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Getting the Look

Getting the Look – Poodle Socks

Socks are a crucial part of an Irish Dancer’s ensemble! They’re one of the few things that’s universal in the Irish Dance world and that hasn’t changed too much over the years. It might seem simple enough, but poodle socks can make a world of difference in your overall look – both positively and negatively. When you’ve spent thousands of dollars on a dress, you don’t want your socks to distract from your beautiful overall image.

So, some guidelines for poodle sock excellence:

1. This should be a no-brainer, but make sure your socks are white! Not gray or ivory – full out white. For normal competitions, a slightly off-white older sock is fine. But for majors, make sure your socks are looking their best. There’s nothing like slipping on a brand new, sparkling white pair of socks before a competition to make you feel extra ready. Some tips for keeping socks white through a few uses:

* Wash them with only white laundry in a warm setting. Wash inside out to make sure all the glue gets off.

* Use Oxiclean powder with a bucket of hot water and let it sit overnight. The next day, run it through the washer and dryer.

* Soak them in baking powder and water and let dry.

* Try Mrs. Stewart’s Liquid Bluing in water and let dry.

2. On a similar note, bring multiple pairs of poodle socks to a feis or a major. Especially if you just polished your shoes, your socks will get scuffed up after one round. Better to have an extra pair to make sure your socks look pristine for your later rounds. It’s also good in case of a juice emergency!

3. Retire your old socks. After a while, even with great care and laundering, the socks will loose their elasticity and not stay up as well or as cleanly. Let go of those well-loved socks eventually! Give them new life by tie-dying them and using them for practice!

4. Make sure your socks are up! Sock glue is a marvelous invention. Make sure you have it on hand to keep those socks up. Nothing looks worse than a droopy pair of socks. Feel free to attack your leg with it! Better a sticky leg than a loose sock!

5. On a similar note, make sure your socks are at the appropriate height on your leg.  Depending on how tall you are, you might have to play around with lengths to get them to hit at the right place. But no matter what your height, you want your sock to hit at the widest part of your calf, about 3/4 of the way to your knee. Make sure you double check that your socks are at the same height on both legs as well! For example, these three dancers are all different heights, but their socks still hit the same place on their legs.


Antonio Pacelli sells a wide variety of socks in differing lengths to make sure you have the perfect fit.

6. Bling if you want to. Don’t feel compelled to wear blinged out socks, but if it makes you feel more confident – go for it. Make sure they’re the right length though! Also, make sure that the bling socks go with your dress and your dancing. If you’re wearing a very traditional dress, blinged socks might look out of place. Something to keep in mind!

7. High performance socks can be fabulous. Seamless socks and arch supporting socks can make a lot of difference in terms of fit and feel. Seamless socks are especially great for long dance practices to avoid blisters and arch supporting socks can add an extra snugness to help a pointed toe. This element doesn’t really effect the look as much but it can add extra comfort and confidence to your dancing. Antonio Pacelli also sells these.

Those are all the tips I have for now on poodle socks! Any suggestions that have worked for you? What’s your favorite kind of poodle sock?

Stay fashionable, feisers!



  1. Pingback: Would You Wear? – Colored Poodle Socks or Tights | Feisonista - July 15, 2011

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