Slow Your Beefroll – An 11,000 Word Argument For The Sockless

Well, if pictures are worth a thousand words each.

We begin with Take Ivy. Because it’s Take Ivy.


This gentleman knew a little bit about style, I would say. Yes?


We could stop right here. We won’t. But we could.


It’s Harrison Ford.


I’m not gonna do it. I’m… ok. Cheap seats. Oh dear.


My personal Ivy Style spirit animal.


Exhibit… I forget, how many is this?


Take Ivy Take Two. Shorts, pants, no matter.


Take Ivy Take Three.


Last JFK but come on. Loafers in a boat, still no socks.


The closing argument.


Ok, let me head off a few errant comments before they are posted.  (1) Boat shoes are leather.  (2)  Sneakers are justifiable as exhibits because they tend to be tighter, you tend to walk more in them, and Steve McQueen is justifiable in any Ivy argument.  (3) JFK  (4) Harrison Ford is definitively not Ivy (unless you count Indiana Jones and a few other costumes), but he is Harrison Ford.

Have a great weekend everyone!   The story of how Gregg Donnelly (of spent two years on the road learning khakis before he spent his last dime on his first run… Tuesday.


29 Comments on "Slow Your Beefroll – An 11,000 Word Argument For The Sockless"

  1. whiskeydent | April 22, 2022 at 10:27 am |

    My wheelhouse — all of it.

    Amen. – JB

  2. Bopper’s rules:

    1. Going sockless is OK when on a boat, at the pool, on laundry day, or similar.

    2. Never, ever ask Steve McQueen what time he’s got.

    1. A very fair application. 2. A very good rule. – JB

  3. It’s absolutely crazy how any JFK look is immediately iconic. He could be brushing his teeth and somehow it would be Ivy.

    Would like to put in a word for merino wool no-shows.

  4. I think I touched a nerve– one of the’s planar nerves, obviously.

    Oh my.

    (Sorry?). Shall I now rejoinder with pictures of Ivy-tending gents wearing shoes– with socks??

    There is a teaching in Buddhism about how it is almost never about you. That teaching applies. This was in response to Nevada’s suggestion about a column on no socks. And I almost added to the comments that I was pre-empting: “And don’t show me people WITH socks, no one said this is either/or.” Then I was like, “The readers can figure that out.” I forgot about you. – JB

  5. * owner’s

    “slow your beefroll” receives a 5 on the 1-10 Bon Mot Scale (BMS).

  6. There are some who, noting that P.J. O’ Rourke did something, will almost certainly, inspired by the spirit of riposte,

    do the opposite,
    if not exact opposite.

    You should’ve stopped with JFK.

    Wait. You knew you were wrong before the O’Rourke picture? – JB

  7. Yes to all of this.

    @Joe — I’ll second your vote for merino no-shows. At the same time, I went true sockless last summer with a couple of my loafers (a suede pair and a pair of Weejuns) and it was surprisingly comfortable and surprisingly did *not* result in offensive smells or swamp feet.

    Looking forward to the Gregg Donnelly/Jack Donnelly post. They’re the makers of my favorite chinos.

  8. It’s race season in the Commonwealth, so I’ll be out tomorrow in loafers. Socks on, the better to repel ticks with. The socks will be laundered pre/ post wear. Sheesh.

    Otherwise, happy to wear loafers sockless (though likely not with a suit) as Spring comes into bloom and through the summer as I head north to Maine. Ivy, not Ivy, American Trad – whatever.

  9. Bluchermoc | April 22, 2022 at 3:23 pm |

    Wasn’t Steve McQueen a mysognistic pig? Asking for a friend.

  10. Re: Bluchermoc — I guess in defense of McQueen you would say he had a horrible and traumatic childhood. No father, born to a teenage prostitute who often abandoned him to the care of relatives, and in and out of minor trouble with the law.

    In condemnation of him, you’d point out he kept the cycle of abuse going and inflicted it upon the women he married.

    Ultimately, he was insecure, (prior to his acting career taking off) a leach, forced both of his wives to give up their careers, slept around on them constantly and deliberately rubbed their noses in his infidelity, pointed a loaded gun at his first wife’s head before beating her bloody during a mutual cocaine session wherein she admitted to an affair, and tried to deny paternity of his first child while still married.

    Towards the end of his life, he reached out to his second wife years after their divorce and invited her out to his new home to meet his current girlfriend. During that visit, he took her for a ride in his truck and tried to convince her to have sex with him. She thankfully left and never bothered with him again.

  11. @Bluchermoc & K.E. — McQueen — what a piece of work! A fine actor and he knew how to dress, but …eesh. That said, digging back to the ’60s Ivy canon is almost always going to turn up famous men who behaved atrociously. Paul Newman might be a good counterpoint. There must be a few sockless snaps of that guy floating around in online Ivy ephemera. And what of well-dressed people in the current decade?

    …Thanks JB for taking up my suggestion with such spot-on photos. It’s every bit as contentious a topic as any. Who knew?

  12. To paraphrase Clara Peller, where’s the beefroll (in these photos)?

    Most look more like Weejuns (cleaner lines, more attractive to my eye)

  13. I might have even underplayed how bad McQueen’s childhood was, above. When his mother married, the beatings his stepfather administered had McQueen sleeping on the street before finishing grade school.

    But, as an adult, he certainly took a hellish childhood out on his wives and then some.

  14. Big fan of no socks during the warmer months. Do whatever you want though. Having STRONG OPINIONS about what other people are wearing or not wearing is almost always weird.

  15. whiskeydent | April 22, 2022 at 4:33 pm |

    Bluchermoc and KE,
    This is a perfect illustration of why it’s dangerous to idolize people you don’t really know. Frequently, the higher the pedestal, the more likely they fall.

    I think we can admire McQueen’s style and persona but not the man. Same for WF Buckley, who wrote a column once that called for tattooing numbers on AIDS patients just like the Nazis did to Jews. And even though JFK displayed perfect socklessness, his many affairs are prime examples of utter recklessness.

    It should be about the clothes, not the man.

  16. Re: whiskeydent — Agree to disagree on admiring McQueen’s persona. A lot of his image was cultivated by a press that liked to tout him as an exciting bad boy while not publishing news of ugly incidents of which they were aware.

  17. elder prep | April 22, 2022 at 6:04 pm |

    On the matter of socks or no socks with loafers and/or Weejuns is the weather. If it’s cold, wear socks. If it’s warm . . .

  18. “ It should be about the clothes, not the man.”

    Respectfully, I think you have that entirely backwards. The Duke of Windsor may have looked great, but he was a Nazi sympathizer. One of those things is decidedly more important than the other. Same goes for people who beats their wives or wish to treat AIDS victims as third class citizens. Saying that we should ignore a man’s character because he dresses well confirms all of the negative things outsiders say about our little subculture.

    Gotta say, this resonates with me. You look at someone like Boyer, or O’Rourke, fantastic dress but also integrity and humor and good people, the clothes fit them. Not to get third eye about it, but you can almost feel the costume on someone who doesn’t deserve the nice clothes they have. – JB

  19. “…Ivy canon is almost always going to turn up famous men who behaved atrociously.”
    Damn. Truth here.

    The other thing about many men in this photo-album-of-a-rejoinder to my flippant (I intended no real harm, promise) knocks against socklessness is that they all experienced deep psychic pain. Grant’s demons were aplenty. ‘Nuff said already about McQueen (wow.) and JFK– well, double wow. Neither would thrive today–respectively (entertainment, politics).

    I still think O’ Rourke’s free-spirited, partying-all-night libertarian “Republican Party Reptile” persona was flat-out, totally 100% fake — constructed. Not real. Good for the Reagan-era brand he embodied and book sales, though. Far from a genuinely rebellious contrarian, He was nerdy hippie who, for all the world travel and New Hampshire farmland, never fully shed a midwestern provincialism. The later-in-life interviews reveal a man who had matured.

    I will give you this, friend. You own your convictions. It. Wasn’t. Answering. You. But let’s get to common ground. You are right about the latter half O’Rourke. Having corresponded, I can tell you this. The party was authentic. But you are right, like probably all of us, the years gave us wisdom that our earlier snarkiness was trying to cover the lack of. The man was in love with his wife, wrote what he really thought, and had regrets and was proud. Imminently likable for all, and admirable to those so inclined. – JB

  20. Re: Dennis — I once saw a John Bolton appreciation thread in the Navy Blazer subreddit, and it did raise the question: what kind of rep tie is best to wear when covertly funneling money to Guatemalan death squads with a known penchant for gang-raping villages worth of women and girls?

  21. Hardbopper | April 22, 2022 at 8:24 pm |

    Did a double take on Take Two. That guy has a Bic spit-wad shooter in his shirt pocket. So I was Ivy in the 5th grade and didn’t know it. I guess I skipped prep.

  22. Old Bostonian | April 23, 2022 at 1:34 am |

    Wearing loafers without socks makes me feel young without looking like a clown at the age of 78.

  23. About 80 degrees F. here in Mid-Michigan today. Sockless AND wearing worn leather deck shoes post-yard work, mowing, and shower this late Saturday afternoon. I know, I know. And I’m so ashamed.

    Otherwise, a navy pique polo top (untucked) and plain front khaki shorts with a surcingle ribbon belt. All things being equal, I’d still rather be XC-skiing up north, but the warm weather ain’t bad either.

    Kind Regards,


  24. Andrew Summar | April 23, 2022 at 7:31 pm |

    In contrast to all the purported controversial figures, can any commenters please come up with a photo of a sockless Mr. Rogers? There has to be one somewhere.

  25. AndrewK247 | April 23, 2022 at 8:23 pm |

    I’m just glad there are not actually 11,000 words….

    I TOTALLY understand that. – JB

  26. Re: Paul Newman as the aforementioned positive era-alternative to McQueen — Unquestionably so. A better man, a better actor, and a better racecar driver. But for the purposes of this post, a brief image search indicates Newman seems to have much preferred socks with loafers, even with shorts.

  27. whiskeydent | April 24, 2022 at 3:17 pm |

    I’m a little confused about the responses and wonder if that’s because I confused the respondents. I’ll try again.

    When I wrote “it should be about the clothes…”, I meant we can discuss style without discussing the character of the people wearing ur. We can also discuss how horrible some people were without getting into how cool they looked. To me, they are two separate subjects. One is about image, the other about reality.

    And sorry JB, but Dennis pointing out that the Duke of Windsor was a well-dressed Nazi kinda debunks the clothes equal character argument. Meanwhile, that Ghandi guy just didn’t get collar roll at all.

    You don’t have to say sorry to me man, I agree with you. – JB

  28. whiskeydent | April 24, 2022 at 3:20 pm |

    Where the hell did “ur” come from? I guess my manual dexterity is going to the crapper just like the rest of me.

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