Things from Thing Stores

Eclectic accumulation via thrift store shopping

The Great Sock Match-Up

I’m not squeamish about buying things at thrift stores that other folks disdain, such as socks, underwear, and bath supplies like shampoo and shower gel. (Hey, I’ll wear my sister’s underwear after it’s been washed, and I know where that’s been.)

Still, when I had an entire laundry basket full of solo socks, I had to face the diminishing returns of Too Many Socks. This afternoon I rounded up socks from all their hiding places, and after the Great Sock Match-Up, I can see clearly now that a hundred pairs of socks is more than any Californian needs. When it gets to the point that you can’t find two alike, so you go out and buy another half-dozen pairs, you have a Sock Problem.

Thanks to my friend TOE (“The Other Ellen”) for moral support and for helping me match up most of the vast collection. If I used the 80/20 rule again, 20 pairs of socks are my workhorses, and 80 are just for fun, so if I downsize half of those … nah, that’s still a little too much fun.

Results of the Great Sock Match-Up !

Results of the Great Sock Match-Up !

First pass: 60 pairs of socks are walkin’ to the Living Room. I’ll donate any I don’t wear at least once during sock weather — which is about 6 weeks in Sonoma County– so only the lonely mismatches will have to go to Salvation Army’s rag bag.

Value: a friend who helps you match your socks is a jewel beyond price 


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3 thoughts on “The Great Sock Match-Up

  1. Shall I enter a gripe into the conversation? Well, why not? I want some Adidas Cushioned Comfort sports socks; somebody — nobody is ‘fessing up — left a single sock in my guest room, white with purple accents, so I spent awhile trying to figure out where to find some, because they are SO nice and squishy. Turns out Costco has them, just as nice, just as squishy . . . BUT. But they come in packs of six — two of each color! No purple, but some horrid day-glo orange, blue, and grey. Or something. And my complaint isn’t about the horrid colors, but about the shameless practice of ONLY selling them in three different colors. Unless you’re willing to wear unmatched socks, that means that if (scratch that: WHEN) you lose some, you’ll end up needing to buy another six pair to match up the color. And you have to spend time pairing your socks. I still want the cushy socks (my husband is the opposite: he wants thin socks), but I decided to keep looking for an all-white batch somewhere. Or all-purple: I liked the purple ones the best!


    • Hmm, that brings to mind the concept of a Buying & Sharing Club for Socks (or other items). You want someone with slightly different tastes, so that you each buy a 6-pack, then you swap for the pairs you each like … the next idea would be to find a local retailer and buy singles of just what you like.


  2. tohoest on said:

    Before you donate, I want you to know that I’ll take any and all socks! That includes the fun ones, the boring ones you no longer want AND the ones with no mates. The reasons being:

    Fun – Well, obviously, I enjoy fun socks, I just don’t have any anymore. I wore them all out.

    Boring/plain – For when I need boring socks for whatever reason (dress codes at work is a REALLY good one).

    Singles – Sock puppets! HELLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I am going to start a children’s crafting Summer club and sock puppets would make PERFECT craft!


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