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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes a statement through sock diplomacy

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Posted at 9:52 AM, Jun 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-30 09:52:54-04

Political figures and celebrities often get praised or harangued for their fashion choices, but this time a world leader’s simple pair of socks has the world a-twitter.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau marched in Toronto’s gay pride parade last weekend wearing a rainbow-striped pair of socks printed with the words “Eid Mubarak,” which recognizes the Islamic festival that ends Ramadan.

Sock diplomacy is what The New York Times termed it, and here Trudeau honored two communities with one $14.99 pair of Canadian-made socks.

The Washington Post reports Trudeau was largely praised for his sartorial choice, but some panned it as “another social media savvy-stunt from a leader whose policies haven't lived up to the hype.”

“Rarely have a man’s ankles said so much,” Vanessa Friedman wrote for The New York Times, noting that Trudeau’s socks cleverly contained a message of solidarity.

Men have considerably fewer options compared to women when it comes to implicit clothing communication, Friedmen contends, noting Hillary Clinton’s choice of a powerful white pantsuit while accepting the Democratic Party’s nomination as president in 2016. She said that men are not as free to convey ideas through clothing or to select tailors from the countries they visit.

"While it’s doubtful Mr. Trudeau will immediately inspire a copycat trend of funky sock-wearing among other world leaders — even those, such as President Emmanuel Macron of France, who appear to be like-minded — it has nevertheless opened up possibilities for the future,” Friedman wrote.