Rare are the opportunities for me to participate in my sons' sartorial choices -- or, for that matter, in my daughter's. I do not have an "eye." I can't throw together incongruous items from my closet to create a stunning ensemble. And I missed the memo on how to properly accessorize. Truthfully, I can't even claim a signature style, though I'd like to think that I've improved my fashion sense over time.
So it was with a mixture of excitement and trepidation that I accompanied my two youngest sons to shop for enough office attire to tide them over until they could afford their own. One was starting his first grownup job in
But once we finished purchasing the blindingly bright-colored shirts and the slim-fit slacks, the good leather belts and the plain black slip-ons, their interest fell on what I would consider the most pedestrian of all frills: socks. My boys, 23 and 21, are into hosiery, the flashy, sassy kind. Tangerine orange and pistachio green and lemon yellow. Striped and cubed and plaid. Chevroned and squiggly-lined. With tiny beer mugs and Marvel comic super heroes. With works of art and motivational logos.
It was hard to reconcile these young men to the boys who, not so long ago, wore only black Nike socks. I bought those by the dozens for my four sons.
I was reminded of that shopping experience just this week when I heard on the news that
Socks, I come to find out, are the new ties. In offices where everyone pretty much dresses the same, hosiery is how you stand out, how you express yourself. Today's statement socks don't come cheap, though. While the Wades range from a reasonable
Socks are so popular, such a must-have item for the urban male that some industry professionals point to men's footsies as the economic engine behind the boom in men's fashions. Sock sales grew by 2 percent in the past year, outperforming other apparel sectors. Analysts with the market research firm NPD Groups calls this trend "a move from commodity to fashion piece."
Well, OK, I get it. Socks as foot garments. Socks as accessories. Socks as lingerie and bling. But just one question, please:
Does that mean the new fashion faves will remain forever paired, never to mysteriously disappear in the wash?