Socks with sandals? Blame the Romans

Last month we reported on a survey of the worst fashion violations men commit while on vacation. Speedos, of course, came in first, and while the banana hammock is certainly the worst of all fashion sins, wearing socks with sandals got high marks too.

Now it turns out we may owe this particular form of geekiness to one of the greatest of all ancient civilizations–the Romans. According to a new excavation in Yorkshire, England, the culture that gave us much of our law, language, and architecture may have also given us this travesty.

Archaeologists excavating a Roman site discovered a rusty nail from a 2,000 year-old Roman sandal that had impressions of fiber on it. Evidence of more socks comes from several Roman graves also found on the site. While Romans often wore boots in bad weather, it appears they didn’t mind using their sandals as long as they had some socks to keep their tootsies toasty.

Yorkshire is full of Roman remains to visit. The Aldborough villa has some wonderfully preserved mosaics, and there are the remnants of a Roman fort near Richmond. Plus local museums are full of Roman artifacts. While exploring England’s rugged north, it’s easy to imagine tough Roman legionaries marching through the moors. Now we have to imagine them with socks on.

Hey, at least the Romans didn’t invent Speedos. Imagine a bunch of greased-up gladiators fighting to the death dressed only in banana hammocks. Um. . .actually don’t think about that.

Image courtesy user Hebrides via Wikimedia Commons.