I didn't want to be the one to have to tell you this, but the shows have been watched, the photos have been scrutinized, the votes are in, and, well, Fall 2014's biggest new accessory is the shinguard.
Yes, the pads soccer players strap onto their shins to protect them from their competitors' cleats. No, you don't need them in real life, unless you're a very aggressive walker. Yes, they're pretty obvious imitations of actual shinguards. No, I have no idea why the fashion world needs them. But they're here.
Think positive, think positive: if you never got to play soccer as a little kid, here's your chance to really feel like one of the team, I guess? You can strap the shinguard to your bare leg — presumably it emphasizes the leg in a way that's more or less flattering — or make like a soccer player and wear socks underneath. (Don't wear socks over your shinguards, as soccer players actually do, because then you'll just be walking around with extra-bulky legs and no apparent shinguard in sight. What will the streetstyle photographers do then?)
What to wear on the rest of your body? Regular clothes, apparently: Jeremy Scott showcased his multiple shinguards on each leg with quirky mini-dresses; Marc by Marc Jacobs' shinguards were worn over tights and paired with skirts, sneakers, and long shorts; and Alexander Wang's shinguards were more elegant — if such a word can ever be used to describe shinguards — made of leather and held away from the body so that the leg rose elegantly behind it. But also: shinguards?!
Ready to take a look? I'm not sure I am, but okay:
Marc by Marc Jacobs featured socks that were merely patterned like shinguards, though you could have fooled me. This is a subtler way to wear the trend, if "subtle shinguard references" are your thing.
Alexander Wang killed two horrible fashion birds with one stone by attaching shinguards to mules. From the front, it's kind of an awkward-boot thing, but from the side, it's bizarrely flattering to the leg. Mysterious.
And then we've got Jeremy Scott. Oh, Jeremy Scott. Never one to bow down to convention, Scott strapped not one, not two, but three shinguards to each models' leg (that's six shinguards per model, if you're counting correctly), resulting in a… soccer player-inspired go-go dancer?
The designers have spoken: shinguards are hip. Will you listen?
Images: Getty Images