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Dear Hipster:

The weather cooled over the weekend, and I saw an otherwise fashionable person wearing socks and sandals the other day. Since when did that become cool?

— Daryl, La Jolla

Fashionable people are totally doing that now, but it’s not cool. Coolness and fashion inform each other, but they aren’t the same. Here’s how the relationship works: cool people wear socks and sandals as caustic commentary on anyone rocking the “German tourist” look; the fashionistas wear socks and sandals because the cool people are doing it; which in turn legitimizes the kooky types who just want to go sandalsocks because “it’s comfortable.” In this chicken-or-egg manner, the cycle sustains itself.

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