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The Best White Tube Socks Are From the Cos Men’s Section

Photo: Courtesy of the author

Earlier this year, I struggled to find a pair of classic white tube socks. I wanted plain ones. No logos, text, or other branding, which ruled out most of the big sportswear brands. They needed to be thick enough for cooler weather but not make me feel sweaty and gross. And I wasn’t looking for loads of length either. My plan was to lightly scrunch them up over my all-white leather Converse high-tops when wearing summer dresses or yank them all the way up under jeans and trousers.

For months, I’d toggle between the men’s and women’s sections in department stores and other shops, rubbing the fabric of socks between my fingers like an inspector. Finally, while looking for a dress to wear to a music-industry event, I wandered into a Cos in London. The women’s socks had nothing relevant to offer. And at first, all the socks in the men’s section looked too big for my size-8 feet. Then I saw a pack of ribbed white socks to fit a size 7.5 to 9. At $22 for three pairs, I figured they were worth a try. I’ve not looked back since.

Like many high-street offerings, they aren’t 100 percent cotton (there’s some polyamide and a bit of polyester in the mix). But the socks don’t make my feet clammy. Despite the synthetic fibers, they leave my feet cool and comfortable. They also have the height and feel I was after: sturdy, not fluffy, and long enough to be scrunchable.

The first pack I bought saw me through the tail end of a summer that stretched stickily into September. As I’d hoped, they’re versatile. I’ve worn them to hours-long raves with beat-up Reebok Classics and on busy brunch and errand weekend days with cropped jeans. They sit snugly in knee-high boots without slumping, now that the nights are drawing in. Considering their price, they’ve washed well and still look aggressively white against my skin.

Beyond the practicalities, I love how they look. They have a finely ribbed cuff that lands in a sweet spot between trendy and timeless. It makes them look more neutral than specifically sporty, as many tube sock can. Since they don’t feature any horizontal stripes, they also don’t make me feel as though I’m engaging in 1970s sports cosplay (for which, don’t get me wrong, there’s a time and a place). They’re a tube sock for someone who wants something understated, almost Muji-esque. And I’m getting ready to buy a third pack.

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The Best White Tube Socks Are From the Cos Men’s Section