Something strange and unexpected has happened to me.
I’ve become sock-obsessed.
I think very carefully about which socks to wear with each outfit. I struggle to get my top dresser drawer closed, because it is overflowing with socks. I impulse buy socks when I see a particularly attractive pair. I’m excited if I get socks for my birthday or Christmas.
And I don’t want boring ones. I want plaid socks, argyle socks, striped socks, and brightly colored socks. I wear basic black or grey or brown if the occasion is serious or somber.
But otherwise, as Nathan Lane put it in The Birdcage, “One wants a hint of color.”
Only I want more than a hint. I want my ankles to light up the room when I sit down. I want people to think, “Damn! That dude’s socks perfectly match his shirt!”
Partially, I think this is due to the sock trend that has developed over the past five or six years. Nike developed those Elites — socks engineered to provide extra cushion and arch support for athletes. (Indeed, I’ve begun wearing them at my retail gig, since the floor is unforgiving concrete.)
Because it’s Nike, Elites are made in lots of outrageous colors and patterns. That made socks fashionable even for people who don’t usually care about such things.
And girls mismatch their socks on purpose now. The idea is to make a fashion statement by wearing socks that don’t match but do coordinate (the ultimate solution to losing socks in the drier). Indeed, girls’ socks are even sold in odd numbers.
So culturally, socks are a thing now. They’ve replaced ties as the quintessential signature on an amazing outfit.
And perhaps as a result, I’ve become sock-obsessed. My socks are no longer the foundation of my outfit; they are the piece de resistance — the crowning jewel on a carefully selected ensemble.
So if you run into me out in the world, make sure you have a look at my ankles. A lot of thought went into that space between my pants leg and my shoe.
I’m socking it to the world!