Not since Frank Sinatra was a bobby-soxer idol has socks appeal been mentioned in the same breath with sex appeal.
But suddenly, socks are sexy again. Men's socks, women's socks, even little kiddies' socks have taken a trendy turn.
Most people still take their socks for granted, of course. After all, they're just little slipcovers for your feet, right?
Wrong. In times like these, a person grabs fashion gusto where he or she can find it. And when you look at the price tags on more substantial items, it's a relief to know you can at least afford to swathe your ankles in chic.
Some mothers are making small fortunes, for example, by sewing little charms around the fold-down edges of children's anklets and selling them at local stores. New York attorney Eric Smith has made a large fortune by marketing 31 colors of "slouch socks" that refuse to stand up straight. Big-time designers like Perry Ellis, Ralph Lauren and Alexander Julian have added to their coffers by signing their names on "fashion socks."
And consumers are footing the bills. Many adult women, for example, have taken to wearing zingy, patterned socks with high-heel shoes. Nobody seems to know why, and nobody seems to care.