I don’t wear socks.
I lie. I do when I work out, or when its winter and we are travelling. I do not wear those fashion-statement printed socks that are so in vogue at the moment—coming from 168 or those wedding entourage boxes (another trend I have yet to wrap my head around).
“Sun’s out, ankles out,” said one fashion writer observing the sockless trend in Southern Europe or, well, all of Europe. Elsewhere, there was a lot of ankle exposure at the recent Emmy’s red carpet (which made sense for Joe Keery of Stranger Things because he had black velvet dinner slippers on). And last weekend at the ABS-CBN Ball, the always-stylish Jericho Rosales was rocking his pink jacket with black trousers look socks-free.
To be honest, I would take this naked-ankle look over people wearing white socks in their designer flip-flops and trainers in the mall—which can be quite disconcerting. Back in 8th century BC, the Greeks wore what is called “pilois,” or matted animal skins, the purpose of which was to protect the feet when wearing sandals. Sounds like things haven’t changed.
Despite socks, however, foot-related diseases have been on the rise, and sales of foot spray are quite robust. How do I know? I just saw a few guys buying foot talc and spray at the local Mercury in my hood. Granted, that’s a small sample, but hear me out: According to the Daily Mail, “Many shoes that are available on the high street today may have leather uppers but are lined in synthetic material, which is not breathable." That’s a quote from podiatrist Emma Stevenson. "If the lining is not breathable then moisture, heat and bacteria will all be trapped inside the shoe.”
If you can manage the kachichas factor, there isn’t anything wrong with going sockless. I think it’s practical and, honestly, one less thing to wash, or have to worry about in managing your color palette for the day.
I have been sockless for over 40 years. It came with the preppy look, the boat shoes and the khakis. On appropriate occasions, it lends a fresh touch and adds a youthful flavor to one’s look; when worn with a light jacket, going sockless dials down the formality of things. It’s an all-day look, except when you’re attending a charity gala or something that requires you to wear a barong. The kinds of shoes you can wear with this look vary (although the quintessential sockless moc is the Gucci loafer), but what will make a difference are the trousers. Keep them slim, and slightly shorter—the hem should graze the ankle—to show that you have opted for the look by choice, and not only because the laundry didn’t arrive.
But do consider the issue of hygiene: If you know you sweat buckets, use a foot anti-perspirant, or foot powder. Have a regular foot spa, or scrub. The new look requires mankle exposure, so your mankle should look good enough for show.
If you want to adopt this look but still need something to come between you and your footwear, there are always those no-see socks sold in stores (warning: if you wear no-sees make sure they are no-sees!). But why bother? Ditch the socks, powder your toes, and let your feet go commando.