Men's Fashion

George H.W. Bush Still President of Awesome Socks Club

You do not want to sleep on 41's sock game.

By Sarah Rufca Nielsen April 10, 2017

Hillary Clinton visited Houston last week to give the keynote speech at the Annie's List luncheon, in which the organization raised over $1 million to support women running for political office. While the Clintons were in town, Bill stopped by for a visit with the Bushes, tweeting a picture of himself with his predecessor George H.W. Bush. It was a charming reminder that politicians can disagree politically and still be pals.

Warm fuzzies aside, some of the youth among us might be asking, "But what's with the socks?" For most of us, socks are basically the lowest rung on the unimaginative Father's Day gift ladder. But for George H.W. Bush socks are an unparalleled art form. You do not want to sleep on 41's sock game.

"I absolutely love a crazy pair of socks … Barbara, on the other hand, has had enough,” Bush wrote in 2013 in a note accompanying another crazy pair of his socks that were auctioned off for charity. 

If Bush had pursued a career path with a bit more sartorial leniency, I could see him getting into colorful bow ties—I'd bet good money he has an armadillo tie in his closet somewhere. If he was born a couple generations later, he'd have the swag of a Russell Westbrook. I mean, this is a guy who went skydiving on his 90th birthday. But instead he went into politics during an unfortunate era for men's fashion, in an arena that prizes conformity and flag lapels, so he had to fit all of his pizzazz inside his shoe.

George Bush has socks with his own face on them—that is about as baller as you can get, son. He has flag socks. Aggie socks. Cactus socks. Superman socks. And now, courtesy of Clinton, some green socks with dog faces on them and blue socks with bees, the latter of which I can only assume is a reference to the Beyhive. 

"The first rule of sock club is there is no sock club," Bush wrote in response to an inquiry from Buzzfeed in 2014, adding some sage sock advice. "Assess the prevailing mood. Sometimes a good sock can give those around you a lift, like a catchy tune or a post-convention bounce in the polls." Also: "Check the calendar. Sunday church calls for a more muted, sober offering. Lunch with friends is no-holds-barred."

If you would like a starter dose of #sockswag (that's Bill Clinton's hashtag, not mine), you can make a donation to the GOP for $19 for an official pair of colorful George H.W. Bush socks. Or just start here

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