Apr 16, 2017

[Column] Create Your Own Style Principle 8. Stock Up On Your Hosiery!

20 Ways to Create Your Own Style Series #08

Principle 8. Stock Up On Your Hosiery!

Spring~ Spring~ Spring! Spring sunshine has begun to melt all corners of Seoul. It is still quite chilly in the mornings and evenings, so we are currently experiencing some serious desert weather.

Today, we will look at how the under appreciated *hosiery* benefits our personal style. Well employed, hosiery will affect your wardrobe with utilitarian and visual ways.

There are three utilitarian benefits of well chosen socks and hose.

First, your hosiery is a great ally to protecting your wallet. When people go on retail therapy, most opt for a new top or a bottom, maybe a dress. However, unless you spend wisely and shrewdly, it is ever so easy to justify that new gorgeous dress as a 'need' even though it was initially a 'want.' What I have observed from recording what I where daily and refraining from retail therapy over the years is that a lot of the times that I splurged BIG were those times when my 'sock and hose' drawer was not fully and appropriately stocked! This kept repeating, so I really saw a pattern here. It is so so easy to overlook the hosiery!

These days, when feel that impulse to buy something new, I go over to check my hosiery drawer. If my daily socks and nude tights look shabby and worn out, I start by disposing those. Then I check to see if I have enough hosiery for the current season and what I wear. I check if any of them need replacement. And I think of spending adequately on these as a measure of self care and defensive strategy against impulsive, compulsive, mindless shopping.

Second, having a well stocked hose drawer allows for a peaceful morning! As each second counts in the mornings, not having the good enough to wear socks or work tights wreaks havoc. It makes one go on a hunt for new hosiery at home and sometimes at a nearby convenience store. Working out the correct hosiery in advance gives you return on investment in your precious morning moments.

Third, bulk buying your hosiery simplifies your laundry routine to something totally brainless! When you carefully select only one type of design for each of your outfit categories (work/gym/formal), then you can toss all of your worn stuff in just one laundry batch (nude ankle dress socks/white socks/nude panty hose). If your sock ever lost its twin, it will match will all of the rest of your work socks. Finally, even without having to KonMari-fold everything, having uniform hosiery for each category of your outfits will create the illusion of 'Visual Zen' in your wardrobe!

Your hosiery also benefits your personal style in two visual ways.

First, a well chosen hosiery will instantly 'polish' your outfit.

The reverse is also true, effective immediately, when your sock is holey and you just entered a Korean restaurant with your team and you have to take your shoes off. Or your hose has a massive run and you are just about to shake hands with your devastatingly handsome blind date. The hosiery can completely undo your style in key moments of your life!

Basic Rule 1: Match the sock color to your pants or skirt.
In this image, the socks is a shade darker than the pants color, giving it a groomed and sophisticated look. 

Basic Rule 2: Match the sock color to your shoes.
In this illustration, the socks are 2 to 3 shades lighter than the shoes' color. The pattern in the socks echoes the textured pattern of the pants.

Basic Rule 3: For women, there is a benefit to choosing hosiery color a shade or two lighter than the clothes and the shoes. 
When you wear a black dress with black shoes as in the photo above, opting for an all-black solid look may not be a bad choice. However, by going a little lighter gives it a more elegant and feminine feel. Remember that doing All Black may make you look slimmer, but you run the risk of looking 'heavier' than you really are, or the risk of looking 'too armored.' Finding that exact shade of semi-sheer tights is a challenge but it is also one of the easiest ways to up play the feminine curvature in your calves!

Secondly, hosiery creates visual interest in your outfit.
For women, an all together boring and blah outfit can be modified by patterend or textured hosiery. For men, opting for different daily work wear socks and more fine woven dress socks for formal occasions can 'complete' your level of style refinement. For both genders, the socks can amp up a casual outfit to the max, or recruiting the latest trendy hosiery can add some much needed novelty in your wardrobe.

Rules for Variety: Men's Dressy Socks
These are thinner than daily socks usually, and often have a sheen to them.

Rules for Variety: Men's Semi-Casual Socks
The example above shows a pair of navy socks with cheerful red added in a grid pattern. The overall mood becomes more vivified with these socks, while the navy communicates enough seriousness in the outfit.

Rules for Variety: Men's Dandy Casual Socks
This pair has tightly patterned Hounds Tooth all over it, giving the outfit a lot of personality and casual punch.

Rules for Variety: The little black dress is matched with three different patterned tights here, demonstrating how hosiery can give a single outfit varied visual effects!

Rules for Variety: Opacity levels of your hose determine the visual mood you create in your outfit. 
On the left, a casual dress gets a fun patterned but very sheer tights. The amount of sheer here gives the outfit an bit of a sexy oomph! 
On the right, the striking colored opaque tights make a bold style statement. The hat, the bag, the tights, and the shoes all fall into a tight range of color mimicry. 

Today's Action Tips!

1. What hosiery are you currently wearing for your daily outfits?
Are they in good condition or in need of replacement?
Is your hosiery drawer well stocked for your daily outfits?

2. Do you have all of the hosiery necessary for the season?
How about your special occasion hosiery? Are they in place too?
As Summer approaches us, hosiery gets replaced with pedicure. When do you think you will start needing proper foot care?

As the saying goes, 'God is in the Details.' 
Your hosiery is a style asset that is often overlooked and totally hidden, dormant in its expression. I bid you another stylish upgrade today and I trust that you will take the reigns of your classy, stylish life this week!

Jessica Ahn

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