Maybe Biggie, Andre 3000, and Juelz were on to something after all. Fashion doesn’t pause between the pants and shoes. It’s as valid today as it was close to 20 years ago, and truth be told, it was a rule of thumb for some time before then.
Those with the most distinguished of tastes seem to take pleasure in styling where many cease to go, ala Fonzworth Bentley. It’s like having a hot music single that only you’ve heard; then you let those around you hear a snippet, and they’re thirsty for more. Did I just hear what I thought I heard?
In the case of socks its, “Did I just see what I thought I saw?” Contrary to popular belief, the appeal of fashion has always been in the details, and the small things like accessories (see Watchin’ Out), particularly socks, are the gate keepers to this elite club.
Designer socks/fashion socks beg for a double take and get a noticeable nod of fashion respect from onlookers, when done correctly. You could only compare it to the reaction of wearing new Air Jordan’s before they came out in stores. We’re not talking retro’s as much as the originals. Today, those things would snap necks like Miley Cyrus twirking (is it good, is it bad, hard to decide, easy to watch).
There are many ways you can express your new-found respect for styling the old “dogs.” Brands such as Paul Smith, Ralph Lauren, Duchamp, and Ted Baker have carved out names for themselves in the world of fashion socks. So definitely look to a few brands like those when you want to “him ‘em with the flex.”
Now, with every step in the right direction (no pun intended), there are always some certified faux-pas or “keeping it real gone wrong moments.” Exhibit A, yes we all love Michael Jackson, but, let’s be clear, Michael is the only guy that could make white socks with dress shoes cool, clearly a right reserved for those that can light up the sidewalk or lean in gravity defying stances. Exhibit B, your socks shouldn’t have any holes, momma couldn’t be more correct about this one, few things will make a cool person look questionable faster than a hole in one’s socks. Last, but certainly not least, athletic socks should be for athletic shoes only, unless you’re over 50 and you’ve joined the socks with “mandals” club (see link), because nothing says I’m a dad and I don’t care how I look faster than that club. Dress socks are made to look thinner and may often have different fabric compositions that are made for wearing with dress shoes
Paul Smith is widely known for his use of bold colors and lateral lines. Ralph Lauren is known for his affinity toward argyles. Duchamp and the England companies create appeal with color patterns. While Ted Baker has a variety of styles. Fashion socks and their variety of styles are both fun and stylish. When assembling an outfit it’s good to have your dress socks compliment a color that may be in your pocket square and/or tie, just as your shoes should compliment your belt.
You can even go for the luxurious feel of cashmere if you really want to get “bossy.” Yes, designer socks totally challenge our familiarity with sock pricing; however, unless, you’re kicking rocks like Fred Flintstone, they are certainly durable and a worthwhile investment.
Typical retail prices can range from $9 to $35 per pair for dress socks, and upwards of $50 for cashmere. However, you can find them at discount retailers like TJ Maxx or Century 21, in addition to fine department stores like Nordstrom’s or Saks Fifth Avenue.
Try the designer/fashion socks experience for yourself and you will notice the difference from your classic black, navy, or brown toe stuffers. Fashionably yours, step your game up literally, and kick socks. U DEFINE SUCCESS