    Your tea time looks scrumptious and a perfect way to have a small winter respite.

  8. Hi Sue! Love the new blog format, and the encouragement to brighten up winter. Your blog is always an inspiration to me!

  9. You definitely need to add some (black and tan) animal print socks to your inventory. You won’t regret it. And I hope you devoured every single crumb of that amazing afternoon tea selection. As they say, you’re worth it.

  10. I have bookmarked your link to Simons — what a great selection of socks! This will be of great help to Santa next Christmas … he likes to put interesting socks in our family’s stockings.

    I am also an enthusiastic knitter of socks, so colourful socks have been part of my wardrobe for many years. There is an amazing array of beautiful sock yarn available in the knitting world, and I am never without a sock-in-progress on my needles.

    1. I really likes the fit and feel of Simons’ socks. Some ankle socks are sooo short, but these are great. I know that Frances/Materfamilias knits socks too. Maybe I should give them a try.

  11. I’ve been buying (and wearing) sparkly and metallic socks lately. I took my cue from some of the women I saw in Paris, wearing visible socks (patterned and metallic) above their ankle boots and (yes, even in December) sneakers. Love those red socks!

  12. May I just say – you really rock a classic look! I wish I could carry off the tailored white shirt as well as you do. And I love the socks. I especially love the red ones!


  13. I am a huge fan of socks – polka dots, herringbone, stripes, argyles, solids, flying pigs, sheep, etc. So I love seeing you style them. I’m just too cold to wear bare ankles a lot, so they’re a necessity, even when they’re hidden beneath boots. 🙂 And I’m also a big fan of colored leather gloves. Red, blue, purple.

    As for surviving this ENDLESS winter (is it really, or does this year’s just seem like it?), I’m a fan of tulips at this time of year, in addition to a few things to move the decor toward spring. Yellow things, pink things, things that make me think Easter is almost here. (It’s not.) But mostly I’m still reading and drinking hot tea and hunkering down. We have another high wind/ice storm advisory coming, so we’re just hoping we don’t lose power.

    1. Next stop for me… colourful gloves. I love that idea. This time of year we all get tired of hunkering by the fire, don’t we. It seemed so appealing when we first had snow back in November!

  14. Arriving home to the Ottawa airport this week after a month in Africa, the first thing I noticed (aside from the weather) was the sea of dismal black coats. African ladies are clad in a riotous mix of vibrant colored fabrics – all so cheerful. I’ve always thought it was backwards to wear dark dismal colors in the winter, when we most need color and cheering up. Bring on Color – and don’t hide your socks!

    1. I know! I couldn’t believe my eyes at the Rideau Centre. One woman in a lovely camel coat, and pretty much everyone else was in black or charcoal. It is the opposite of what we should be doing, I agree.

  15. I love socks and yours look great, am especially taken with the lavender spot ones. Although I like the look of cropped pants and bare ankles, the no show footsie thingos always wad up under my foot, so need proper socks. My newest ones are navy with a silver thread which look good with navy pants and navy patent oxfords, but my very favourites are a mustard pair with black and white pandas that I bought in China at the Chengdu Panda Zoo.
    A fashion we have seen here in the last few years (Melbourne Australia) are socks with sandals. Am yet to be convinced they look good on anyone, even the most achingly trendy 22 year olds with great legs!

  16. Ps. I neglected to say the new website looks good and it’s nice to be able to comment again. Also, I’m selfishly relieved that you won’t be monetising for the moment. Some blogs I used to enjoy reading have gone down that route and have evolved to become much less about conversation and much more about product. Entertaining to read very occasionally but not really my thing.

  17. Dear Sue…love, love, love the socks! There are as much a pick me up as beautiful lingerie…hidden but giving a lift in an unexpected way. Yes…I have several black coats but I also have coats in various colours…my favourite other colour for coats is winter white. Adding bold accessories such as a beautiful silk or cashmere scarf, a colourful pair of soft leather gloves and a bag to coordinate….all ways to make a standard black (or white) coat have personality and charm. Your red socks are inspiring me to head out for another pair (and they go so beautifully with black and/or winter white)…..Cheers, Alayne

  18. Welcome to the club, Sue! Since the majority of my wardrobe are pants, I have been wearing socks for years. Pantyhose are reserved for seldom worn skirts. I recently discovered alpaca socks…so soothing and wonderful for your feet, especially in winter. No design is off limits for me. Happy collecting!

  19. I love the new socks, but I’m afraid I’d rush right past a stack of them if that gorgeous Afternoon Tea were beckoning. And in the comfortingly luxurious ambience of the Chateau Laurier. Want!!

  20. I enjoyed this, I used to be all about my socks, and I’m not sure what happened… thanks for the inspiration – those red socks!! Oh, and High Tea. Yummy!
    I’m glad I couldn’t find a Like Button – it made me let you know in person.
    XO Donna

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