There are certain trends that take a hold of the male population which fly in the face of good taste (deliberately exposed underwear, anyone?).
And then there are others that, while totally innocuous, just go against all seasonal common sense. Like forgoing socks in the middle of winter.
It's a trend that I am willing to own up to succumbing to. I have even been known to roll the hem of my pants up ever so slightly to expose my bare-naked ankle like some kind of Victorian-era Chippendale.
In my defence, . I also live in a city that doesn't often break into a serious chill. Plus this is probably one of the least offensive style decisions that I (and most fellow non-sock wearers) have indulged in.
But, admittedly, it does look a little odd when you see someone rolling up the cuff of their pants for the sake of style, yet have swaddled their top half to the point of being confused for an Antarctic explorer.
What’s the appeal?
Ultimately, it’s about the shoe. Dropping the sock and hitching the trouser-leg up a tiny bit draws attention to your footwear - which, if you’re anything like me, you may have a small fetish for and possess a collection Imelda Marcos would envy.
Removing the visual buffer of a sock can also help give the illusion of a slightly longer leg, with the flash of flesh breaking up the continuation of pants-to-shoe that socks provide.
And while it may not be a look that appeals to everyone, that I find rather appealing, and a nice break from my normal day-to-day sock-wearing outfits.
Like most things style-related, however, there are several dos and don’ts to follow in order to become a successful card-carrying member of the Sans Sock Club.
Dos and don'ts
DO invest in invisible socks. Most guys who look like they’ve rid themselves of this particular accessory are actually fooling you. Kind of like false teeth for feet, these sit below the shoe-line and are the best weapon you have in keeping your feet from smelling like they’ve been dipped in the Bog of Eternal Stench after a few days.
There are some styles of shoe, however, that are cut too low for such cunning (such as loafers and drivers). The best thing I would recommend in this case is to invest in a decent talc to help prevent a miniature swamp of sweat building up in your shoe. Try Penhaligon’s citrus-scented classic, Blenheim Bouquet, available online at.
DON’T roll your pants up too high. There’s nothing appealing about a shin. All that’s needed (if it’s needed at all) is two to three rolls max to tighten the end so that it sits nicely just on the ankle and above the line of the shoe.
DO acknowledge that it may be a touch too cold to follow the crowd. I recently saw someone who had not only decided on wearing a woven sandal during what could be described as a near-blizzard, but had shortened his jeans so that they finished halfway up the knee - only to then have himself decked out in three layers, a scarf and a beanie.
Sometimes, it’s just best to admit defeat and dress according to the weather.
DON’T wear the same shoes day after day. You wouldn’t wear the same business shirt more than once without washing it, and your feet tend to sweat far more than your armpits. Rotating your shoes, with or without socks, gives your footwear a chance to breathe and helps prevent them from stinking up in the long run. And for goodness sake, .
Here's the rub
Lastly, if you intend on wearing leather shoes like a derby or loafer, prepare for the possibility of blisters. Shoes rub. This can, and will, break the skin, causing a bloody mess to appear around your ankles.
Invisible adhesives such as Band-Aid Blister Aids or Compeed Blister plasters are nigh on unbreakable, water-proof and cushion the back of your foot from any potential irritation from your shoe, preventing your heel from looking like it just wrapped up a day working as an extra on the set of True Blood.
What do you think of the sock-free trend?