When we talk about “Germanness” we also have to talk about stereotypes. I would claim that the ultimate stereotypical German is the one who wears white socks with sandals (I won’t even mention the unshaved hairy legs).
This is a peculiarity for which we are smiled at by many of our European friends. For the very fashion-conscious neighbouring countries, we are an eyesore.
Those of you who cannot find your way into the German mind, may ask: why are you wearing socks when it is hot? And what good is it when it’s raining?
I am deeply sorry dear puzzled ones, but we are not going to share this secret today. We will, however, provide you with an Ansatz (a hint) of an explanation later - but no more….
The pioneer of this fashion trend, far beyond the German borders, was the German tourist who stoically ignored the mocking glances and the good advice concerning his extraordinary outfit.
We Germans would be very proud if we could say that we thought of this wonderful combination of sock and sandal but unfortunately we cannot reap the laurels for this.
Archaeological excavations in North Yorkshire, UK, prove that the Ancient Romans were already wearing socks and sandals 2000 years ago. Also, our Egyptian ancestors were wearing special socks designed to fit in sandals. You can see for yourself at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Also, the traditional Japanese sock Tabi, which is still worn today, is made specially for wearing with sandals.
As you can see, we share this special combination with the high cultures ☺
So why are we Germans doing the same as high cultures of the past?
As the top world traveller, we want to feel comfortable when far away from home. With the socks and sandals we get the feeling that we’re wearing our carpet slippers.
it’s us Germans with a passion for functional outdoor clothing and for wearing matching clothes. The socks prevent us from getting sweaty feet or blisters in trekking sandals. It is up to you which explanation you prefer.
Maybe you have your own ideas. Let us know!
Regardless of why, today it has become a must. Everywhere on the globe, be it at the fanciest places in capital cities or on the catwalk, the sock and the sandal are indispensable thanks to us German trendsetters ☺
Photo 1: ©Familie Strobl, Photo 3: ©marcoverch, Photo 2: ©wuestenigel, Photo 4: ©mrphotovideo, Photo 5: ©cottonbro