Cruising around the shops downtown, one can't help but notice the throughlines in merchandise from store to store, especially when I comes to smaller-ticket items for those whose budgets are divided amongst ever-expanding broods. And socks/hosiery is one of those, with stacks of wool specimens fit for winter hiking alongside Japanese exports, whimsically printed trouser stocking, the ever-necessary pairs of wool tights, and so forth.

Some ungrateful person's notion brought the idea of socks as presents into low regard, but everyone knows they are, in fact, awesome, necessary, and popular gifts, and the options currently out there are substantial and tempting, to say the least. A few that have caught my eye:

1. Woodlands' Crew Socks, $22, come in a variety of mélange combinations.

2. Free People Fairisle Sock, $24 at Shop Adorn.

3. Pendleton knee socks, $24

4. Bonne Maison socks from France, $25 at Una.

5. Carlisle men's crew sock, $15 at Radish Underground

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  • Radish Underground

6. Strathcona knee high fruit trouser stockings, $36 at Frances May.

7. Wigwam merino and silk hiker socks, $24 at Animal Traffic.

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  • Animal Traffic

8. Mr Gray Shetland socks, $48 at Machus.