Let’s Talk About Socks, Baby
Dear Amy –
I have plantar fasciitis and have to wear really supportive shoes, so fashion is not always on my side to begin with. I have these shoes, which really look a bit less frumpy on than they do in that picture. My problem is socks. When I wear these shoes with black pants, I obviously wear black socks and all is well. But sometimes I like to wear these shoes with my blue jeans, and then I can never quite figure out the sock thing. My options, as I see them:
1. Do not wear these shoes with blue jeans.
2. Wear white socks and look like a big nerd.
3. Wear socks that match my shirt and look like I did back in high school when we all wore Keds and cuffed our jeans.
4. Write Amalah and ask her advice.
Please help! Many thanks!
Let me tell you one of my favorite Audrey Hepburn stories. It is about socks. Yes. For the iconic dance scene in Funny Face — you know, the one that Gap later ganked for their commercials — Audrey wore a black turtleneck, black skinny pants, black shoes, and…white socks.
She did not want to wear the white socks, and actually was reduced to tears over the white socks. She was afraid the white socks would “break the line” of her dance silhouette (although sometimes I wonder if she was afraid of just looking like too big of a dork). The director insisted, knowing her movements would be lost in an all-black costume, and Audrey later sent him a note saying, “You were right about the socks.”
So while this is not meant to say that white socks with black shoes are what everyone will be wearing this season, I am saying that I don’t think it’s THAT terrible of a look. Not at all, really. Provided, of course, we’re talking about nice white ankle socks and not thick, pilly sport socks, and I wouldn’t try to pull it off while wearing a jingle-bell Christmas sweater or something. But pair your shoes with skinny or cigarette-style jeans and a nice black top, and not only are you NOT a nerd, you’re ready to go dance the night away with some beatniks.
Other options for mary-janes with jeans would be…black socks, as I suppose I’m missing your reason for not wearing them with jeans? And also I’m going to display my ignorance of plantar fasciitis and suggest those little half-sock ped things, which are invisible under most shoes but might not be an option for your feet. But if you think the Danskos are comfortable enough for something other than a full sock, try them.
And then there are patterned socks and tights and knee-highs. And no, I’m not talking about doofy Christmas socks (although I do own some Christmas socks, and I honestly have no idea where they came from. My mom? A drunken shopping trip and declarations of irony?) — I’m thinking striped socks or a bold argyle pattern or some funky hand-knitted ones. Check out SockArmy.com and Sock-Dreams.com — both sites totally make me want to make socks the centerpiece of my outfits instead of trying to hide them under boots and pant hems. If your socks are going to be visible, make them awesome! Make a statement! My socks have skulls-and-crossbones on them, so step off before I kick your shins with my sensible shoes, suckah.