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Before you even get into the fall trends and all the fun stuff you’re excited to buy, there are a few categories of clothing you know you’re going to need to re-stock: that would be socks, tights, and underwear. For me, the sock and top drawer refresh is a three-step process that’s part of the ritual of swapping out summer clothes to winter ones.
And if you get it done now — while the sun is still shining and your legs are bare — you won’t be faced with that annoying scenario of pulling your skirt down all day over old, pilled, hole-y tights on the first day cold enough to require them. (Bonus: You can also do that cute socks-and-sandals thing before you trade in August footwear for boots.)
Step one: Dump out your sock drawer and underwear drawer on your bed (or floor, if we’re being honest), add any thick woolen socks and tights you had stashed away with your winter stuff, and get sorting. Holes in your socks? Singles missing their mates? Throw them out. Runs in your tights? Period stains in your granny panties? Toss those, too. (This also might be a good time to scope for any deodorant stains on your white tees; here’s where to restock basic T-shirts.)
Step two: Assess the damage. How many wearable pairs of socks — athletic, loafer socks, boot socks, and cute little fun ones — do you have left, and how many do you realistically need? Do the same count for tights. I like to have at least two reliable pairs of sheer tights, two opaque tights, and one really really warm pair. Probably safe to say you just always need underwear (I don’t usually bother counting mine).
Step three: Restock. Yay! The fun part. Or maybe not fun, but at least it’s painless if you do it online in one fell swoop, and then it’s fun when you open up your mail next week. Check out our favorite online resources for cute socks, tights, and undies below.
Richer Poorer: This California-based brand prides itself on creating really good innerwear, making the process of stocking up on underwear and socks feel less like a chore and more like actual shopping. The selection for women includes classic ankle crew socks, low-top socks (for sneakers), and no-show socks in a ton of different colors, patterns, and prints starting at $12 per pair. Need to really stock up? Two-packs are available starting at $16.
& Other Stories: The H&M sister brand is the place to go for all your #trendy sock needs. You’ll find all the best pairs, from sheer and frills to fishnet and glitter, in a range of fun colors and patterns for $12 or less. There’s a really great selection of basic pairs, too, with solid ribbed options and two-packs of sneaker socks for $12 and no-show pairs for $7.
Stance: Perhaps best known for being the brand that collaborates with Rihanna a lot, Stance is a one-stop shop for all kinds of socks. The selection includes pairs for men, women, and kids starting at $10 and topping out at around $20 for speciality pairs, like the MLB or Hello Kitty collections. The selection is further broken down into categories like casual (everyday ankle, crew, knee- and thigh-high styles), performance (the best pairs for training, running, studio fitness, etc.), and premium styles.
Wolford: Last fall, we put pretty much every tights brand in existence to the test, and this luxury hosiery brand came out on top. The tights are pricey, but (for the thicker pairs, anyways) super durable. I’ve got a friend who says she has one pair that’s lasted her for five years. (Five years!!) For someone on a budget, I’d say just buy one pair of your opaque, warm pairs here, like these ones for $85. If you really want to go for it, the brand also makes beautiful sheer tights, thigh-highs, and patterned pairs, as well as awesome bodysuits and slips.
H&M: In our tights test, H&M was the best of the cheaper brands. They come in two-packs, and there’s a pretty wide selection of styles. I’d suggest grabbing one pack of 20 denier sheer tights ($6.99), one pack of 40 denier semi-opaque tights (comfort waistband are $9.99 and control-top are $12.99), and one pair (these are sold solo) of super opaque 100 denier tights ($12.99). During our test, we also found that sheer tights almost always rip within the first few wears, so mentally prepare yourself for the fact that your roughly $3.50 pair of sheer H&M tights (that’s cheaper than at the drugstore!) will be single-use — anything beyond that is gravy.
We Love Colors: If you’re someone who likes colorful or printed tights, We Love Colors is your best bet. There are dozens and dozens of color options for semi-sheer and opaque tights, fishnets, and there’s a decent selection for plus-size shoppers. Most pairs are between $8 and $15, and if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can also find them on Amazon for free shipping.
Shop Undone: This online retailer stocks all the cool indie brands from Baserange to Lonely, so there are many, many options. Head here if you want a few pairs that are a little more special but still fall into the everyday category.
Aerie: If you just need to straight-up stock up, American Eagle’s intimates line is currently running an insane promotion where all underwear are 10 pairs for $35, aka $3.50 a pair. The selection is actually huge and the underwear is super comfortable to boot, so it’s a win-win.
White Rabbit: NYC-based label White Rabbit is almost like an indie-er Hanky Panky; it makes really great stretch thongs and lace-waistband briefs. They aren’t exactly cheap (for that, see: 10 pairs for $35, above), but the brand does make it easy for you with its essential sets, which range from trios of undies to two-panties, one-bra scenarios, which start at $41 for three lace thongs. The brand also let you do a comfort trial, which means buy two, try one, and if you hate them, you send the second pair back for a refund on both pairs. (You keep the used ones.)