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How high is the perfect crew sock?

A trend started with Lady D and continued with Fear of God

How high is the perfect crew sock? A trend started with Lady D and continued with Fear of God

There seems to be a very precise mathematical formula behind the perfect size of the sock, a specific balance that includes the thickness of the fabric, the height on the leg - at the right distance from the ankle, but also from the knee -, strength or softness. Solved the age-old issue of sandals with socks, now completely safe and even trendy, in every shape and colour (thanks Tyler, the Creator), now the battle has moved to the field of sportswear, a territory in which the sock is ready to take centre stage.

"The importance of the sock. It's almost more important than the height of the sneaker." Gilda Ambrosio, a guest during the second episode of the first season of The SneakerPod, nss magazine podcast created in collaboration with StockX, gave this definition, making clear the importance of an often underestimated accessory, today the protagonist of a huge trend, of which Gilda is one of the major representatives. "It all started out of a mistake. I was in New York, I walked into CVS and bought a box with 4 pairs of socks for $12. Only later I realized that I bought the wrong box of socks, that those ones reached up to the knee. The trend then exploded, but I can no longer find other socks like them." To remedy the lack of socks of the right length, Ambrosio ended up designing them herself, including them in the collections of her brand The Attico

The sock-mania then began, a trend that revolves around high, long socks, which possibly fall softly on the leg, making falsely random wrinkles and folds. The nostalgia effect hides behind the return of this trend, which was going strong in the Eighties, together with a certain search for cosy clothing that has accompanied us in this last year. The feeds of IG and Pinterest were gradually invaded by images of Lady D (also thanks to the season dedicated to her of Netflix's The Crown), photos of sporty looks, Princess Diana just out of the gym or headed to the supermarket, perfectly elegant in that fit made of hoodies, bike shorts, sneakers and high socks. They were crew socks, as they were popular at the time, which also reached mid-calf, possibly white, to act as the perfect counterpart to a pair of Reebok or Nike. Such a lasting charm, and such an unreachable legacy, that it served as inspiration for a Vogue Paris shoot in which Hailey Bieber replicated the looks and poses of the paparazzi images of the beloved princess in detail.

Always part of the sportswear universe, socks have represented a means to convey the identity of a brand, through its logo or by working on graphics, branding and colours. Today the centimetres have increased, the fabric has become less rigid and more lavish, perfect to combine with both a pair of sneakers and a pair of leather moccasins. A certain nonchalance of style, as befits this year, which is reflected in a studied relaxed mood even in the sock, even better if plain, in soft, "floppy" and casual colours. 

At the foundation of the trend, however, the reference to the sports world remains, and in particular to running and tennis, which continue to inspire silhouettes and styling. The love correspondence that binds the world of sport and fashion has written a new chapter in its history in the images chosen by Jerry Lorenzo to present the new Fear of God sneaker. The Essential Tennis Shoe, a super minimal, linear and sophisticated sneaker, was presented combined with different socks, in white and grey, made of fine Egyptian cotton. That same attention to detail and the most forgotten accessory is often seen in the work of JJJJound, who had produced his socks in warm tones and with an ultra-soft fit, in the Rick Owens x Birkenstock lookbooks, very high and very soft, in those by Aimé Leon Dore and Yeezy (Kanye was a pioneer of the high sock trend), and are back again in the last drop of Sporty & Rich, dedicated, coincidentally, to tennis, and with No Soul For Sale, which plays on chromatic contrasts. 

After the return of the knee-high thanks to the genius of Miuccia Prada, who made it in a veiled and logoed version that became a cult, the ugly chic trend adds a new piece, in socks once relegated to gyms and now ready for Fashion Week. 

nss magazine has selected below the best high socks to wear right now.