There are plenty of unknowns in today’s world, but one thing is certain: Not many people are wearing “real” clothes anymore. And they certainly aren’t wearing any of the dressed-up, tailoring-focused garments that prevailed on the fall ’20 runways back in February (remember full-look leather?).
But there is one fashion trend from those runways that has managed to make its way to the new era of getting dressed — and even fit in comfortably.
That would be the white tube sock.
Back in February, the white sock started to make some cameos on the runways. First there was Gucci’s youth-obsessed collection, which showed models in dresses that literally looked like children’s clothes. White socks featuring pointelle knits and subtle logos were paired with loafers and some knee boots even featured a trompe l’oeil white sock. At MSGM, they were paired with platform patent-leather Mary Janes.
In recent weeks, as the days have grown cooler, they’ve also become a vehicle for parlaying sandals to a new season. A look at the hashtag #SocksAndStocks shows photo after photo of socks with Birkenstocks, while fashion influencers have been playing around with white ankle styles for months throughout quarantine. Even this week during Milan Fashion Week, Fendi showed socks and sandals, hinting at yet another era of the “ugly” sandal and its cozy leg wear companion.
But the white crew sock trend is not just relegated to luxury brand logo knits from the runways. In fact, it’s best executed with a more democratic option, like Nike’s $18 three-pack. With a classic rib knit style, the black swoosh has become a un-ironic message for the ankle, paired with everything from the sneaker (totally expected) to a Mary Jane pump (subversive — and part of the current “baby doll” shoe trend).
At its heart, the trend is pure normcore, especially when paired with this summer’s “It” sneaker, the gray or (dirty) white New Balance. Model and street style star Kaia Gerber has been perhaps the sneaker’s biggest fashion ambassador. With her recent tendency to pair them with scrunchy white socks, the accessory is likely to get an even bigger boost.
Shop White Socks — and the Shoes to Wear With Them
To buy: Repetto Rose Mary Jane, $375.
To buy: Wolford Dylan socks, $33.
To buy: Gucci Horsebit lugsole loafer, $980.