Why are men casting their socks aside, and what does it mean for modern menswear?
You don’t have to be a seasoned menswear professional to have noticed that as far as the bottom half is concerned, less is more. Men’s trousers are in the midst of their own swinging sixties micro miniskirt moment, shaking up the establishment on the way. Kind of.
The desired effect of raising leg lengths raised eyebrows everywhere last summer, when it became the staple look of the “wide boy” in Ibiza.
And men are hitching up their strides all year round now.
What does it mean for menswear? On a practical level, there are obvious drawbacks. Gently bronzing your ankles is all well and good during the height of summer, but an up close and personal meeting with winter’s worst weather is hardly desirable and something that your mother surely wouldn’t welcome (we’re taking her side on this one). Then there’s the whole socks or no socks debate. For the record, I’d take the potential emasculation of wearing dainty pop socks over sweat soaked soles any day.
For men’s style, hitched-up hems are significant in their implication. This seemingly small – yet doggedly persistent – act of change signposts a shift away from the assumption that men are devoted to practicality. And importantly – unlike many trends which live and die in the insular world of menswear – exposed ankles have been adopted by a hefty number of men, both here in Britain and the Balearics.
The unveiling of the ankle means that men cannot be roundly dismissed as creatures of habit, so terrified of change that they’re almost allergic to spending more than five minutes in a clothes shop.
But as trends “not be silenced” go, bared ankles have loudly asserted their intention to stick out for the foreseeable future. Viva la revolution.