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Socks as a Focal Point



Readers may know that I have a minimal approach to dress. I know this isn't a big revelation. Generally I limit how many bold pieces I include in a particular setting. Hovering around 1 or 2 bold items with the rest neutral is where I tend to land. Every so often I will drift to 3, but never more. To my mind, in many ways, less is more. There is a famous quote from Coco Chanel in which she says:


"Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.”


The point at which I draw myself back may not be right before I leave the house, and I may not be taking something off. But, the idea I absolutely trend toward and it certainly guides my choices. If I feel like a setting is threading the needle in terms of cohesiveness or harmony, I back off. I almost always opt for the simpler choice. We don't have to wear our entire closet every day of our lives. We don't need to oversaturate. That is certainly a mark of my personal style and approach.



More often than not, the pieces we opt for as bold in our daily wear is our shirt, necktie or sport coat. Sometimes, more often in the spring or summer we may choose bold pants. More rare is the occasion in which we choose bold shoes or socks. The socks I am wearing today are the bold piece, the focal point, in my outfit. Of course, being someone who drifts towards simplicity, even this bold choice isn't a very busy choice. The sock is a plain, pale yellow. But, when viewed in the context of the entire outfit, it is the item which draws your eye, all things considered.


Navy chinos, light khaki cable knit sweater, brown loafers, pink OCBD. The pants and sweater are both neutral, yet on opposite sides, one dark and one light. The pale yellow sock, and the pink oxford are both bold and are also spatially located far away from one other. The sock near the floor, and the shirt revealing itself near the face. In the matchup of shirt vs sock I would say our eyes drift to the pale yellow sock more readily than the shirt. We are more accustomed to seeing bold shirts, rather than bold socks. The socks are more novel to most, and additionally, only the collar of the shirt is visible. Of course, these socks are not too bold. They aren't adventurous. I could pair these with the same loafers, stone chinos, white OCBD, navy blazer and a rep or knit tie of many colors and combinations.


The plain simplicity of socks like these is what makes them so versatile. They can be used as the single focal point of a setting, like today. Or, they can be 1 of 2 or 3 bold pieces you may choose for a different setting. Socks like these, in combination with other bold pieces is wonderful, interesting, layered and even complex. Yet, there is something so simple, minimal and direct about using them as the single focal point. Drawing the eyes down in our outfit. Our balance and orientation is different in this setting. The eyes of those around us will see us in a unique orientation.


The sock as a single bold focal point is unique, yet simple, elegant and nonchalant.