Monday, March 9, 2009

Knitted socks and fashion - an oxymoron?

Knitabulous' post about her Hedera sock started me thinking. It wasn't the sock itself - beautiful though it is - but her discussion of the range of knitterly comments on images of socks with high heels.

I don't have much to contribute to that discussion. Knitted socks with high heels is not a style I like, but I do find it playful, sometimes surprising, and occasionally ironic - and that's sufficient. What I was more especially struck by was Knitabulous's statement that she only really wears her hand-knitted socks around the house. This got me wondering just how and where knitters do wear their hand-knitted socks. It seems such a waste to confine them to the house. I know some people like to wear them under boots, which brings them the same kind of hidden pleasure as wearing beautiful lingerie. (This is all beginning to sound a bit double entendre-ish).

So, I'm on a quest to find ways in which hand-knitted socks can be worn - preferably beautifully and stylishly and with flair. I'm going to collect examples of the wearing of stylish socks and then, who knows?...a whole new aesthetic could develop.

I don't buy fashion magazines any more (yes, they were one of my past addictions) so I've begun my quest with The Sartorialist (where else?). Not a very hopeful start to the stylish sock project. In scrolling through maybe a hundred recent images I found only 4 that included socks as a design feature. Lots of bare, elegant, cold-looking ankles, but not many visible socks. There are some bright purple men's socks featured in the February 11 2009 entry; some pushed-down rumpled socks over tights with lace-up boots on February 6; some crinkled socks (or maybe tights) with two-tone oxfords on March 2; and my favourite, a definite Annie Hall re-evocation on February 24. But none of these socks seem to be hand-knitted, and so far it's not much on which to base a stylish sock revival.

Any advice on sock-wearing, or on how or where to observe examples of stylish sock wearing, will be gratefully received.

By the way, I've purchased a new camera, but haven't yet unpacked it from its box. I so hate getting used to new pieces of technology that it will probably stay there till I'm desperate, or too embarrassed to post any more photo-less blogs.


Rose Red said...

I have exactly the same problem!! I bought a pair of flat sneaker style shoes with a low front and velcro strap, so you can still see the socks, but it still limits me to wearing them with jeans. I think the right style of long-ish skirts and ankle length trousers (not together of course!) are the answer - can show off the socks but without looking like a 5 year old.

jp said...

There is a trend to wear clear shoes or boots.

Some converse sneakers that show off the foot of a sock.

Lynne said...

I hinted at a similar dilemma on my blog recently; why knit beautiful socks if they are hidden in lace-up shoes [practical and comfortable but not designed for showing off socks] and under long trousers?

I look forward to reading further comments your post attracts!

Bells said...

Good question.

My favourite shoe/sock combination is my Mary-Jane style Birkenstocks. I'll post them some time, because I've always meant to.

Oh hang on, I just remembered I did.

Unknown said...

Being a girly shoe person, I'd sooner be seen in starbucks than wearing a pair of birkenstocks or crocs in public (except perhaps on a Saturday afternoon dash for potting mix to Bunnings).

I do so admire the look of the hand-knitted (usually knee high) socks with a kind of kimono style de-structured simple skirt. I see that look a little on ravelry - done really well by mustaavillaa (whose project pages make me swoon). I have a lovely friend in Sydney who does this look too.

I read the sartorialist avidly - I love it. Although, disappointingly, the most common fashionable accesory on that site appears to be the cigarette most days!

(I've been trying to comment for days but the technology has been agin me).