The Rules: Socks and Summer

A matter that has caused me much pondering is the matter of what to do about socks during the summer. To use them, skip them, or try to stealth them? There are varying opinions on this issue, as can be seen by doing a little field work among actual live specimens. Don’t bother too much with the ladies though, they tend to carry these things off with more ease than men. I mustl warn you though, you may see sights that can’t be unseen.

Please also note that the following images were captured under controlled conditions using a stunt model with no regard for personal style and quite likely issues of low self-esteem. Kids, please consult a responsible adult if you still feel confused after reading this post.

A few typical wearers to be considered as case studies:

The scoutmaster

The scoutmaster

The scoutmaster – will combine knee-length trousers with knee-high socks, preferably shorts with plenty of pockets and socks with a high content of wool. The scoutmaster is a practical person, but enjoys the airflow provided by shorts.

For starters, socks that are too tall make no difference when they are hidden inside your trouser leg. No issues there, if you like the compressive or itchy feel all the way up your calf, enjoy it, but keep it out of sight. And replacing the trouser leg with a sock is hardly letting those pale legs of yours gather vital D-vitamins and enjoy the therapeutic solar rays.

The financial advisor

The financial advisor

The financial advisor – will combine suit trousers with fancy shoes, but rolls up the trousers legs to display the cheeky style statement of no socks. The financial adviser is all about the flash, and feels that flashing pale ankles is a daring fashion statement.

Secondly, ditching socks to display a pale piece of man-flesh between your rolled up suit pants and fancy shoes may seem like a sophisticated fashion statement in your own head, but the reality of the matter is more nauseating. Maybe if you were swarthy, handsome central-European chap with model-looks, a Maserati and a genuine sense of style, but with a cheap suit, a corpse-like skin hue and overtly tacky shoes, it’s not working for you. I’m not sure why this gets to me so much, it could be the ankles, or it could be those sweaty, sticky feet in the leather shoes.

The teenager

The teenager

The teen – will rock cut off shorts with Converse, for that alternative and edgy cool. For the sake of comfort and foot hygiene they tend to wear cute little ankle socks.

Finally, the business of wearing the “almost can’t see them” type of stealthy socks. In some ways I do applaud them, as they must add a little comfort and they do provide a washable barrier for sweat and so forth. The tiny little clapping of hands I can offer slows to a single clap when I actually cast eyes on them in use though. The thing about them being “almost invisible” is that they’re not at all invisible, and they look absolutely terrible. They will totally neutralise any effort that has been put into the rest of the outfit. “Hey, I’m a devil may care rockin’ dude, but I do care about not getting sweaty feet”. If you’re going to do it, do it right, and ditch the socks.

This works, right?

This works, right?

These three cases all provide valid input for working out some guidelines on the matter. I say “guidelines”, but that sounds like there is some scope for interpretation, which there isn’t, so let’s just call them “rules” from the outset. No wiggle-room here, this is what goes, gents.

Or, and this is a controversial one, if you’re going to wear socks after all (valid reasons: not getting blisters or not wanting to sweat out some decent shoes) then wear regular socks and crumple them up round your ankles a bit. That is the #dadcore way and if you make the hashtag sign when you explain this to a hateful fashion critic they must accept it.

So, the rules I have come up with are simple and concise:

  1. If you are wearing shorts, you don’t wear socks.
  2. If you are wearing full trousers, you will wear socks.
  3. If you are wearing sandals, you will not wear socks, regardless of shorts or full trousers.

I belive this should work for all permutations, be easy enough to remember, and actually improve the general aesthetics for us menfolk. In addition, isn’t it great to have some nice and simple rules to help out?

This is how I chose to wear sandals:

sandals no socks

And this is how I chose to wear shoes:

shoes no socks


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