Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Why do men insist on showing off their ankles with short socks?

Thinkstock/Stock photo

The question

Women aren't aroused by the skin exposed between a male's trouser bottoms and the top of his hosiery when seated? Can't these guys just pull up their socks or wear longer ones?

The answer

Story continues below advertisement

I quite agree: There are plenty of knee-socks on sale at every conservative men's-clothing store, but Canadians are afraid of them.

Perhaps long socks remind them of women's tights. I remember the hysterical derision, in school, of boys who were caught wearing knee socks – it was arbitrarily decreed a sissy thing. But we're all grown up now. Those classroom gender-code enforcers are all exhausted dads and don't care about other guys' socks any more. You can and should wear socks that cover the calf whenever you have fine trousers on. But what kind of socks?

Dark solids are the safest bet, but colours slightly lighter than the trouser add subtle accents. Patterned socks with office wear are a mark of a rebellious aesthete, although "sexy aesthete," in the minds of many Canadian ladies, conservative as they are, is an oxymoron.

Russell Smith is a novelist. His recent memoir, Blindsided, is available as a Kobo e-book. Have a fashion question? E-mail

Report an error

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨