Skyblue clocks

The "skyblue clocks" on Boylan's socks are not representations of timepieces. In 19th century sartorial language, a clock was a decorative pattern on the sides of socks, sometimes adorning only the outer ankles, sometimes going up both the outsides and insides. At the time represented in the novel they were the thing for fashionable dressers to have.

JH 2017

Early 19th century linen child's socks with embroidered blue clocks on the ankles. Source: www.pinterest.com.