Monday, April 4, 2011

The Joy of Socks

No one is going to accuse me of being a fashionista.  That portion of my wardrobe not purchased at JC Penney or from L.L. Bean is devoted to t-shirts -- for powwows and pop culture references mostly.  But the thing that apparently would offend the sartorially sensitive is my drawer full of socks.

I have noticed in the fashion advertising for men in Esquire, GQ, and other magazines that few of the male models are wearing socks.  I know that for some shoes the socks are optional.  For instance, sandals require socks only if you are a British tourist visiting Venice Beach.  I have seen plenty of men sans socks in boat shoes, penny loafers, and drivers.  But I never see in the real world what I have seen in many ads: men without socks in more conventional leather shoes, even in wingtips and ankle boots.

Some folks might think this is tres chic.

All I can think is stinkfoot.

And ankle bones chewed raw.

A recent ad campaign from Banana Republic features a bevy of white folks having fun at Joshua Tree National Monument in Southern California.  They are wearing all sorts of clothing inappropriate for climbing rocks and hiking in the desert.  Look at this young man leaning against his car.  Look at his shoes.  Note the absence of socks.  Think about his sweaty man-flippers in those leather puppies.

What will Dr. Scholl say when they bring this guy into the ER with bloody ankles and fetid feet?

This even happens in the real world.  Kanye West has ditched his socks for the red carpet. I know, I know.  I am a straight man, so why am I looking at Kanye's naked ankles when Amber Rose is in the picture?  (I am sorry, Amber.  I will try harder.)

Some of this trend made more sense when I saw a photograph of a hot  fashion designer in Esquire.  No wonder male models have been shorn of their socks.  The designers hate them!  There is Michael Bastian, wearing a blazer and a tie -- and no socks.  I know he is wearing penny loafers, and those can be worn without socks.  But for me the jacket and tie dictate the need for them.  And as if that didn't make him tool enough, he's sitting on the mantle piece.  He seems to have issues.

Someone should introduce him to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. 


  1. hahahha I was thinking the same thing! BLOODY, ground-to-a-pulp feet with rank-stank!

  2. It should be noted that in "Orange County" (2002), Jack Black's character, having been wearing tube socks to match his briefs (and nothing else), wisely paused en route and stripped off his socks before jumping into the pool to rescue his brother.

    OTOH Monty Python had an episode on taxes, where an old codger standing in a stream proclaimed (while hiking up his exceptionally high waited trousers), "I think they should tax all people who wear socks!"

  3. Christopher PageApril 4, 2011 at 8:12 PM

    I thought of the same thing: "stinkfoot." Before my spinal hoohah, I surfed. I wore shoes only of the most minimal variety. But even then, a pair of Birks, or KEEN's were short lived due to the appalling olefactoral fail. I figure now that I'm 40-something I am fine wearing a pair of slides with, no-show ankle cut, socks.... as long as they match my overall color scheme.

  4. There are a few dumb reasons for the no sock thing. Models typically go sockless to prevent taking attention away from the shoe or the pant they're selling. Socks either draw your attention or cause the shoe to blend with the pants. Now that pants are shorter for some God awful reason, wearing socks would create the Steve Urkel look. Check out the first pic. He's wearing a tie with that too-tight outfit. Why? Because the fashion obsessed like me don't look at the outfit as a whole but the pieces of the outfit.

  5. But the Kanya example suggests bare ankles draw more attention than socks. His drew my attention from Amber Rose, for crying outloud!