The XX Factor

No Socks, No Problems

The latest from our intrepid female colleague divulges why going sockless is a must (and how it could impact other, shall we say, more interesting aspects of your life).
Photo: Rose Callahan

Let those ankles breathe, baby.

The on-going series in which our Women’s Editorial Director, Tracey Lomrantz Lester, tackles the finer points of men’s style with a female twist.

Sockless season is nearly upon us, gents, and there’s at least one decent reason to consider ditching your thoughtfully mismatched argyles as temperatures rise: Chicks dig it.

As Thom Browne—patron saint of exposed ankles—once said, a bit of bare leg is the equivalent of male cleavage, and you better believe we’re having as much trouble avoiding covert glances as you guys usually do.

I know what you’re thinking. Really!? My pale, bony ankles excite you? The answer is a resounding heck yes, because an otherwise-turned-out guy who’s willing to cut loose below the knees might also be game for a hot romp on the kitchen table or in the dunes after dark. When done right, it also conveys a particular air of “fuck it” confidence that we find endlessly alluring. That whole done right part, though, is kinda crucial. Herewith, my prescription:

1.     Choose the right shoes. Sperry Topsiders? Duh. Your suede Ferragamo monk-straps? Not so fast. Jack Purcells? Of course. Your brand new Alden wingtips? Mm, not so much. Here’s your rule of thumb: Would you feel stupid running in the grass in these shoes? If the answer is yes, pass.

2.     Choose the right occasion. Just scored an invite to lounge on Cavalli’s yacht in Cannes? Leave your Gold Toes at the gangplank. Third round of interviews for a job you really want? That’s no time for sartorial non-conformism.  The more casual the event, the better suited to socklessness.

3.     Mind your manners. It may go without saying, but I’ll say it: Use baby powder.Don’t wear the same pair two days in a row. And send your shoes straight to the freezer at the slightest warning of odor. [Ed. note: Peds, a.k.a. mocc socks, are another great way to ward off any olfactory issues.] Because if this whole sockless thing works out like I think it will, you may soon be removing your shoes—and some other choice wardrobe items—and freshness is unconditionally requisite.



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