10/20/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

So Out, It's In: Socks With Sandals

During a recent visit to the nail salon, I was reminded of how much fall has to offer. I'd thought before that it was just the football games, the sense of new beginnings, and the justification of money spent on "back to school" clothes, even if the last class I had was 4 years and 2 jobs ago. But no. Fall, I discovered at the salon, is also about socks. And shoes. But mainly socks.

I have really cute feet, but But BUT I have really neglected feet. I wear sandals and flip-flops all summer long and when I shower at night, the water in the tub suggests that I've just returned from a long day of playing in the briar patch with Bre'r Rabbit and Tar Baby. So whenever I go for a pedicure, my condition solicits some predictable comments from the kind soul whose bad karma brought me to them.

I knew yesterday's visit wasn't going to be pretty since not only had I walked around NYC all summer long with nothing but a half-inch of rubber between me and street detritus, but I'd also hiked the hills of Costa Rica in shoes one size too small without any band-aids.

After the usual questions from the pedicurist ("Is this your first time...ever?" and the ever hopeful tell-me-that's-not-contagious "What's that?" referring to some very bad burn scars on my right shin), I settled into my tabloids about Britney's comeback and started to relax.

It was a wholly pleasant experience that I wish I made time for more often. But as I got up to leave after waiting the ten minutes for my Dress to Empress color to dry, my pedicurist saw me reach to put on flip-flops and darted over. "No!" she said, "You need to protect!" And she handed me a pair of socks.

Left with the option of insulting the woman who had just spent the last half-hour erasing four months of guilty filth, or conversely, wearing socks with flip-flops, I had to pause. The separation of big-toe and next-toe-over (pointer toe?) should never occur when in the socked position; it looks creepy and oddly sexual and I won't do it. But I also couldn't let this woman down after all she'd done for my feet and feetkind! So I socked it up and walked out of that salon in Chelsea with a wide set smile, even wider-set toes, and I couldn't help but hum Snoop Dogg's, "drop it like it's sock, drop it like it's sock..."

It was then that I caught a glimpse of the ridiculousness happening south of my ankles and I had to wonder if wearing socks with sandals is so out that it's in. No, nope, not possible-- not in the way I was rocking them, anyway. But it did add a little pep to my step--and not just because of the extra cushioning. Making a bold fashion statement is fun! So I say wearing the right socks with the right sandals is so in.

This girl knows what I'm talking about and so does this chick. And these ladies in Miu Miu got it really right. Dare I say the sock and shoe combo adds a sexy, boyish charm to the outfit? Even super preppy uptightster J. Crew has gotten in on the action; just look at pages four, sixteen, and twenty-one of their most recent catalog.

Miu Miu represents!


I for one am very excited this fall to ignore the old adage that says: "If it's cold enough to wear socks, it's too cold to wear sandals." Frankly, my feet could use a little protection and a little fashion flare. Although it will make spotting foreigners more difficult, I think the sock and sandal trend will generally make the public happier. And during these tough economic times, who wants to go out and buy new fall boots? All you have to do now is slap on some $5 socks and continue to wear those summer sandals through the season.

The new fall slogan should instead be: "Sock on that, boots!" I know my pedicurist will appreciate it.