Sock It to Me!

Shoppers hop to the hose shops

Shopping for socks used to mean dragging one's threadbare feet to the most obscure corner of the department store. No more: socks have come to the storefront. From London to New York City to Los Angeles, hundreds of quick- stop sock shops are sprouting up all over, purveying hip leg wear to a crowd of hurried shoppers. The sock emporiums typically offer attentive service and an eccentric inventory of hose adorned with happy faces, world maps, tie-dyed patterns, jack-o'-lanterns and even Scottie-dog appliques.

The pioneer of stockings-on-the-run is an ex-secretary in London named Sophie Mirman, who opened her first Sock Shop...

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