Pick up the phone, call your dad, call your grandad, call your uncle. Call them and apologize for all the years of shame you put them through for wearing the once deadly combo: socks with sandals.
You’ve probably seen it in all its varieties — socks with those brown, grandpa sandals, socks with Birkenstocks (this is NYU, so you may even be wearing them right now), socks with heeled sandals, and the most extreme, thou which shall not be named. But that’s just what I call it, you probably know them as Nike socks with slides.
Believe it or not, this trend is seriously making a mark in the fashion industry. We saw them first on the runways of menswear collections during the surge of normcore, steadily, they have entered the realm of womenswear and now they are making a home in campaigns and ads of fast-fashion retailers like Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, Free People and American Apparel.
Fashion is perceived to have this set system of rules, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. If there was an understood list of fashion faux pas, socks with sandals would surely top the list; however, change is taking place.
People have taken a usually ostracized duo and sprinkled it with stardust to bring it into the present. The result has often been pretty close to magic. For example, pairing glittery or shimmery tights with the right high heeled sandal is a great way to not only wear your favorite summer sandals in winter, but to also add more wonder to your look. The fashion blog Man Repeller also endorses this trend, loving the idea of pairing funky, intricate socks with statement heels to solidify a daring look.
This all isn’t to say that any sock and sandal combination is an automatic look. What usually compromises the potential of a socks and sandals attempt is sock choice; a pair of high rise Nike socks may not be the best complement to your pink, metallic strappy sandals in the same way that no-show socks can find a better match than your worn in Birkenstocks. Basically, socks with sandals isn’t altogether amazing nor altogether unforgivable; the success of it exists on a spectrum and is largely dependent on styling.
Ultimately, the grandpa style of footwear, no matter how hard we try to resist it, has inspired a fresh take on the socks and sandals fusion. Speaking of your old man, are you still on the line with him? If so, tell him his style is pretty cool after all.
Kaylee Warren is a staff writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.