Socks are the new neckties?

It’s official. The First World has officially run out of things to think about.

CBS News reports the men of Western Civilization have developed a curious fascination with their own socks.

This was not an uncommon phenomenon during the 1960s. However, there was usually marijuana involved. However, as neckties go the way of hats (and pants that actually fit), men need something new to obsess about.

In lieu of world peace or doing the dishes, they’ve turned to socks.

CBS News reports there are entire stores devoted solely to socking it to men. One of the is owned by New York’s Vincent Nasserbakht.

“Within men’s fashion there aren’t that many ways that you can change what you wear in a day,” Nasserbakht tells CBS. “You’re wearing pants, you’re wearing a shirt, you might be wearing a jacket.”

There’s a point here. Wait for it.

“We could see it kind of start creeping up, and then sure enough you see guys that are really into fashion wearing socks and then in turns into guys that are more business types wearing socks. And now it’s everybody,” Nasserbakht adds.

In fact, CBS reports, men’s socks are now the fastest growing sector of men’s apparel.

According to the network, sales jumped 14 percent in just one year with high-end dress and athletic socks combining to create a $2.8 billion industry.

“Certain people used to know argyle and that was a pattern that they could reference or simple stripes,” Nasserbakht tells CBS. “But now after we’ve broken down the wall of just navy and black, we can go all sorts of designs, all sorts of colors.”

Wow.

“I wouldn’t be the first person to say that socks are the new neckties,” Troy Patterson, who writes the Gentleman Scholar column on Slate.com, tells CBS.

Patterson tells the network the reason socks are rising up is the dressed-down work force.

“It’s the one place where sort of guys who generally expected to be soberly dressed are allowed some license to be, to indulge in whimsy,” he says.

And they’re more fun to wear than neckties, he adds.

“One respect in which socks are better than ties, with ties there’s no sort of like tactile pleasure in it, right?” Patterson tells CBS. “It’s just a thing that’s around your neck. It doesn’t touch your body. What is more wonderful on a cold winter day than to have some like nice rich merino wool against your feet? It lifts the spirit.”

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