Socks and Sandals

Some warm weather has finally arrived and with it a dilemma I have to wrestle with every year: should I wear socks with my sandals?

Let’s line up the case against, as this is this is what we hear most. It is uttered so many times and for so many years it hardly needs repeating:

  • Wearing socks with sandals is a fashion no-no. Jean-Paul whatsisname, the bloke who invented Madonna’s conical bra (I wish I’d thought of that), would never wear socks with sandals.
  • Men –  and this rule only seems to apply to men – who wear socks with sandals probably wear socks when they make love, and this is the unsexiest thing a man could possibly do.
  • The whole point of sandals is to allow the fresh Summer breezes access to one’s feet. Feet that have only known darkness throughout the long Winter months can now say hello to blue sky and sunshine.
  • Summer sock-wearers probably have smelly feet or worse, suffer from athlete’s foot (not to confused with Athlete’s Foot, the famous French sports shoe chain).

The case against seems fairly damming. It will take a brave man to do something as counter-cultural as the socks-and-sandals combination.  But where would a man be without courage? So let’s set up the case for:

  • Socks are comfortable. They act as a shoe lining while still allowing air to the foot.
  • Sweat soaks into the sock, not the shoe, so by replacing the lining, the shoe becomes healthier and less smelly.
  • It’s cool to rebel.
  • Sandals without socks is a cliché and, I’m speaking as an artist here, avoiding cliché is a duty.
  • Richard E. Grant. This is an actor and professional celebrity who pops up everywhere. He listed socks-and-sandals as one of his Room 101 items. He was interviewed in the Jubilee River Pageant.  Watching him use an iPad to recite Wordsworth’s Westminster Bridge must have made every thinking man want to wear socks and sandals for the rest of his life.
  • Socks and sandals really pisses of fashion people. They hate rebellion. So wearing those socks in Summer is a kind of revenge on people for over-using words such as iconic and fashionista.

So there you have. It’s a toughie. And I’d appreciate any advice on the matter.


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