I have been known on occasion to rant a little over fashion trends. And sometimes I’ve had to eat my words. Like the time in 2014 when I wrote that I would never, ever wear drawstring pants again. Then promptly fell in love with a pair, bought them, and had to admit that I should probably never say never. Same with jumpsuits, or boiler suits as everyone seems to be calling them now. Everyone except me. I still think of a “boiler suit” as a piece of apparel accessorized with a tool belt and a hard hat, but never mind that now.
Even though socks have become undoubtedly cool these days, wearing visible socks breaks one of my long-held fashion rules. Socks are to be seen in running shoes when I’m running, or in hiking boots on the trails, period, because visible socks with jeans or dress pants are frumpy. Since I grew out of my Mary-Janes and ankle-sock look when I was twelve, I’ve worn socks in boots, or with shoes if the pant fell so as to make them invisible. Otherwise it was bare ankles with cropped pants, or maybe pantyhose or opaque tights in cooler weather. I was decidedly judgy about socks. I had a rule, and I stuck to it. Until recently.
|In socks and loafers and a matching chair.
Until last week, in fact, when midwinter wardrobe fatigue sent me searching for inspiration, looking for some way to revive my passion for fashion that did not involve shopping. And maybe utilize some pieces that I haven’t worn enough this winter. I sat at my computer or on my exercise bike scrolling through Pinterest images, leafing through fashion magazines. And then while I was waiting for my computer to boot up the other morning, I looked up, and the answer to my problem was staring me in the face. In the very middle of my inspiration board, which is supposed to give me inspiration but which I seem to have been ignoring, were four small images of women in suits. One of them looking very sassy in socks. Huh. Socks.
|My inspiration board had the answer all along.
And when I started casting about on the net, I noticed that some of the very coolest “grown-up” women wear socks. Like Olivia Colman, below in an exquisite navy suit, with oxfords and socks. I saw this Vanity Fair
shot of Olivia on Alyson Walsh’s blog That’s Not My Age.
I can’t believe that I haven’t seen her in The Favourite
yet. Or Lynn Slater, the Accidental Icon
in socks and jeans and sneakers. Nobody can say she isn’t cool. And Canada’s own style icon, Melanie Kobayashi from Bag and a Beret
. Melanie is the coolest of the cool. And funny too. I love how those grey socks take the ornateness of her pants and coat down just a notch. Now, I don’t have the style savoir faire of these ladies, but I do have socks.
So. I dug out these navy socks and pulled them on with my Uniqlo navy cashmere turtleneck, my Rag and Bone plaid pants, and my Paul Green chunky loafers. I actually bought the navy sweater as an option to wear with these plaid pants. But I’ve been so busy wearing it with my jeans and boots, I haven’t tried them together. This outfit makes me happy. And as long as I don’t have to wade snow, or slush puddles, I could wear this look right now.
|Happy in my socks and loafers.
It’s worth noting, I think, that not all of the socks and shoes with cropped pants outfits I tried worked for me. I tried other socks; my navy striped socks with cropped jeans made me look a little like Ronald McDonald. Ha. I tried different shoes, ballet flats, for instance, and found that the look needs the chunkiness and thick soles of these loafers to look “right” to me.
|Just enough of a remix to satiate my appetite for change.
So, yeah, socks, it seems, are something I can do… now. With the right pants, and the right shoes, and the right socks, of course, I’m evolving. Breaking, albeit a little tentatively, my own long-held fashion rule. How cool is that?
I don’t think I’m ready for the socks with sandals trend just yet. Ha. If ever. That look still makes me chuckle, unless the socks are worn to be ironic, deliberately frumpy or slightly wrong-looking by someone who is a lot younger, and a lot quirkier, than me. In socks and sandals, I think I’d feel kind of like Geena Davis as Miriam in The Accidental Tourist. Remember Miriam? Flying frizzy hair, socks, high heels, and flapping vintage garments? She was gorgeous in that role.
But that’s a role that’s way too quirky for this former farm-girl who spent too long in the classroom to truly be a rule-breaker.
But the socks with pants thing, well, believe it or not, I’m coming around on that one. And trying this look that I said I’d never wear has allowed me to see some of the pieces in my closet in a new way. And solved my winter wardrobe fatigue problem at the same time.
|If the path is cleared, and I don’t have to wade snow, I’ll be off to the mall in this outfit.
Now, I may just throw on my Max Mara tweed coat with this get up and head to the mall. I’m thinking that a lovely new pair of plaid socks would look great with my black Stuart Weitzman loafers, black leggings (turned up to make them ankle length), and an untucked white shirt.
I may not be original enough, nor quirky enough when it comes to outfits, to qualify as a fashion icon. I’m too conservative for that. But I am usually game to try new things. Well, mostly game. Most of the time. Usually. Ha.
Hedging my bets there, aren’t I?
P.S. About those boiler suits. A couple of years ago I said I’d never, ever wear jumpsuits again. And I haven’t. But it’s not for lack of trying. I just can’t find one that fits.:)
How about you folks? Any midwinter wardrobe blues out your way? How are you coping?