Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Black and White Issue

Have you noticed, lately, that people in their 20s wear black socks with shorts? Some of them are "crew" length. Some are over-the-calf. Some are little short inside-the-shoe socks. But, in all cases, black socks seem to be the current thing.

Christopher and I were out to dinner last night with a friend of ours and we were seated near a window so we could watch everyone going by. And we got into a discussion of the black sock look.

When I was growing up, the standard socks you wore with tennis shoes were calf-length white socks with colored stripes near the top. Yes, these are the same ones you see in the bad 70s/80s flashback shows where people are wearing short satiny shorts. But that was the norm.

Black socks were the socks worn by people who forgot that they had gym that day. Or they were worn by German tourists - with sandals.

Then people started wearing white athletic socks of the kind that come just up to the bottom of your calves. Not over the calf, but they stuck out of your shoes by four or five inches. And those became the norm.

Black socks, meanwhile, started to take a back seat to argyle or striped or polka-dot socks. But, still, they weren't for wearing with shorts.

Now, it seems that if you're going to wear white socks when you're wearing shorts they are often the kind that are barely ankle high and are only barely visible above top of your shoes.

I have been informed - not-so-subtly - that white socks that rise above the ankle are now "old guy" socks. And that I may need to invest in more short socks that don't rise above the tops of my shoes.

Either that, or some black athletic socks that come up to - or over - my calves.

Maybe it's not such a black-and-white issue after all.

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