How many times have we ravaged our closets looking for our favorite polo shirt or pair of black pants that just seamlessly fits with every other piece of clothing we own? 10? 20? 50 times? Or maybe it’s a jacket you simply can’t live without or a hat that also threatens your existence if you can’t find it. For a lot of us it’s a pair of shoes that are a must have in our wardrobe. Shoes have a way of winning our wallets over and immigrating into our homes without our conscience. At times we have no idea of how or why or even when we purchased them. Shoes have an intoxicating grip on our sub-conscience…a guilty pleasure that I myself have fallen and continue to fall victim too. I surveyed five individuals on their preferred choice of clothing and the survey conclusion was that all five of them said they would prefer their shoes over any other piece of clothing. Surprised? Didn’t think so.The participants went on to place them in order of importance with shirts coming in second and pants coming in third. I asked them to elaborate more and describe the accessories they fancy. I was met with hats, watches, and shades…again this came at little surprise to me. However, something piqued my curiosity as I continued my survey from a different approach. I asked the five gentlemen how important socks were to them since they failed to mention them in both their preferred choice of clothing and accessories. They all told me that socks were of very little importance and concern to them despite the fact they were all wearing socks! I was slightly disgruntled when I reflected on their answers later, but can I truly blame them? Socks are known to be the most plain and mundane item one can wear, they are so pedestrian they are even out-shined by underwear and their flashy variants. With their cotton base fabric sporting their notorious white color it’s, ironically, easy to see why socks have stayed at the bottom of the fashion food chain for so long, but fret not! For I see a changing of the guard on thee horizon! There is hope for these forlorn heroes yet, and I’m here to promote their heroism. Prepare to be saved!
Our heroes tale began long ago in 8th century Ancient Greece B.C where civilians would wear the tattered skins of the animal they slain. Animal hides and hair were used for warmth and this tradition was carried over to 5th century Rome A.D. However the approach to wearing socks or as the Romans called them, “puttees” was a bit different from it’s intended usage. Puttees were still utilized for their warmth, but they also boasted a more holier symbolic purpose. They were worn by holy man as a sign of purity! Not bad for a smelly piece of clothing eh? In fact, by the time 1000 A.D rolled around the sock became a sign of great wealth and was a fixture in the community of the noble. Who would’ve guessed that such a forgettable item has such a rich history! Alas…what happened to the popularity of the sock? What happened to it’s glory? It’s respect that has seemingly been snatched away and thrown to the wayside! Well, I believe it had something to do with the Industrial Revolution and it’s production breakthroughs. With more efficient ways to manufacture goods the importance of socks was somehow washed away amidst the excitement of a new age; a tragic turn for our comfy heroes indeed. For a long time it seemed that the sock would never reclaim it’s elite spot amongst the clothing world. It appeared like such an insurmountable plateau to climb and it still looks that way. On that note, let us fast forward to the ‘2000s’. I see an amazing increase in sock creativity! It would seem that our heroes have endured the storm just to sport their new heroic colors and stylish patterns for the world to see, as if to say, “Never fear the pair is here!” A bit dramatic one might say, but you all catch my drift. Socks are branded and decorated with unique patterns that allow them to stand out much more than their predecessors ever could! Granted, the fashion world has taken a 360 turn in terms of evolution and a pair of socks will never be the featured piece of clothing on ones attire but they can be very prominent. Whether it is low-cuts, mid-cuts, or long socks they all have an intricate purpose. I’ve seen longs socks with argyle patterns utilized with casual slacks and a polo tee, sounds unusual, but the way it was presented was anything but. I’ve seen a different array of bright base colored socks incorporated such as orange, lime greens, yellows, and highlight pinks! These colors are usually utilized in seasonal wear, but such tenacity deserves kudos! Bold is beautiful and any sock connoisseur can certainly tip there hat to that!
Aside from keeping our feet warm and dry from various weather conditions, it is safe to say that the under rated sock provides a unique and tasteful purpose to our everyday wear. There may be some of you who may not agree with this article 100% so allow me to ask you this…Can you go one day without them and feel comfortable? If the circumstances did not favor their usage could you truly see yourself going foot commando to work? A night out full of dancing? A workout full of leg wrenching exercises? Could you truly deal with the foot sweat seeping deep into your shoe soles and squishing every time you take a step? Even if you could…why would you? Socks are pivotal when it comes to foot care and it’s about time we realize that and reward our little saviors with a makeover! Summertime is trend season and I’m challenging the readers of this blog to make a bold statement this summer and burst out a pair of socks that will turn heads. Keep in mind I said turn heads not blind eyes…although vibrant colors are different try keeping that color volume down a bit, we don’t want your fashion statement to be too loud. Perhaps it’s a pattern you want to implement or a certain length of sock that gets your message across. Maybe it’s a specific fabric that gets peoples juices flowing (Wool socks with jeans? Well played sir…). Whatever the case may be make sure it’s a reflection of self; if you do not feel comfortable with a design or color don’t force it! Don’t sacrifice your comfortability for fashion! There’s nothing more awkward than an uncomfortable man in uncomfortable clothing. However, if the fabrics are easy on the skin than by all means maximize your sock’s potential. If you can utilize socks as a driving force behind your outfits there is no dragon you cannot slay! Your feet deserve better and it’s high time you turn those pair of Clark Kents into the pair of Supermen they truly are! After all they do sweep you off your feet everyday and that kind of heroism deserves kudos! And remember gentlemen, keep it poised…keep it professional…keep it perfect.