It’s that time of year again, when the thought of donning excess hosiery seems all but preposterous. Magazines like GQ have conditioned us to believe that the so-called ‘sockless’ look is stylistically standard come summer, but from a practical standpoint, as well—it just feels right. (Once you’ve experienced a cool breeze caressing your ankles on a 100-degree day…you’ll never go back.)
The question, then, is how to cool your jets without a) developing some wicked blisters and b) wrecking your wingtips with the sweat (and stank) of a thousand sweltering steps to and from your air-conditioned office every day. The answer is no-show socks. It turns out that even the men of GQ, progenitors of the sockless look, feel good about pulling on a little protection:
Personally, we’re fans of rocking Chucks sans socks. But for dress shoes, loafers, monk straps, and any footwear you’d like to hang on to for more than a single summer—an extra layer goes a long way.
Tip: Don’t confuse these with ankle socks—which are great for the gym, but not for the illusion of socklessness you should strive for elsewhere. The no-shows shown here are cut extra-low, so no one but you (and whomever you allow behind the scenes) will know the secret pattern or pop of color of your summer sock game.
Spotted in the Wild:Fashion Week having just wrapped up, the usual cavalcade of mesmerizing street-style images is in—and no one does it better than photographer Tommy Ton. Below are a few ankle-baring examples from his recent trips to Milan and Florence (for Pitti Uomo). Are these gents going commando? Or are they protecting their footwear and feet with no-show socks? The world may never know. [Click images to enlarge.]
Ladies: If the guy in your life adheres to his GQs and runs around sockless most of the year, wet weather can come as kind of a shock. (Especially if his favorite Chucks have a hole in the sole—not that we know anything about that.) A few pairs of thick, cotton-blend socks—especially ones in camo-, Norwegian- or Navajo-themed motifs like the Stance Socks above—will look great dangling from the mantle, and even better peeking out of the killer boots you bought him.
Gents: Be forewarned, these socks are so cozy, the lady in your life might be tempted to borrow them. Situations like those below, from Stance’s website, may ensue.
Seattle gets a bad rap, style-wise. Maybe certain Seattleites re-purpose their outdoor gear too liberally—but it’s a different story within the several-block radius that contains our corporate headquarters and flagship store here in Downtown Seattle.
To prove our point, we’re going to start snapping well-dressed guys we spot around the office. First up is Danny, an online merchandising specialist who’s responsible, among about a million other things, for coordinating GQ Selects each month.
We had to bug Danny for a few photos yesterday due to his keen ability to nail multiple trends at a time and make it look like no big deal. Check him out: shawl-collar sweater, rugged boots, cargo pants, touch of camo. Take a closer look at the details, and shop similar items using the links below:
Tie-Tuck. Gives your office gear a subtle military touch—and keeps your tie out of your lunch.
Streamlined Cargo. Chinos with utilitarian pockets are officially back—
but they’re far from the crazy-baggy ones you remember from ’98.
Serious Socks. Rugged boots require them. Pulling them over your pant cuff
(a favorite fall trick among stylists lately) is entirely optional.
Today’s look centers around a fall/winter prerequisite: a warm and exceedingly dapper top coat. But we’re equally enthused by the finishing touches we picked to accentuate the official GQ selections—like Hav-A-Hank’s paisley pocket square (available in 8 eye-catching colors) and budget-wise gloves by Topman.
Michael Bastian Double-Breasted Houndstooth Top Coat. “Every guy needs a great top coat this season. When done right, like this Michael Bastian number, it works for any occasion, from a black-tie ball to the office to weekend errands. Bastian’s is modernized by its slimmer peak lapels. The trim double-breasted silhouette ensures this coat will look good over any and all of your fall outfits.” —Jim Moore, GQ Creative Director (shop this item)
Allen Edmonds ‘MacNeil’ Oxford. “When we talk about wingtips at GQ we talk about them with a lot of passion and gravitas. A black wingtip is one of the most worthwhile and elegant shoes a man can have in his wardrobe. It stands up to dressier fall flannels but looks just as appropriate with a pair of khakis or corduroy jeans. This pair walks the line perfectly between being too chunky and too refined—the proportions are just right. They’re made in America, and with a little care, these will last 20 years. Guys can rest assured they will never go out of style.” —Jim Moore, GQ Creative Director (shop this item)
Your underwear, on the other hand, should be relegated to the dust bin upon the slightest sign of wear and tear. (If, that is, you plan on anyone’s eyes other than your own catching even a fleeting glimpse of them. )
Do everyone a favor and upgrade from the ratty bulk brand you gravitated toward in college to the streamlined shorts and flattering briefs (now making a comeback) by Hugo Boss.
You’ll look exactly like the guys above. Just kidding. But you will notice a huge difference in how they look and feel, and—with our entire stock of Hugo Boss underwear, undershirts and socks currently 25% off—your wallet will be none the wiser.
Yes, that’s snow—and no, that guy’s not wearing pants. It’s a good thing Pact socks are plenty warm.
It’s also a good thing they look great with jeans, khakis, and definitely boots—so stock up (save $3 on each pair of Pact socks when you buy 3 or more) and wear them all winter long.
The best thing of all, though? Every purchase from Pact’s holiday collection helps The Empowerment Plan provide jobs to homeless women in Detroit. According to Jeff from the Pact team, “It’s an incredible little organization that makes sleeping coats for the homeless. With money raised from our collection, Pact is buying The Empowerment Plan new, industrial sewing machines, so that they can hire more women and make more coats.”
Altruistic through and through, the fine people at Pact even shot their holiday lookbook (including the brave, pantsless gentleman above) at a location they wanted to shine a light on: The Heidelberg Project, a public art environment in Detroit. Learn more about it in the video below, and SHOP PACT UNDERWEAR & SOCKS.
[Photos courtesy of Pact. Video by Tilapia Film, courtesy of The Heidelberg Project.]
Other things—like ‘Marky’ Mark Wahlberg’s improvised dialog in this 1991, MTV-debuted television ad—don’t hold up as well over time. (See a more timeless view of the ’90s in our previous post on photographer Herb Ritts.)
To balance out some of the awkward moments (and testosterone) in the clip above, here are two more Calvin Klein ads, starring Kate Moss (sans Marky) and Eva Mendes, that will likely look as good in 20 years as they do now.
Need another reason to keep your drawer stocked with fresh-from-the-package bedroom attire? Calvin Klein socks, underwear and undershirts are 25% off now through October 8. SHOP CALVIN KLEIN UNDERWEAR SALE
Zippers. Buttons. Chafing. There are plenty of reasons to pull on a trusty undergarment every morning.
However, the benefits of a stylish first layer extend far beyond mere functionality. What the debonair George Costanza (above) lacks in definition, he makes up for in confidence, thanks to a classic, masculine pair of boxer shorts.
Our guy Arthur is clearly doing something right, too—how else would he find himself posing as an extra in a women’s lingerie catalog?
Whether chilling in the boudouir, prepping breakfast in bed for his partner in crime, or participating in full-contact sports (pillow fight—what did you think?), he proves that what you wear behind closed doors should be just as on-point as the rest of your wardrobe. If your pairs are not up to par, the time to stock up is now.
25% off: Selected underwear, undershirts, socks and loungewear by Polo Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and more, now through June 17, 2012. Shop Men’s Underwear Sale
[Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom or products mentioned. Costanza image courtesy of Castle Rock Entertainment & NBC.]