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Why Are We Obsessed With Appearing Sock-Less?

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Down With No-Show Socks!

Every year when the weather starts to get colder, I retire all my loafers and ballet flats to the back of my closet. I don’t really like wearing dresses and tights, and I’ve been conditioned to (wrongly!) believe that wearing these shoes with socks is a tremendous faux pas.

I remember first hearing about “no-show socks” when I was in high school, and the fervor for the equivalent of teeny-tiny hats you put on your toes hasn’t died down over the past decade. I’m personally convinced that we just haven’t yet come to the logical conclusion that it is okay to wear socks with shoes and actually have them show. Why is this so heavily frowned upon?

I’ll tell you why: because there are currently more than 11,000 search results on Amazon for no-show socks. That’s actually insane! Think of all the energy and time and marketing dollars that have gone into convincing people that they always need to appear to be barefoot under their loafers or slide sneakers. Why don’t we just… wear socks? Why are we, as a culture, obsessed with faking our sockless-ness?

Photo: Under Armour

I would never argue for going actually sock-less. You should really wear socks for a lot of reasons, mainly comfort but also sweat. Think about how good a pair of socks feels, and now think about how aggravating it is to wear some crap like this all day.

Seriously, look at some of these no-show socks. You know this particular pair is not going to stay on your foot, so why even bother? They’re like the free socks you get at shoe stores, which are not actually socks at all. These no-show socks have a total of five different colors on them — not very inconspicuous, to say the least! Related: Why do these have a Missoni-like pattern if they’re meant to be “invisible?” And why are these lace?! Is it somehow better to see an oddly-placed piece of fleshy-looking lace instead of an actual sock? No way!

I posed the no-show sock question to a few coworkers last week and was met with a “socks just aren’t flattering!” from one editor, who swears by a *particular* pair of Nike “invisible socks,” as she calls them. But are socks actually not flattering, or have we all just been brainwashed by Big Sock?

Or, have we just not yet discovered that this is a thing we don’t have to partake in, and we can wear socks with our loafers and be perfectly fine? Tiffany Yannetta, shopping director

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Two Neighbors Brings Together Palestinian Embroiderers and Israeli Seamstresses
Photo: Noam Moskowitz

It’s no surprise what happens when a wall is built between neighbors. As the cement is poured, as the soldiers patrol by foot, as the barrier blocks a whole people from view, any semblance of shared humanity quickly erodes. The people on the other side are lumped into an opposing and unrecognizable mass of threat, and they become impossible to empathize with and easy to denounce. But coming out of that kind of toxic environment is what makes Two Neighbors, a joint Israeli-Palestinian fashion initiative, so unexpected. The brand offers a model for how fashion can be used as a force for good in a complex, political landscape.

Two Neighbors pairs Israeli designers and seamstresses with traditional Palestinian embroiderers to create stunning contemporary designs. Every garment is a transgression — passing over that physical barrier and through both Israeli and Palestinian hands. Two Neighbors has a workshop in south Tel Aviv and coordinators in Jerusalem and the West Bank. The company is a rare instance of cooperation in an increasingly segregated setting, and it offers a literal interweaving of the people who share disputed land. Its tagline is "Peace through the eye of a needle,” and through the simple act of engagement, the brand speaks of “waging our own peace process.”

The story of Two Neighbors starts with a retired man in Idaho named Whit Jones. A decade ago, Jones was winding down his psychology practice and — along with his wife, Paula — starting a foundation, The Center for Emerging Futures, to try to do some good. At a leadership seminar in Nova Scotia, Jones met an Israeli and a Palestinian who had both “suffered significantly.” The Palestinian had spent considerable time in solitary confinement, says Jones, for driving down a road that Palestinians were prohibited from using. The Israeli had been shot twice in a drive-by shooting. “They both came out of it not looking for revenge, but to find a solution,” he says.

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Just One Thing
A Lip Stain That Stays On for Pretty Much Everything
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Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream, $28

When Racked started to invest time and energy in Facebook Live earlier this year, we were given a rundown of details both big (like how to actually do it) and small (like how important it is to wear a red lip so you don’t look washed out). The team really took that last point to heart, and now we all have our “camera-ready reds” on hand for shoot days. But mine isn’t just camera-ready; it’s life-ready. (Well, almost — keep reading.)

I swiped my Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream ($28) off the freebie table at an unpaid internship many moons ago — I know, I know, I need to replace it. The color I wear is called Sancerre (it’s not currently available, but Crush is really close); it starts out as a bright red and morphs into a flattering hot pink after several hours, so I don’t need to worry about reapplying the highly-pigmented formula in bad bar bathroom lighting late at night (read: a few drinks in).

I spend a solid few minutes with the following application steps to keep it on my lips and off my straws and forks: Start by carefully tracing the lip outline with the cushy applicator, then fill in and blot and wait a minute for it to dry. Then slick it on thick, mashing the lips together to really let that color sink in before blotting again to a matte finish. Top it off with a powder highlighter, dusting in the center to both cement it in and add a subtle shine. Try to avoid drinking anything immediately after to let it dry — so finish off the pregame beverage before following the aforementioned steps, then head out the door.

The Cashmere Lip Cream is so strong that I have to use a different makeup remover to get it out of my creases; our beauty writer, Cheryl, recommended an oil-based one, so I chose S.W. Basics, and I always follow up with a balm. Another quick removal method? Make out with a person of your choosing! (Get consent first.) Saliva’s a pretty good removal agent, apparently. But don’t let said person put their now-colored lips on any of your clothes, especially if they’re dry clean only — just trust me on this one. —Laura Gurfein, deputy managing editor

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