Who tells you what not to wear?
A friend recently Facebook-posted the above picture of a guy in white socks and sandals, commenting, “This is one of the WORST fashion faux pas…..THAT and not matching your socks to your pants. Please men, listen to the ladies…..this is NOT acceptable……EVER!”
Now, I don’t wear socks with sandals – it seems like sandals are for when you want to air out the feet, and socks would defeat the purpose.
But nobody is going to make my life more complex by trying to make me feel bad for wearing black socks with my black shoes, instead of matching my pants. Who in the heck makes these rules, and who actually thinks it’s their role to pass them along as pronouncements from on high?
I have my sock drawer down to two basic kinds of socks now – black dress socks and white athletic socks. I only wear black dress shoes, and white goes with my casual tennis shoes. That’s all. The frustration of matching socks is gone from my life, and I don’t miss it.
Please understand, I’m not a fashion anarchist. There are certain rules that even a freedom-loving man such as myself must abide by. No more than one plaid or striped garment at a time. Umm, that’s the only one I can think of. I’d offer friendly advice to women not to wear empire waists, unless you’re okay with being quizzed about due dates, but it’s really none of my business. I really don’t check the calendar when I see women in white shoes.
I’ve made it past 50, and I’ve achieved a fair amount of professional success in a few career fields that require the approval of other people. Until my friend launched her capital-letter-laced attack on socks not matching pants, I had never even heard that made-up rule. Who knows how many similar temperaments have judged me as somehow lacking in social graces because my socks failed to match my pants?
And that’s it in a nutshell. By all means, I encourage people to embrace whatever fashions trip their triggers, but only in a positive sense. If the fashion authorities decide that pastels are in this year, and you want to wear them, then have fun with it. Go for it!
But if the fashion authorities decide that only losers wear brown, or that one must never wear gold jewelry during months that end in “y”, screw ‘em. Fashion is fine when it’s positive, but people who use it proscriptively can pretty much kiss my foot (with or without black sock). If I someday decide that it would be fun to spend a bunch of money on socks that match my dress pants, I’ll knock myself out doing so, but I cannot imagine what would possess me to look down my nose at someone who doesn’t share my odd quirk.
I read a quotation about tattoos that negative fashionistas might want to bear in mind – “The only difference between a tattooed person and a person who isn’t tattooed is that a tattooed person doesn’t care if you’re tattooed or not.” If you are truly upset when you see socks of the “wrong” color, or even socks with sandals, please hold fast to your opinions. People like you amuse the rest of us.