Love it or hate it, socks and sandals can be a dividing issue! We here at JFS, believe that it's each to their own and support anything (we mean anything *legal) you want to do with our socks.
The socks and sandals debate has even reached the fashion echelons of Vogue, as outlined in an article by LIANA SATENSTEIN in Janurary (2018).
"In the realm of men’s fashion, there are some trends that are so cringe-inducing that they become grossly sexy, like shirts unbuttoned to the navel to reveal male cleavage or toothpick-thin mustaches. These so-bad-they’re-good looks are an acquired taste, much like chopped liver or gefilte fish. You might hate them at first, but after some time, you learn to love them.
The same can’t necessarily be said of the long detested socks-and-sandals combination. Instead of a guilty pleasure like V-necks or Burt Reynolds’s thick facial hair, the look is more associated with bros (perhaps itching to get their feet out of sweaty sneakers) and botany enthusiasts. Look up the phrase “socks and sandals” and sadanduseless.com, which is branded as “the most depressive humor site on the Internet,” pops up and shows a whole page titled “The Absolute Worst Pictures of Men in Socks and Sandals.” Those images are a special brand of heinous and include plaid tabi socks with athletic sandals (oy vey!) and a close-up shot of toe socks.
But like many other bad trends before it, socks and sandals have seen quite the comeback at the Fall 2018 men’s shows. Lucien Pellat Finet showed off pool slides and shin-length tube socks. Maison Kitsuné featured Teva-style sandals and gray socks, as did Kolor—its strappy sandals had fur! The most gag-worthy example unsurprisingly appeared at Vetements. The label showed burgundy slides with white socks so thin they defined each wiggling toe. As for off the runway, one brave showgoer put the look to the test in Paris, wearing pool slides and socks on the street.
All things considered, is the combo all that bad? Real-world hunks Justin Bieber and David Beckham were spotted in socks and sandals back in August and September. (Bieber hit up his church in blue socks and Givenchy sandals, while Beckham wore white athletic socks and snazzy red Adidas pool slides.) Vogue Senior Fashion News Writer Janelle Okwodu had a measured take: “I don’t hate it. It reminds me of my dad and other suburban dads. The trend belongs to them.” Noted—and sweet! Style Editor Edward Barsamian, however, is not a fan. “I know menswear editors will have my head, as it seems that Tevas and nubby socks are the stuff of their dreams, but in practical terms, it’s not such an elegant look,” he said. “Personally, I think the gents should ditch the look altogether, focus on getting a great pedicure, and invest in a sick pair of sneakers.”
Also favoring shoes is Living Editor Ella Riley-Adams, who said, “I think men should avoid sandals completely unless at the beach, and even then, a good sneaker should still do the trick,” but added, “I don’t mind a smart wool sock with a sandal, if it seems to fit a guy’s overall aesthetic. It has to be thoughtful.” The idea seems intrinsically dorky. I asked a male friend who works at a tech company about socks and sandals in his office. (According to him, one culprit “has a ponytail” and “pens in his T-shirt pocket.”) But he also waxed poetic with the following: “Chacos with socks is kind of cyberpunk, owing to the Vibram sole.” Not a bad point, as Vibram may be making a toe-tastic comeback.
It turns out, the look is indeed doable, even weirdly intriguing. But like Riley-Adams said, it takes commitment, and a whole lot of self-confidence is needed to pull off the look. (See the sleazy guy go-to, the über-pointy-toe shoe. In other words: Go for it, but make sure those white gym socks were washed in the hot cycle."