The Sock Rebellion

I cannot remember the last time I purchased socks. One day I realized that I owned far too many pairs and decided not to purchase any more until the ones I owned wore out.

It is finally starting to happen.

This morning I grabbed a pair out of my bin to discover that both socks contained holes. As I examined them I realized that I could read my computer screen through the heel of the pair.

It is finally time to let them go.

It is amazing to think that I’ve owned a pair of socks for close to a decade. If a pair of cheap socks will last that long, why do we so frequently purchase new?

More importantly, what else are we discarding before it reaches the true end of its life?

This makes me wonder just how long it will be before I wear out the clothes I currently own. In the months since I placed a moratorium on clothing acquisitions, my wardrobe has barely budged.

How much of what we’ve been spending on clothes has been a waste of money? I mean, if a pair of socks can last a decade, how long will a tee-shirt or a pair of jeans hold up if we resist the urge to replace them?

Heck, I’ve got a zip-up hoodie here that I purchased back in the early 2000’s and it’s still going strong.

So why are we still buying clothes if our closets are overflowing and the ones we already own are still functional?

It’s definitely something to think about.

What’s the oldest item of clothing that you own and still wear? Please share your stories in the comments below.

10 thoughts on “The Sock Rebellion”

  1. I have no clothes that old that I still wear because I’ve lost so much weight my old clothes no longer fit so I gave them away. Except I still have two pairs of sandals that can be adjusted to my narrower feet and they are even older than your socks. However, it is winter in Minnesota so I’m not actually wearing those sandals right now, either.

    1. Hi Linda!

      Weight loss or gain can wreak havoc on a wardrobe, can’t it? I find myself losing weight this winter so I’ve taken to wearing belts with my pants. I’ve no issues with baggy shirts since they tend to conceal my “girls” a bit better. I get tired of having guys talk to them instead of my face.

  2. I have some shirts that are 30-40 years old and they are still good enough to wear in public. My winter coat is at least 20 years old and still looks good and keeps me warm. I have a pair of LL bean boots that are 40 years old -I’ve replaced the removable linings every 8-10 years! I buy classic styles that last. Clothes last a long time if you take care of them. They also sit in landfills for years/decades. I now try to replace if necessary with used clothing. For socks, I use a trick I learned in the Tightwad Gazette. Every few years my step daughter buys me black socks -always the same brand and style-for Christmas. No need to match them and if one gets lost or has a hole I only loose one sock that can be matched with another single sock.

    1. I’m impressed, Karen! My parents wore some of the same pieces of clothing my entire life. I bought socks in packs back in the day so normally when one dies I’ll keep the intact mate and pair it up with another one. That doesn’t happen very often at the moment. I must confess that I was rather surprised when I discovered that both of the socks in that pair I’d pulled on contained holes.

      I can tell right now that it is going to take a very long time just to wear out the clothes I currently own. I’m not sure what to think about that. While I didn’t purchase most of my wardrobe (both of my kids are very generous with their discards), the excess makes me feel uncomfortable.

  3. I buy vintage clothing from the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. So some of the things I wear are about 70 years old.

    Of clothing I purchased new, I have one pair of jeans from high school, and 2 pairs of capris I bought with an employee discount at a store I worked in when I was 19 years old. I’m 53 now.

  4. TIme to get out the darning needle and darning thread. Still got some life in those socks, Annie!

    1. Bwahaha! I was going to do just that, Essie until I realized they’d gotten so thin that I could read through them. I will do that on holes when the remainder of the sock is still thick enough not to read through them, however!

  5. I remember a nightgown that My mom threw out when I was 16. I loved that thing! It was still good! Yeah, it was much thinner but it still had a few good years left to it! I remember getting that nightgown when I was 4 years old. Yes, you read that correctly… I was 4 years old when I got that thing and it lasted 12 years! Admittedly, it was much shorter on me at 16 than when it was first purchased. LOL It was that cheap stretchy material with a pink flowery pattern on it. Nothing special. I cried when she threw it out.

    I’m guessing that we throw out stuff cuz we’re programmed to. How else are we going to keep the fashion moguls in business? Damn people! Get with the program! lol We also like change and the idea of new things. I hate replacing stuff personally. I’d rather spend my money on books or crafts tbh.

    1. Hello, Tammara!

      I do believe that you’re right in your belief that we’ve been programmed to continuously purchase new. I’ve done that myself many times over the years.

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