I don’t care how slutty you want to get this summer: If you’re a guy wearing any style of shoe besides sandals, you better wear some fucking socks. I understand that you want to show off a little ankle, that visible socks might ruin the look and that those little ankle socks are always sliding off your heel, but listen, neither of those consequences are worth the price of going sockless. It’s the equivalent of not wearing underwear, or sleeping on your mattress without a sheet. These barriers were erected for a reason!
The fashion politics of male socks are currently being discussed on TikTok, where creator @imstephen posited that if you can’t see a man’s socks, he’s a ho. Especially in dress shoes and loafers, he explains that exposed ankles usually means a guy is either going sockless, which is “disgusting,” or wearing super tiny no-show socks that he describes as “dainty little foot condoms.” Showing these socks, he gags and says he “can’t even look at it.”
Essentially, per TikTok’s hive mind, any situation that allows for your ankle to be fully exposed — whether because you’re wearing no-show socks or no socks at all — is ho behavior, and gross.
Elsewhere on the app as well as on Twitter, both men and women have discussed how there’s something fundamentally untrustworthy about a guy who doesn’t wear socks with his sneakers. It’s like, if you think you’re above the convention of wearing socks, what else do you think you’re above? Telling the truth and being an honest person, probably!
“Wearing sneakers without socks has got to be some psychotic behavior,” one woman tweeted this week. “Nobody cheats like a guy who doesn’t wear socks,” another guy wrote a year ago. Apparently there was a time back in 2014 where not wearing socks was “trendy,” according to the Brisbane Times, but I have to assume those crazy Australians were just out of their minds. Not wearing socks has never been the right move.
That said, even consummate sock-wearers can’t seem to win. Like the no-show socks (some call them “ballet” style socks or liners), several other types of ankle socks get plenty of hate too, suggesting that the wrong socks are just as bad as wearing none at all. A TikTok from popular men’s fashion podcast Throwing Fits said that nobody wears regular ankle socks (i.e., the kind that are still visible in the shoe but only right at the top of it) except for dads, while another argued that the variety of white sock that hits right above the ankle is for old men only. Neither were said to be gross or ho-ish, but were simply labeled as a fashion faux pas. My larger point still stands, though: Regardless of the type of sock, you can probably find someone hating on it.
Now, I’m all for men looking like hoes. But there are so many other ways to show off your slut status than via a bare ankle, which is frankly not all that exciting of a body part to reveal. Whether you’re rockin’ nu-metal shorts or tiny fitted “hoochie daddy” shorts, socks that reach just below mid-calf seem acceptable enough. And despite the hate toward regular ankle socks or “old man” socks, I personally think they’re just fine. They’re definitely better than the no-shows, which are themselves better than going sockless. Showing ankle might seem important, but nothing trumps the most important ho rule of all — good hygiene.