Insulate yourself while looking fabulous underwater.

Underwater fashion received a makeover when Japanese photographer Manabu Koga combined swimming with sexy knee-high socks a couple of years ago.

Though they were purely for cosmetic purposes, swimwear designers in China borrowed the idea and took the concept to another level by utilizing the same insulating material used in wetsuits. Manabu Koga himself stumbled upon the accessories on Chinese retail website Taobao and decided to share his findings on Twitter.

▼ Sexy and semi-practical.

Made of elastic, sturdy fabric measuring 2 millimeters (0.079 inches) thick, these knee-high socks were designed to keep freedivers’ legs warm while retaining maximum flexibility.

▼ Keep your legs cozy and your thighs chilly.

▼ Wetsuit maker, Bestdive, retails each pair for about 300 RMB (US$47.84).

Some fans of Koga’s photography called the wetsuit versions a rip-off, but the socks aficionado himself thought they looked fantastic and proceeded to look deeper into the matter.

▼ He loved Bestdive’s overall design,
but after searching on Taobao for a little longer…

▼ …he ended up uncovering a whole bunch of
retailers already selling similar products.

Netizens were quite taken by the new underwater accessories:

“It’s great that they’ve used wetsuit material.”
“I love the thickness. I also want Koga’s designs too.”
“This is really cool.”
“It feels like being taken over by competitors.”
“It looks beautiful like a mermaid’s scales. It’ll be fantastic if they came up with even better designs.”

Bestdive wetsuit knee-high socks can be purchased online from Taobao here.

While Koga was busy with exhibitions showcasing the beauty of women wearing socks underwater, it seems China took the next logical step and created awesome wetsuit variants. All we need now are matching gloves and a fancy wetsuit hat and we can have ourselves a whole undersea catwalk.

Source: Taobao via Twitter/@manabukoga, Kai-You
Featured image: Twitter/@manabukoga
Insert images: Taobao