The argyle pattern was originally derived from the tartan of Clan Campbell, of Argyll in western Scotland.
The pattern was on the socks known as "tartan hose" worn by Scottish Highlanders. Argyle became fashionable in Great Britain and then in the USA after in the early 1900s. The pattern was popular in golf for the long socks worn with the baggy knickers (plus-fours).
It is still heavily associated with golf today and can be found in a spectacular array of colors in golf fashions. Argyle designs, like true tartans, are generally woven using the intarsia knitting technique to create patterns with multiple colors.
To get a good look at this technique, just turn your argyle socks inside out.