If you were in Japan during the 1990s, you saw them: loose socks. Well, among some kids, they're back.

An American sock company named E.G. Smith invented the socks, which were originally hiking socks. Teens put their own spin of them, and voilà, loose socks. Their appeal was that they make your legs look "cute," and white loose socks quickly became de rigueur for Japanese schoolgirls.


The loose socks became iconic. Anime and manga characters wore 'em, and they popped up in movies. They also became code of sorts for teenage promiscuity and all that it entailed. And they got so loose that teens were holding them up with special sock glue.

But, as with most trends, loose socks ran their course. And the next generation of teens thought the threads were totally uncool, preferring more subdued calf socks.

A recent Nikkei article discussed how enough time has passed to make the 1990s cool again. According to Nikkei, this summer woman's clothing shop Tutu Anna began carrying loose socks in six different colors and teen clothing retailer Spinns also began carrying them. Other shops, such as Dog in Western Japan as well as Cannabis in Tokyo, are also carrying the socks.


Many stores have continued to carry them, sure, even as they were shunned by most teens. But now boutique shops have them. Recent photos of teens wearing them are popping up on Twitter. The country's largest internet forum, 2ch, notes their new found schoolgirl fans. Teen mag fashion models are wearing them. There appears to be a trend of sorts here—how big it is, at this point, isn't yet known.

As pointed out earlier this month on 2ch, loose socks were worn with loafers during their 1990s heyday. Now, kids are apparently wearing blue calf socks under their loose socks and donning Crocs. Yes. Crocs.

Some teens, however, are thankfully not wearing Crocs.

The reemergence of the saggy socks actually started a few years back (you could sometimes see them back in 2010). Today, you might be able to see them more (and they might be worn with a tinge of irony), but they haven't reached the widespread fever pitch of the 1990s, when the threads helped define a generation.

Photos: myozurim, Last_Quarter_x, Rena, 翔香, ゆか, みにとー, Chihonzel, superspinns, senya0606, Bubbles, 2ch

To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.

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