We’re all acquainted with spring/summer 2014’s ‘Europeancamper-sandals’ look, granted some of us (me) more than others. But fear not all you financially fretful fashionistas. For while Birkenstocks (the orthopaedic sandal developed in the 50s) were last summer’s must-have shoe, the good news is that you don’t have to pack those sandals away just yet. This winter calls for the doublestrapped Birkenstock Arizonas to be worn with socks.

Katherine Ormerod, Senior Fashion News Editor at Grazia says, “The Birkenstock look is a more affordable take on looks from Prada and Marni.” The socks are crucial. According to Ormerod, “The sock needs to be substantial. Something with a bit of a hiking vibe to it. Best get them in a grungy colour, a grey or an olive or a brown, and wear them a bit slouched down. The whole look needs to be outdoorsy. It can work for men as well as women too, as part of that whole urban woodsman look. You know: the beard, lumberjack shirt, rolled-up jeans, sandals and socks …”

There is absolutely no doubt that this trend will be both comfortable and warm (particularly as Birkenstock have released a new sheepskin-lined Arizona sandal!), but conventionally sexy it is not. So why the sudden penchant for socks and sandals? High street retailer Debenhams has recorded a 68 per cent rise in sales of socks and sandals while the purchases of bright short-sleeved shirts have rocketed by 72 per cent, completing the ‘sad-dad’ ensemble.

According to personal stylist Alain Mehada of Debenhams, this bizarre trend might simply be explained by comfort. “We didn’t see it coming, but perhaps we should have done as let’s be honest there are fewer things more comfy than a solid well-made sandal and a soft pair of socks to stop them rubbing on bare skin.” And regarding the shirts, who can resist a smile when someone saunters past in a garishly bright short-sleeved top? It brightens up the day and brings memories of holidays and beach-side fun, even if you are stuck at home this winter