Is this where it all began? JLC was photographed--sans socks--by Steve Tirona for a 2007 cover story in Metro hiM.
John Lloyd Cruz would inevitably find himself in this blog, but for now just about the pressing issue of his exposed ankles. The guy, certainly one of the few stylish chaps in the entertainment business, has been going around town for awhile sockless, whether for a formal occasion or in a less dressy one. At the last Star Magic ball, at the Swatch event that launched him as the watch brand's endorser (see photo below by Cecile Zamora). He came to the YES! 10th anniversary party (dress code: smart casual) and his movie premiere in a grey suit with abbreviated pants and patent slip-ons. And yes, sockless.
Personally, I find it cute and refreshing, as most of his decisions tend to be (I’m a JLC fan, if I have not made it clear to you yet.). Personally, too, I have yet to be adept at wearing socks. Mostly I don’t. I usually just wear a pair to the gym or when running. Everywhere else, nothing comes between me and my choice of footwear. Except when I am quite aware that the shoes will be a bit of a discomfort given a few hours of wearing them—in this case, I have several pieces the eminent stylist Michael Salientes calls ‘socklets,’ which I have come to define as cutting the sock in two and wearing only the part that the shoe itself covers.
Maybe I just have to get accustomed to how socks look on me. Or maybe I just need to buy some. Two of my friends, however, have formed, shall we say, more evolved opinions on this matter of traipsing about sockless.
J. Lee Cu-unjieng, the other JLC in this story, and certainly one of the most stylish guys in town, says, “First, I think it depends on the shoe. Driving shoes, boat shoes, espadrilles and of course, any kind of slide or sandal, should be worn without socks. Penny loafers also may be worn sockless.
“And then it depends on the look. If you've embraced the ankle- grazing pant leg look (or shorter, like Thom Browne’s), that automatically signals going without socks, no matter the shoe. And any sort of walking short should be worn without socks. And I find it acceptable to be sockless in your khakis, too.”
Carlo Tadiar, another stylish bloke, has a more exacting, if more perplexing, take.
“In my view it is rarely acceptable for a man to wear leather shoes without socks unless he is a fashion model appearing in a fashion editorial,” says Carlo, editor of the dearly departed Metro hiM. “Nothing could be more embarrassing (and I suppose I exaggerate for emphasis) than being handsome, tall and thin and taking off your sockless shoes to reveal a woman's nylon socks on your feet. This happens more frequently than you might imagine in shoe stores in New York, and I would think in other fashion capitals. We all know that men's shoes are uncomfortable without socks, and the only way to achieve the fashion is by cheating. Nothing could be more un-stylish than straining for effect. If you were something out of Carlos Bulosan, in an ill-fitting suit and fedora and brogues without socks, that might be chic. If you're from Greenhills with a Gucci tote and John Bartlett oxfords without socks, that is not.”
Maybe going for no-socks, as the two JLCs would have it, is easier. Now about those orange shoes, that’s another story.