This message is indirectly approved by George Bush. The former President of the United States of America participates in many things, and one of those happens to be sock culture. Bush has been photographed wearing a colorful array of socks, from ones embellished with rubber ducks, to a pair with his own face on them. Through the former President’s feet, a bold new trend is seen: socks.
Sock sales grew by 2% into a $5.6 billion industry in a year by August 2014, outpacing growth in the $206.7 billion global apparel market, according to market research firm NPD Group. The graphic sock trend is taking over, and crazier and crazier socks are being sported on the feet of Paly students everyday.
Junior Tessa Barry is an avid sock collector and outspoken proponent of fabulous foot fashion. She feels that socks, in addition to being functional as foot warmers, make one’s outfit more appealing and fun. Socks have become an increasingly overwhelming part of Barry’s closet aesthetic.
“I probably have more socks than I have pants and shirts combined,” Barry says.
Junior Alex Rose shares Barry’s views on the aesthetic appeal of socks, and also owns a large quantity of socks.
“[I started wearing graphic socks] probably freshman year,” Rose says. “I went to Urban Outfitters and they had really cool socks and I was like ‘oh those are cool’ and then I started wearing them and then people were like ‘oh those are cool socks.’”
To Rose, socks are a fun way to express the parts of his personality that conventional clothing cannot..
“I feel like more people get to know me, the crazier people get to see I am,” Rose says, “and I feel like my socks kind of represent that part of me.”
Rose reports that he wears “weird” socks everyday. Barry reports wearing them at least three times a week. Both Rose and Barry stress the importance of sock randomization.
“The more random the better,” Rose says. “If your socks have no correlation with any part of your outfit, then theyre gonna stand out more and then people will notice them and the silly effect that comes with most of them will be more prominent.”
While Rose always wears bright socks to stand out, Barry has a different strategy.
“My socks haven’t matched in three years,” Barry says.
But where did the sock trend come from? Rose has some ideas.
“Hipsters,” Rose says. “There’s kind of this style going on where people like to wear a lot of print … and if everyone likes to wear crazy print shirts, why wouldn’t they want to wear crazy print socks.”
Although the graphic print trend is apparent at Paly on conventional clothes, it has yet to take over the sock style. Rose feels that more people should be joining in and allowing this trend to reach their feet.
“I think more people need to start buying cool socks,” Rose says. “I do feel like they are an interesting way to start conversation and I also feel like they add a lot of color to peoples outfits.I mean not that I care what other people wear, but I do think it would be cool if more people were wearing these kinds of socks.”
And what of the future of socks? The two foot fashionistas both have high dreams for the sock world.
“I don’t think socks are gonna take over the world but I definitely feel like the addition of print socks is gonna be getting larger throughout the years,” Rose says. “I mean companies are starting to realize how much money they are making off these socks.”
According to Barry, three big parts of participating in the crazy sock trend are creativity, enthusiasm, and an absence of shame.
“I love socks more than food,” Barry says. “I would save my socks before saving a baby in a fire.”