Socks! What started as items of clothing for your feet made of matted animal hair and leather, then took a journey that traversed hand-knitted style, machine-knitted versions, and socks that were made of nylon, silk, cotton, and obviously wool. They have also, over the years, transformed from being cold-weather staples to formal wear necessities for men to ugly Christmas sweaters for the feet to an almost fashion icon. Don’t believe me? Take a quick look at the fashion runways of the past two-three years and you will see what I am talking about.
From Gucci, Kenzo, and Prada, to name a few, internationally, to Hemant and Nandita, Pero by Aneeth Arora back home, today’s version of socks is at the forefront of fashion. Gone are the days of plain white socks that were held up by rubber bands. Today, there is a pair of socks for every occasion, a style and length to suit every need, and a way to declare all your opinions and choices through some fancy foot (wear) work. From sneakers to slides, socks have become cool with everything, if you style it right.
And the fashion industry has some lofty sock style icons matching their stated trend. For all those who haven’t seen it yet (and which rock have you been living under), my number one icon in the sock department and droolworthy politician category is Justin Trudeau. From red patterned socks paired with tan shoes with quirky blue laces to nerd-worthy Star Wars reppin’ mismatched socks depicting R2D2 and C3PO on May 4th, his sock game is envy inducing and crush invoking. Is it a wonder then that people are clamouring to get to Canada?
But political style icons aside, a major reason that socks have become a fashion mainstay, at least internationally, is because increasingly designers and design houses have begun to understand what a big opportunity these tiny items of clothing can be in terms of revenue; if you can afford a runway look at least you can claim to own Kenzo socks. It is the same logic as that applied to sunglasses or even perfumes. It is a matter of time then that Indian designers, who are increasingly looking at building design houses and launching collaborations, start focussing on items of clothing and accessories that may be cheaper but bring in more revenue.
But it’s not the runway socks that are on the fashion frontier. The novelty socks, the type Justin Trudeau wears, with its hopelessly geeky but uber cool chic vibe are also extremely popular and can be bought off the street. The fishnet stockings may have a less-than-classy appeal but the fishnet sock, now that is just the right kind of grunge; the sport socks are making a comeback, thanks to a generation obsessed with athleisure; and the disco sock is the right amount of glitter to wear to that cocktail do when you want to make a showstopping statement.
So, if the idea of a bright, statement-making sock has never been your idea of a fashion-forward trend, sorry my friend, it’s time to turn things on their feet. Because very soon, be as it may be, you may be the one committing sartorial sin for not wearing your sandals with a pair of eye-catching socks.