- Anklet --these socks are just like the name implies. They reach about ankle level and are mostly used in cases where you don't want a lot of the sock showing. A lot of men wear these socks with tennis shoes since they are more sporty and you don't have to continuously pull them up while moving. These are often divided into three categories, no-show, low, and quarter. No-show does not show over the ankle and usually has a tab to keep them pulled up. Low reaches just to or just below the ankle and quarter reaches just above. I've also read that many schools with uniforms are abolishing ankle socks -- for various reasons of course, but statistically, the most common reason seems to be that teachers are unsure students are wearing socks with some ankle socks and therefore it can become a hygiene issue. They don't seem to be differentiating between no-show socks and other ankle socks. Never bothered me since I don't particularly care for these socks.
- Crew -- these socks are the working man/sometimes woman's staple sock. They are mid-length (usually 6-8 inches above the shoe line) socks, often reaching to mid-calf and have a ribbed cuff to keep them snug to the leg and in place. They are, I think, the most commonly used type of sock, since they are simple and versatile, especially for crew workers, as the name implies.
- Knee-High or Over the Calf -- Socks in this length often tend to be one of two styles: athletic or novelty. It doesn't mean that there can't be socks in other styles that are athletic or novelty, but since these socks come up to just below the knee, they are more on display than ankle or crew socks. Toe-Socks, which are novelty (usually) socks with separate areas for each toe, rather than one full area, are often in this length. These are also my favorite type of sock since they are cute and warm, but not heavy.
- Over the Knee -- These socks could just as easily fit into the knee-high category, but they are a little longer, reaching to the thigh area instead of just the knee. Often this style of sock is a novelty costume sock, but if you group socks and stockings together, thigh-high dress stockings would fit into this category as well.
- The other style that could possibly be included here is Stockings or Tights. These are usually made of nylon/lycra blends and come in two basic shapes: stockings, which are like socks, but usually sheer and should be held in place by garters; and pantyhose, which come in a variety colors and designs with a undergarment style waist band to hold them in place. There are also foot-less tights, but since the whole point of the "sock" is the actual foot, I am going to ignore them for the sake of argument.
What are your favorite styles of socks? Do you have a favorite place to buy socks? Right now, I'm really into the knee highs, and I'll explain more on why next time!