The 2020s have seen some interesting movements in fashion. Some are understandable (looking at you, pearlcore) and others... a little more unexpected (thinking of this very specific Shrek green). And though much of the focus in 2021 revolved around controversial footwear and wildly impractical '00s accessories, it's now the humble sock that has been flung into the limelight for '22. Between runways, social feeds and shopping destinations, it's impossible to ignore their presence.
But it's not the designer monogrammed iterations that are nabbing all the attention – although we wouldn't say no to a pair of those, either. Instead, we're stocking up on the everyday tube sock, the kind you can buy in bulk for pennies. From celebrities dashing between pilates classes to street style stars bringing them to the global fashion arena, socks haven't been this big since frilled versions paired with Creepers were all over Tumblr.
So how did the tube sock land its comeback? Understandably, socks became of importance once again when we entered lockdown — the first time around, that is; back when we were doing wholesome things like baking bread and tie-dyeing. The pull to still engage with trends while restricted to only leaving the house for exercise led us to take note from sporty style icons like Princess Diana. With her trademark varsity jackets, bike shorts and oversized sweatshirts, '90s-style athleisure set the tone for lockdown looks. And since hard shoes were of little importance, preppy tube socks, reminiscent of something a Dad might wear with little regard for aesthetics, prevailed.
But we weren't so quick to give them up once we were out in the wild again. After all, we had tasted real comfort.
Spotted on the likes of Zoë Kravitz, Bella Hadid and style bloggers quick to a trend, the tube sock soon found its way into our everyday wardrobes, paired with sneakers, flats, chunky sandals, and even platforms. Even looks we thought could never work pre-pandemic, such as a neutral sweatsuit with loafers, married seamlessly with the addition of some crisp tube socks.
Perhaps this is reflective of a greater shift in the world of fashion, one where hyper-functional pieces, like those of '90s athleisure, are embraced and coexist in harmony with what we deem as 'hard' clothing for the outside world.
The pandemic has turned the tides, the gates have opened, and the trend cycle is now awash with the extremities of comfort and leisure. Tube socks are simply the way to tie it all together, and styling them couldn't be easier because there really aren't any rules. We like them best with chunky sneakers and midi dresses to keep it casual during the day, and with strappy heels and a mini skirt for the evening to effortlessly channel that 'Olivia Rodrigo at the Whitehouse' energy.