Going Sockless: Essentials
As the weather allows it and sunny days become more frequent, so does the amount of exposed ankles cruising the streets: boat shoes, espadrilles, loafers and even wingtips can’t seem to avoid bare feet in all their naked glory once the temperature rises. Lets face it: there’s more about going sockless than its unique visual appeal, it’s a statement, and one that apparently is here to stay…
However, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies in “no socks land” as there are a couple of downsides to be taken into account, especially when it comes to preserving your precious footwear. Walking around sans socks for a whole day puts a great deal of stress on your shoes, since they absorb your sweat which besides attracting odor-causing bacteria also degrades those sweet looking uppers. Hence, in order to minimize these potentially harmful side effects while maintaining the stylish component, you have two choices:
a) You open heartedly embrace your sock-free nature and should invest in cedar shoe trees along with a shoe deodorant and/or bacteria-free insoles. Make sure you leave the shoe trees in for at least 24h and rotate your footwear so you don’t wear the same pair twice in a row (this goes for a general rule of thumb);
b) You go proactive and purchase the so called “invisible” socks, allowing you to create the illusion of going sockless while preserving the life span of your shoes;
While I must say invisible socks do it for me, feel free to go either way. Also, and even if you’d rather sport colorful ankles than bare ones, do consider investing in shoe trees, I can’t stress it enough…
Men should have a few footwear alternative in their wardrobes. If you give it some thought, there aren’t that many (trully) essential shoe models one must own. Without getting too comprehensive on that matter (it’s been covered here), I’ve been feeling an urge to go on about one in particular: the Loafer.
The reason? I believe it to be the most misinterpreted of the pack: I’m growing tired of the ill tailored suit/loafer combination: unfortunately, it seems that sporting a baggy suit with full break pants and the traditional black penny loafer, is the way to go for about 90% of the working male population whose job require them to suit up…Loafers are, in essence, casual footwear. Referred by many as the grown man sneaker, they have been around for ages, becoming a staple of men’s fashion especially for the preppy enthusiasts. Although they are indeed a step up from sneakers, allowing for a more put together ensemble, these are
usually not suit appropriate and are best paired with rolled up pants and no socks; in fact, they’re the perfect complement for the look.
However, as with everything in life there are exceptions to the “rule”, which, in this case, relate to the loafer itself, the suit and the environment you’re in. Although a suit usually calls for a more formal shoe such as an oxford, brogue or monk (one that covers your foot), pulling it off with loafers is doable.
If you’re going to try it, the first thing to take into account is the variety of models (penny, tasseled, etc) and leathers available, which grant them several degrees of “formality” within their casual spectrum. Following this, you’ll want to make sure your suit has that perfect slim silhouette and that your pants allow little to no break, whether you have them cuffed or not. Finally, consider where you’re going to wear it: casual settings allow you to go sockless, whereas working environments don’t.