“Argyle socks are the visible sign of the invisible nerdfighter,” says John Green, proud nerdfighter*, argyle sock-wearer and internationally bestselling author. Oh and Internet star. Oh, and two of his books have been made into movies.
Just another living example of the notion that people who wear crazy socks are brilliant and successful.
Elite Daily profiled crazy sock-wearers as an iconic fashion trend that continues to gain momentum. Along with Scots using tartan to declare rebellion and 1960s women rebelling against the “maxi” skirt trend by wearing increasingly-shorter minis, wearers of colorful, interesting socks demonstrate the importance of embodied cognition. There is serious science behind this: embodied cognition is the idea that what we wear is a direct expression of our mental state…and vice versa.
Our clothing, then, is not only en extension of our personalities: it goes the other way too. Our clothing choices can influence the way we think or feel and especially they way we are perceived by our colleagues. A New York Times article notes that colorful socks have been in vogue since the late 1800s, and this piece contends that wearing such fanciful footwear helps set you apart at work as gutsy or particularly creative, which can give you a leg up in a competitive environment.
Research conducted by the Harvard Business School corroborates these assertions. A 2014 study showed that “the red sneakers effect” is actually real: that nonconforming behavior modeled by clothing choices creates positive inferences in relation to status and intelligence. In other words, people wearing red sneakers, or argyle socks, are often thought of by others as intellectually or otherwise superior.
This rings true especially in the past few years, where the Silicon Valley explosion has kept makers of colorful and fanciful socks in business. Many tech entrepreneurs and businessmen, from start-up CEOs to the founder of Uber, to higher-ups at YouTube…and that’s just scratching the surface. United States Presidents have also been known to don interesting socks. It’s a bit of a reminder, when you look down and see a peek of chartreuse-fuschia-and-lime green argyle, that you’re a little more creative, a little more curious, a little more interesting than the average Joe.
*A nerdfighter is any person who belongs to the nerdfighting community, a loose collective of people who promote intelligence, nerdiness, geekiness and the like. The community was founded by the vlogbrothers, of which John Green is one, and, probably, the whole staff here at iheartintelligence.com would fit in well.