Never underestimate the power of a good sock. Yes, really. Sometimes the answer to your fashion problems might be right under your nose….or the sole of your foot to be exact…
It might seem frivolous to be talking about the mundanity of socks, but there is method to my fashion madness. The simple sock has come a long way – from basic necessity to ambiguous accessory – and it deserves a moment.
What should a sock do? A good sock should provide comfort and warmth during winter. It should absorb liquid and smells and allow your foot to breathe. Despite doing all this work, you can get a pair of decent socks for as little as €1.50 in Penneys. On that note, there are plenty of designers who chance their arm selling high-end socks for €100 a pop – which is ludicrous no matter which way you look at it. Case in point below: embellished Gucci socks for €350 at Net-A-Porter. And no, they don’t cook you nice dinners or pay you compliments; they’re literally just socks. Your choice of hosiery should be ambitious, yes, but it shouldn’t make you go hungry for the rest of the month.
I found my favourite pair of socks last year on Aliexpress; so much so, in fact, that I would happily be buried wearing these socks. They were unconventional nylon-type clear things (clear ‘crystal’ socks were all the rage in 2016, remember?) and the ankle was covered in bright mango-coloured fried eggs. They weren’t completely functional as ‘socks’, per say, but for as little as €2, any dull outfit was instantly given a new lease of life. Eggcellent.
Love at first sock on Aliexpress.com
I paired my mango egg socks with tailored trousers from Topshop and white trainers from Reebok. They make a nice combo, right? I’ve since gone on to collect several more pairs of ‘crystal’ see-through socks, and various pairs of frilly socks that would also be totally acceptable to wear after you make your Holy Communion…
The fashion world has had a love/hate relationship with socks, and it has taken us a long time to get comfortable with the idea of socks as a fashion item, instead of just a mediocre accessory whose functionality is more important than its form. But with each passing season, we’re seeing more designers focusing on the modest sock as a source of inspiration and that perfect finishing touch to a look. We’re slowly adjusting to the idea that socks and sandals are a thing. And now you have pretty much any kind of motif you want printed on your socks; whether it’s embroidered flowers or a picture of Jesus giving two thumbs up.
Here’s a thought for you, before you buy your next five-pair of basic woollen grey socks, consider stepping outside your comfort zone. Instead, polka-dot it, zig-zag it, stripe it, and even fried-egg it. Take inspiration from some of my favourite ’16 and ’17 looks in the gallery above. And if bold accessories are your vibe, this Australian label will custom-make earrings to look just like you – passers-by won’t know whether to look at your face or your feet…!