As the saying goes, I felt the fear and did it anyway. No, I didn't climb Everest. Nor did I surf a 50 foot wave. My action was way more courageous.
Two days in a row, I wore socks with sandals out in public.
And not just any old socks and any old sandals. I went for the gusto, the full enchilada, the maximum shock.
Voila! Socks with sandals.
When I walked into my Tai Chi class in downtown Salem, rocking this combo on my feet, I shared my anxiety about committing a fashion faux pas, noting that I recognized that wearing socks with sandals was a highly contentious issue.
My classmates agreed. No one expressly told me that I was dressing like an ignorant fool, though I had the feeling that some people held this opinion.
Perhaps a bit (or a lot) defensively, I told them that I'd Googled the question of sandals with socks and was pleased to find a 2018 GQ article, "Wearing Socks With Sandals Is Cool Now."
Now, more than ever, the traditional rules of menswear exist mostly to be broken—and that feels especially true when it comes to footwear. This past year has produced too many wild sneakers to count, fancy new-wave sandals, streetwear-friendly Ugg boots,and fashion-goth clogs.
On top of that, one of the most cardinal style rules—never wearing socks with sandals—has been broken with zero regard by the likes of Kanye West, Justin Bieber, and Tyler, the Creator. And don’t let the fact that the weather is getting chillier by the day stop you from wearing your favorite cozy footwear.
Me and Kanye. Yeah, we're fashion brothers (sort of).
I liked how perfectly the light blue at the end of the socks matches some of the straps on the sandals. Clearly the universe intended that they go together, and I was an instrument of that cosmic destiny.
Once again I survived. I didn't hear peals of laughter following me, though my hearing isn't what it used to be.
Doing some additional Googling before I wrote this post, Wikipedia informed me that socks and sandals were being worn by Romans at least 2,000 years ago, and importantly:
Socks and sandals is a regular Pacific Northwest phenomenon. Seattle based insurance company PEMCO used the "Sandals & Socks Guy" character as part of a 2007 advertising campaign that portrayed this as a typically Pacific Northwest fashion. The Daily Dot highlighted "sandals and socks" as a term entered into a web search engine more often by Washingtonians than residents of any other state.
Here's a video of the PEMCO ad.
And here's an entertaining debate on this subject between some young people.
Guess I should mention that one of my motivations for wearing socks with sandals isn't warmth, but rather comfort. I've been wearing really comfortable soft wool shoes from Allbirds and Giesswein for so long, my feet aren't as pleased as they used to be with sandal straps. Socks make my feet happier.