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A Decade-Long Search Led Me to These Perfect $9 White Socks

Photo: Ruby Redstone

Like a little black dress or a crisp button-down shirt, a good white sock is deceptively difficult to find — I know because I’ve tried upwards of 20 pairs over a near decade of searching. I like the Swedish brand SOCKSSS, whose athletic socks are wonderfully cushy, but they look tired after a few washes. There’s Dueple, which I was drawn to because it lets you customize the height and weave, but then I found all my pairs were pilled and riddled with holes after just a few weeks of wear. Comme Si makes an impressively pretty product, but there’s no way to not feel like a chump spending $28 on a single pair. Not that I’m not a chump — I’ve got Comme Si in my sock drawer, plus pairs from Simone Rocha and Darner that are so expensive I feel genuinely nervous when I wear them.

I had given up hope on finding a sock that didn’t fall apart or threaten to bankrupt me, and could hold its own as a piece of clothing, when my friend Emilia posted a video of herself in a vintage skirt and sneakers. I found myself furiously zooming in on her ankles, which were clad in the most perfect pair of white socks I had ever seen. After a swift DM exchange, she sent me in the direction of Maggie’s Organics. I had heard the brand’s praises sung by other sockheads like Stacey Nishimoto and the good people of streetwear Reddit, yet I had never seen them up close and personal. It was a cool summer evening and my feet were begging for the gentle embrace of a fresh sock, so I ordered a few pairs of Maggie’s Organic Cotton Classic Crew.

According to the brand, which has a genuinely admirable dedication to transparency, the socks are knitted on old machines that create a heartier, more durable product that stays remarkably fresh-looking and tight at the ankle even after several wears. And their composition, as the name would suggest, is organic cotton with a low quantity of spandex. Together, these facts mean that Maggie’s products are very true to how socks would have been made before the popularization of synthetic fibers in the 1930s, which appeals to my fashion-historian sensibilities.

I’ve been wearing them with socks and sandals (they’re just the right amount of “normal” looking to complement fashion-y shoes) for about two months now, and here’s what makes them so ideal: The cotton is thick enough to feel sumptuous but not so heavy that you can’t wear them on a hot day. The wide ribbing makes them look deceptively more fashionable than the average white sock, like they could be Prada. They’re the ideal height — they hit at the slimmest part of the leg just below the calf when pulled up, and they look as good folded over as they do scrunched down. The white is lovely — just bright enough to make your legs look tan — but the natural has my heart. It’s a classic off-white that doesn’t clash with vintage dresses and looks right with some Adidas Sambas. And they’re just $9.

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A Decade-Long Search Led Me to These Perfect $9 White Socks