Washington state legislators express their creativity with colorful socks

Jan 30, 2018, 5:36 PM | Updated: Jan 31, 2018, 8:11 am
Just a few of the socks featured on #walegsox. (Representative Laurie Jinkins)
(Representative Laurie Jinkins)

If you head to Olympia and catch the Washington state Legislature in action, you’re going to see a lot of suits, slacks, and skirts in shades of gray, brown and blue. But these days, lurking beneath the pant legs, are a rainbow of colors and patterns.

The funky socks of our state legislators have gone public thanks to State Representative Laurie Jinkins.

Jinkins started the hashtag #walegsox and she goes around snapping photos of snappy socks and posts them on Twitter.

“When Reuven Carlyle was in the House he wore some colorful socks and every day he would come in and show me his socks and then ask to see mine. Mine were always black, cotton socks. So I thought, you know, I should really step out and start doing something more interesting. So I started wearing them myself.

“Then I thought, this is kind of fun, I should pay attention to how many other people do this. So I just started the hashtag for fun. It’s been very interesting because I believe it has resulted in more people wearing more interesting socks.”

Jinkins says she has slowly acquired about 40 pairs of fun socks.

“Either they’re very colorful or they have sayings on them. I wonder about myself sometimes because most of the socks I get as gifts have swear words on them. I’m wondering what that says about me that people give me socks with swear words on them! I mean, I’m wearing a pair today that say ‘badass’ on them. I have a pair that say ‘hellraiser.'”

If you search the hashtag #walegsox on Twitter you’ll see socks printed with doughnuts, Sasquatch, race cars, Gumby & Pokey, grilled cheese sandwiches, and a fair share of patterned tights.

“There’s a bunch of people with Statue of Liberty socks on and one of them bought them for everybody, the staff people in our caucus, to wear. So they all wore them on one day, together.”

Representative Jinkins says she never posts names to go with the socks, so you don’t know who’s a Republican or a Democrat. But everyone is getting in on the fun.

“A lot of what we do is really intense. There can be a lot of emotion around it. Sometimes it’s just a lot of really hard brain work because it’s very technical. This is just a way to have a few lighthearted minutes a day. I have a new legislative assistant and she comments on the number of people who walk up to me and pull up their pant leg and then I snap a picture and we never say a word to each other. It’s well known, people kind of seek me out now. My one rule is you have to be on the Capitol campus and wearing the socks. I don’t post anything that’s somewhere off of the Capitol campus.”

She says she now picks out socks to inspire her. The day we spoke she was expecting an intense day on the floor, a discussion of gun control. That’s why she wore her ‘badass’ socks. She saves her Wonder Woman socks for days she needs strength.

“On cutoff day I wear my ‘Scream‘ socks usually because that’s usually a day where members and lobbyists are screaming, ‘Please move my bill!’ People end up unhappy. That’s a tradition now for me.”

So what has become of her little black, cotton socks?

“Slowly, I have given them away but I do still have five pairs in case I really feel like I need them. I haven’t worn them in a long time!”

Your Last Meal

Ron and Don

KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk

Ron and Don’s last show on KIRO Radio

Last night was Ron and Don’s last show on KIRO Radio.
4 years ago
Kelly Herzberg in her natural habitat. (Photo by Rachel Belle)...
Rachel Belle

In Seattle, a personal shopper and stylist who only shops at thrift stores

If you think you can't afford a personal stylist, head to the thrift store with Sweet Kelly Anne Styling's Kelly Herzberg who will pull hundreds of pieces for you to try on.
4 years ago
Viaduct waterfront...
Ron Upshaw

What do we do with the waterfront after the viaduct is gone?

After the viaduct is taken down, we'll be left with a choice: What do we do with one of the most beautiful waterfronts in the country?
4 years ago
Ron Upshaw

Shower Thoughts: Ichiro can give Mariners fans something to root for

Rumor has it that Ichiro might make a comeback next year, and I for one welcome it.
4 years ago
Border wall...
Ron Upshaw

Trying to figure out why people want Trump’s border wall

A little over 40 percent of Americans now support the idea of a border wall, but what is it about it that seems so attractive?
4 years ago
Dan McCartney, Pierce County Sheriff...
Don O'Neill

Why you could hear kids’ voices on Pierce County Sheriff radios Monday night

Sometimes, "gone but not forgotten" isn't always how slain officers are remembered. But in Pierce County, a special effort is being made to commemorate a fallen deputy.
4 years ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
Washington state legislators express their creativity with colorful socks