June 25, 2012

A few days ago I saw a man on a television news show wearing a nice suit, hard sole leather shoes and no socks.

“Look at that,” I said to the wife. “He must be single and ran out of laundry. Bet he’ll kick himself all the way home for going on television with no socks. His mother is probably leaving him a voicemail right now.”

Then I came across a picture on a website of an executive wearing a nice suit and expensive shoes and no socks. Two men in two days out of clean socks. What are the chances?

Then I saw an advertisement with a man posing by a motorcycle. He was wearing skinny dark pants, a light blue shirt, dark tie, dark suit jacket and sleek leather dress shoes with no socks. How could this many men be out of clean socks?

Turns out none of them were out of socks. Going sockless is the next big thing for men - hard sole leather dress shoes sans socks.

That’s right, men, show us your big hairy ankles. Women will go for this. Or they also might say, “Ick. That’s disgusting.”

Someone has said it is the new fashion statement for rich men. The new rich man won’t tell you he is rich, he just doesn’t wear socks with his $2,300 Italian leather dress shoes.

Great idea, but no matter how rich you are, your feet still stink. Everybody’s feet stink, especially if you wear closed shoes without socks.

Let’s say you are out to dinner trying to impress a client by not wearing socks and your bare feet start to get all hot and sticky. The balls of your feet stick to the lining of the shoes. You shake the lining off inside your shoes but they stick again. Your feet feel gummy. You become obsessed with your sweaty feet and quietly slip off your shoes, but the lining of both shoes is stuck to the bottom of both feet. Not only is this embarrassing, a woman at the table next to you shrieks, “What smells?”

Wearing nice dress shoes without socks is on a par with mannyhose. It will be a fashion trend that men will one day regret, right up there with leisure suits, harem pants and skinny jeans.

Women have their own fashion regrets. Among the top three is the dickie. It was the neck part of a turtleneck that you could slip over your head to make it look like you were wearing a turtleneck beneath every shirt, sweater and sweatshirt.

The second most regrettable trend for women is linebacker-size shoulder pads. They slid. They could slide to your chest, creating a third wonder of nature, or they could slide down your back. “That’s an awful growth, dear, you really should see a doctor.”

The current cut of women’s clothing that resembles maternity wear may be the third most regrettable fashion trend. The big billowy tops and dresses make for wonderful camouflage, but it is jarring to see postmenopausal women walking about in third trimester clothing.

The only man I ever heard of that routinely went without socks was Albert Einstein. But he never combed his hair either. Last Saturday Lady Laura wanted to go to the flea market so I decided this would be a good time to try the Einstein look figuring this would make me look smarter to the vendors. I mussed up my hair, put on my reading glasses, and found my old pipe which I haven't smoked since 1976. I looked in the mirror and thought I looked rather dignified and maybe even a bit smarter.

As we were going out the door Laura mentioned to me that I had forgotten to comb my hair.

"It's my Einstein look. Like it?"

"Looks like Frankenstein Einstein to me."

I went with my Einstein look anyway and we spent an hour snooping around the flea market. I did notice, though, I number of people there also had the Einstein look. I was beginning to doubt my choice.

When we got home Laura tossed a shopping bag at me and said she bought me something. Thinking she bought her usual "gift" - some baked goodies - I eagerly opened the bag. Inside I found a pack of a dozen brand new combs.