With Santa being pulled in many directions this time of year, I tend to give him a break by filling my family’s Christmas stockings. Candy canes, chocolates, and lotto scratch-offs always make their way in, along with another popular item . . . socks!

Socks are the top-gifted apparel item during the holiday season, traditionally selling almost double the units of shirts and sleepwear, according to NPD Consumer Tracking data.

It’s no surprise that consumers look to give things they know people will put to good use. In fact, 64% of U.S. adults tend to wear socks at home. While only 22% wear just socks, a third pair them with other footwear like slippers (16%), shoes (13%), or slides (8%), according to the NPD Omnibus Survey.

Beyond gifting, we can also expect self-purchasing of socks for the holidays; one-third of consumers say they need to replenish their socks this winter. After jeans, socks are the second most sought-out apparel item consumers plan to replace, which bodes well for socks placed near the checkout counter — one-third of socks that were purchased for the buyer’s own use were bought on impulse during the fourth quarter of last year.

Casual socks are the most popular styles, with sales growing 5% so far this year, versus 2021. These are your everyday, basic socks that play up comfort over style or performance, which is perfect for the 64% of consumers who wear socks while lounging at home.

While alleviating Santa from his stocking stuffer duties, I will be secretly hoping a few pairs find their way into my own stocking this year. If not, I’ll be sure to have a few extra on hand, just in case. Happy Holidays!

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