Trouser socks are socks made for women that generally reach to the upper calf or just below the knee, depending her leg length. They are often constructed of light materials, like nylon, so they can be easily worn with close-fitting shoes, like pumps. They tend to replace the now less popular nylon knee-highs that were worn in the past.
Like knee-highs, the high degree of nylon in the knit of trouser socks often makes them quite delicate. They tend to be slightly more durable than nylon knee-highs, but they can and do get runs, especially if simply washed in the washing machine. A woman can get longer life out of her socks by either handwashing them or by washing them in a fabric bag on a delicate or handwash cycle of a washing machine. Many prefer to use the washing machine, since all socks can get rather smelly after a time.
Some trouser socks also contain spandex, a highly flexible fabric that helps the sock keep its shape, and helps it stay up. Many people also find socks made with this material to be more comfortable, especially it's when used at the top of the sock. It tends not to cut off the circulation to the legs in those with larger calves.
These socks are also available for plus size women, or simply for women with a generous calf-muscle. These tend to have a wider opening, providing more comfort during daily wear. Many women find that, when regular ones leave impression marks on the legs, wearing plus size ones solves the problem.
Trouser socks can come in many patterns and colors. Some are quite whimsical and can be fun to wear as an accessory to an outfit. Others come in plain colors for those who wish a more conservative look.
Some women find that lightweight men’s dress socks are often just as comfortable with loafers or slightly dressy shoes, and they are often easier on the calves than women’s socks. Unfortunately, color and patterns may be slightly more limited in men’s dress socks, but they can make a good substitution in a pinch.
Recent studies regarding socks and blisters to the feet show that socks made from materials like nylon, polyester or spandex actually cause fewer blisters than those made from natural fibers like cotton. When breaking in a new pair of shoes, trouser socks can really come in handy, since they will generally lead to fewer blisters than cotton socks. They are considered fashion no-nos when wearing summer sandals, however.