Skip to main content

Bobby Socks

Bobby Socks

Bobby socks (or bobby sox) are ankle-length socks, usually cotton, worn since the 1930s by children, teens, and adult women. By 1935, many teenage girls wore them to school with saddle shoes (two-tones) or loafers, and stores marketed them as campus fashion. They gained widespread fame in 1943 when national media equated them with teenage girls, especially screaming fans of Frank Sinatra, and claimed that ordinary ankle socks instantly became bobby sox when teenagers bought them. Newsweek initially defined "bobby soxers" as female juvenile delinquents with loose morals, but the prevailing stereotype declared them silly, uncontrolled swooners who loved to gab on the phone and buy the latest records and fashions. Teenage girls continued to wear the socks, but did not define themselves as "bobby soxers."

—Kelly Schrum

Further Reading:

"Combating the Victory Girl." Newsweek. March 6, 1944, 88, 91.

Kahn, E. J., Jr. "Profiles Phenomenon: II. The Fave, the Fans, and the Fiends." The New Yorker. November 2, 1946, 35-48.

Palladino, Grace. Teenagers: An American History. New York, Basic, 1996.

"What Is a Bobby Sock?" New York Times Magazine. March 5,1944, 23.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Bobby Socks." St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. . Encyclopedia.com. 14 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Bobby Socks." St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 14, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/media/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/bobby-socks

"Bobby Socks." St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. . Retrieved November 14, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/media/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/bobby-socks

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.