It seems like for some, the early-aughts Y2K fashion trends aren’t throwing back far enough. For many yesteryear style chasers, the ‘80s slouch sock is moreso hitting the mark. Amazon has astronomical numbers and reviews from customers to prove that this trend is sought-after and skyrocketing. But what’s up with slouch socks — and why are they coming back now?
There are a few factors going on. First, as with all fashion trends, anything old is cool again — and celebs like Kendall Jenner and Hailey Baldwin are seriously leaning into the dorky-but-chic aesthetic of wearing socks that intentionally gather at the ankles. While the most on-the-nose look would have to be slouch socks over leggings (just like ‘80s-era women in jazzercise and step aerobics classes used to do), these days the slouch sock is also charming with, say, a pair of chunky loafers or dad sneakers (a la off-duty Princess Diana, who continues to resurface as a forever style icon).
Secondly, as the sock blog Sock.co astutely points out, slouch socks are “gaining popularity […] especially in Cosplay and Manga culture,” in which kawaii fans like to emulate their beloved cartoons of school-uniform girlies who can’t keep their knee-highs up. And if I can also make a third hypothesis on why slouch socks are in a viral spiral, I’d say these are the exact kind of affordable comfort buy that’s soothing for these still-in-a-pandemic times. Plus, they’re ever so fitting for the forthcoming shut-in winter days, which you may as well prepare for now.
But why not just wear regular socks and push them down, you may ask? While no one’s stopping you from hacking the system with your high school soccer socks, the main difference here lies in the level of elasticity. Slouch socks are purposely designed to droop so you can expect these to be softer, plushier, and not as grippy on the calves. If compression socks are on one end of the sock-o-meter spectrum in terms of tightness, slouch socks are on the opposite end.
Down to try this ’80s sock trend for yourself? Ahead, here are the best slouch socks (according to actual reviewers who bought them) that you can score on Amazon right now.
Product Breakdown: Available as individual pairs ($10.99) or 3-packs ($21.99) in an assortment of colors
The Hype: 4.5 out of 5 stars and 6,736 reviews on amazon.com
Best For: People who wear women’s shoe sizes 9 through 11
What They’re Saying: “Thick, warm and great quality! Perfect for winter. I love the versatility of wearing them up or down. Also, so hard to find nice thick white socks that are knee-high! Looked for weeks. These are so comfortable and stylish.” – Amazon reviewer Graphic Designer (pictured above)
Product Breakdown: Sold as 6-packs in 10 color options
The Hype: 4.2 out of 5 stars and 2,756 reviews on amazon.com
Best For: People who wear women’s shoe sizes 5 through 10
What They’re Saying: “So cute! So pastel! Perfect for white sneakers. I love these socks; I’m going to buy another pair right after this review. I’m a size 7 and they fit perfect. Not too thick and perfect for summer. I was worried that they would be too warm but they are comfy and thin without sacrificing the cuteness of the slouch sock. They are going to look so good with all my kawaii stuff.” – Amazon reviewer Chelsea (pictured above)
Product Breakdown: Sold as 2-packs ($12.90) and 4-packs ($22.90) in 4 color options
The Hype: 4.6 out of 5 stars and 2,202 reviews on amazon.com
Best For: People who wear women’s shoe sizes 5 through 9
What They’re Saying: “I like to hide my skinny ankles at the gym lol so these socks are perfect. The material isn’t thick or thin. I think it’s a perfect blend. Thin enough to wear them with your leg boots in the spring without making your feet sweat but thick enough to wear them in the winter with ugg boots. Don’t expect these to be like thick thermal socks because they aren’t. They are cute fashionable socks. The material is soft — not cheaply thin but soft. I got them in grey, white, and black and love them. They are long as well. I’ve washed and dried them once…no wear and tear so far.” – Amazon reviewer Sabhia (pictured above)
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