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Comment 'Socksgate' saw Minister Damien English channel his inner Borat

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Minister Damien English channeled his inner Borat

Minister Damien English channeled his inner Borat

Minister Damien English channeled his inner Borat

Let's talk about socks, baby - let's talk about you and Aldi.

Salt-N-Pepa's 1991 hit became the inadvertent theme tune of the week after the government put the foot down on "non-essentials" such as, eh, socks.

And the German superstore was just one of those forced to shut its famous "middle aisle" to prevent shoppers from sneaking Specialbuys from tighty-whities to traffic cones into their shopping trolley whilst doing the Big Shop.

Fashion and shoe shops were last week listed among the "non-essential" retailers required to close their doors during Level 5, while on Sunday, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar blasted as "totally unfair" those flouting the rules.

Socking it to supermarkets on Prime Time on Thursday night, Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail Damien English memorably went one step further by declaring that "clothes are not essential".

Coming hot on the heels of the HSE's advice to "have sex online" during the pandemic, it made me wonder if Kerry priest Fr Gearoid Walsh was actually onto something when he went off on one about "anti-Christian" Dáil Éireann during his controversial "Black and Tans" online sermon this week.

"It's not confusing," the Meath West TD continued to embrace his inner Borat when quizzed by presenter Miriam O'Callaghan about buying childrens' socks.

"Socks come under clothes."

Socksgate may have done little to clear up the confusion between "essential" and "non-essential" goods this lockdown.

But it gave the last laugh to a generation of young Irish men who've already waved farewell to foot warmers.

Hailed by GQ as "unprepared, spontaneous, like you may or may not be walking home after an all-night rager", the divisive ankle-flashing trend first appeared on the runway at Paris Fashion Week in 2017.

In an article on 'How to Go Sockless with a Suit', like Conor McGregor and Orlando Bloom, the fashion bible recommended balancing bare ankles with suave black shoes, a loose shirt and slicked back hair.

Sadly, there were no tips on how to team your talus with the fat pants and slippers that have become de rigueur while working from home.

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As the retail row rumbles on, the classic combo of 'socks and jocks' could yet become the most popular Christmas gift of 2020.

In the current climate, Santa certainly seems less likely to stretch to a pair of Falke's €860 vicuña wool socks or Nice Laundry's €856 cashmere boxers than a multi-pack from Aldi or Tesco.

The bottom line, according to experts, is that undies should be replaced every six months to help prevent a build-up of fungi (not that one) from causing nasty urinary tract infections in both men and women.

With 45pc of people confessing to wearing their smalls for more than a day, and 13 percent for up to a week before washing, maybe going commando in the war against coronavirus isn't such a bad idea after all.

If nothing else, the ban on bootees should finally put the age-old 'wearing socks during sex' debate to bed this winter - that's something I think we can all agree would boost anyone's socks appeal.


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