You Asked: Is It OK To Expose Bare Ankles During Winter?
Photograph by Mr Jonathan Daniel Pryce
Plus, why you should support the football scarf trend (if not an actual team) and how many holes does it take to fill a pair of jeans .
Winter is coming. And if you’re too cool to wear any socks or have too big a rip in your jeans, you will feel it more than most. In which case you might appreciate a scarf, even if it is a football-style one. We cover off all the above in the answers to our Q&A below.
There are two questions here. Is it something people do? Yes. Does it make sense? No, not really. Fashion and pragmatism don’t necessarily go together, of course, but surely there are limits. This question actually touches upon one of my pet peeves about dressing for the weather. For example, I can never understand why some guys insist on wearing beanies in the height of summer. No, no, no. Likewise, the bare-ankle trend in winter just seems bafflingly impractical to me. There’s looking cool, and then there’s being freezing cold. People will look at you askance, and rightfully so. As Mr Mike Skinner of The Streets would say, it’s common sense – simple common sense. I don’t mean to sound like your grandmother, Mr May, but you’ll catch your death! Especially if you live somewhere that gets genuinely wintery (which presumably you do, or else the question is redundant).
So what do I suggest? Wear some socks! MR PORTER sells some lovely ones – I am a particular fan of Anonymous Ism, Oliver Spencer Loungewear and Beams Plus. But you don’t have to show your socks if you don’t want to – you could always wear some cool winter boots with your cropped trousers, as demonstrated here.
The rule (which I’m making up as I type) is: if it’s cold enough that you have to wear a coat, you should be wearing socks. If it’s so cold that you have to wear a hat, scarf and gloves as well, then you will just look silly with bare ankles. Tough love, Mr May, tough love.
I’ve noticed people wearing football-type scarves in a fashion-y way of late. Is this actually A Thing then?
Mr Sammy Rojas, via email
This is all part of the high-low thing that is dominating the agenda amongst hyped fashion labels right now – brands such as Vetements, Balenciaga, Comme Des Garçons, Supreme, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Palace, Kith – in which kitchsy sportswear is being reimagined through the kaleidoscope of irony and nostalgia to become cool all of a sudden. And considerably more expensive than the cheap tat you can buy from a stall outside a stadium on match day.
We will see this scarf trend filter through as other brands “join the club” with their own interpretations.
You might think there is something quite Mr LS Lowry painting meets Fever Pitch about the rebirth of the graphic, intarsia-knit, tassled-fringed scarf. Don’t be confused, however. This has precious little, if anything, to do with actual football (AKA soccer). In fact, it is usually worn by non-fans in a willfully knowing sense. And most of these scarves are football-fan in style but don’t actually represent a real-life team. So if, like me, you actually follow football and genuinely support a club, don’t make the mistake of thinking this gives you carte blanche to start sporting allegiances to the office and around town. To do so could, in some instances, attract unwanted attention. Football fans can be pretty “tribal”. By which I mean, they could rough you up and hoist you by your own scarf. Not such a strong look.
How ripped is too ripped?
Mr Tommy Ennis, via email
I presume we’re talking jeans rather than muscle definition? The ripped denim trend has certainly got legs – and you can often see rather more of them than is ideal. The problem is that rips are inherently weak points and so can spread, especially at stress points like the knee, or if snagged. And then they can get well out of hand – as demonstrated by the @toomuchrip account on Instagram. At Tokyo Fashion Week last month, the womenswear designer Thibaut presented “thong jeans” – essentially a waistband and seams and very little else. Ludicrous.
To answer the question, if the rip “gapes” open and flaps around, it’s definitely too big. You could put a stitch in it to limit the size of the rip. Or better still, patch them.