Since starting this blog, many causes have been triumphed, with the majority – if not all – focusing on matters of humanitarian concern.
Yet other causes exist in everyday life and address those little irks that cause us to grit our teeth and wish somehow, a law could be introduced to curtail such bête noirs.
Amongst my carefully compiled encyclopedia of nuisances is the male flip-flop, worn-in Uggs, queue-cutters, socks-and-sandal combos, comb-overs, nasal whistlers, British trains, and slow drivers/walkers/cyclists.
Thankfully, a remaining faux pas has emerged into the mainstream media, thanks to the Dutch Foreign Ministry.
White socks, it seems, have had their day. With the eighties now but a distant memory, the sight of a sparkling white sock peeking through the under-hem of a black suit is considered the height of fashion rudeness. The scandal! The inconsideration for our delicate eyes!
Despite Ministry officials vehemently denying the newly declared “War on Socks”, reports suggested that white socks were banned after being labelled as “transgressing the limits of decent dress behaviour”.
According to a Ministry spokeswoman, the opinion originated from one worker, but is shared by many others:
Our opinion is that everyone has to dress according to occasion, and the employees at the Dutch Finance Ministry have a good dress sense.
The purported declaration comes as something of a surprise from the usually liberal Dutch.
Certainly, for one British academic formerly based in a Dutch university, the choice of vitriol stands in sharp contrast to the love-affair held between his fellow academics and their choicy apparel:
Imagine, suit trousers or snow-washed jeans, with white socks and dress shoes – a dress code disaster of monumental proportions. Even I know that and I am not exactly a fashion statement myself.
Astounded by the level of attention the story has gathered since first appearing in the Dutch press, the spokeswoman is still trying to comprehend the significance of the ban on white socks.
For many others – for I am sure I am not alone – the view is nothing new, and is but one small step towards reducing the list of tiny, but irksome, social nuisances…