It is time for someone to say it, and I have volunteered. Legwarmers are officially out of fashion. They came back last winter for a brief moment, but are now officially fashions don’t. The trend for this spring is the more commonly known look with the Afrikaans culture, “socks with slops”, but instead of slops its gladiator heels.
Before closing this idea out of your mind completely (because the first time I saw it, I did) rather hear me out, you gave legwarmers a chance didn’t you?
Having followed New York, Paris, South Africa and soon Milan’s fashion week, it is evident that there is definitely a “fashion revolution” happening. And to go on what Aristotle says; “it is a modification of an existing structure”. This is evident in a number of high fashion garments that I am sure you wear today. Fashion designers took the 1908’s high waisted skirt, trousers and shorts and revolutionized then into a trend for work, play and sophistication in our day-to-day lives. Coco channels shift dress can be traced back to the 1920’s, but now it is back with more floral and frills than ever before – as well as being tighter and shorter. Gym tights from the 1920’s and 30’s came as a great phenomenon in the last two winters as a fashion must. With this in mind it is a good idea to look at sport as an inspiration for fashion. The super skinny and tight jeans cross leggings, known as “jeggings”, were first created for runners in the beginning of 2009, but now they are definitely more evident in our fashion world as every day wear. With regard to our last winter, knee high horse riding boots have been transformed into fashion having been first inspired for horse show jumping; they are now an essential in any shoe collection. The strappy sandals seen today in multiple different colours and shapes go all the way back to Before Christ and have made a revolutionary turn in the last two years. They were flat but they now have an enormous platform and heel attached to them. (Don’t know why they didn’t think of this when Jesus was alive, because then all the people would’ve been able to see him in the crowds). In the late 19th century cowboys showed us the “denim on denim” look, which quickly became a fashion don’t, but again this has been revolutionised and fashion houses all over the world have supported this trend, but instead of a rope being swung around, it is a steamy model pouting into the camera. How could one forget, legwarmers. Originally from the well-known dance movies Flashdance and Fame, they came back in a flash and were famous before one could stop them. And then of course, the most recent revolution, Mevrou van der Merwe’s gardening couture. SOCKS AND SLOPS. But thanks to Prada, Burberry and Christian Dior’s spring range we are able to view this look with better understanding as the 6ft models trickled down the run ways with their lacy ankle socks and 4inch heels.
OK, so what really is so great about this trend?
It is simple. There are many reasons as to why this look can work just as well on you as it does on Gossip Girl actress Leighton Meester and singer Rihanna.
By wearing socks with your open shoes, it allows for your heels to last for another season, except with a different look altogether and an extra layer of colour and dimension to your footwear. As winter approaches, your pedicured toes start to feel the chilly air rushing through the straps. So this, my darling, is where the “socks and slops” look will be of great advantage to your wardrobe. And no, not for the winter hikes in the mountains, but for fashion. Who says you cannot wear open shoes all year round? This next season socks and sandals are in. Team your brogues with an über soft, slouchy pair of socks and contrast feminine footwear with chunky, knitted knee-highs and wear sharp, architectural heels with sheer ankle socks. Word of caution; be very selective with what socks you desire to wear with those heels. The slouchy socks are not only there to look different but also to hide the pain of wearing heels that some women go through. You are then comfy and stylish at the same time. It also comes down to making sure that your über soft, slouchy pair of socks are not too slouchy and that your heels are not too fancy, because then you will look like a poodle from the parlour with fluffy ankles.
If your socks are too bunched around the ankles, it may shorten ones legs. Of course there are ways around this conundrum for those of us who are not blessed with models’ legs; an idea would be to try calf version socks, or even finer fabrics that don’t bunch too much. Ones biggest worry with this look is looking like a ‘out of place’ tourist in a large city with the ‘I don’t give a damn, I am on vacation’ mind set.
Fashion is forever changing and revolutionizing. With regards to new looks, some hate them, some love them, I think it just comes down to how you wear them. Like Coco Chanel said “fashion fades, only style remains the same”. Like legwarmers, not everyone is going to appreciate the new trend, so if you warmed up to legwarmers maybe it is time to lose the docility and get in touch with the “Boere Meisie” in you. And if you can pull this off, then you will be very chic, comfy and even a bit cheeky.