In Defense of Matching Socks


In Defense of Matching SocksYeah, those are my feet.  There’s a disturbing trend afoot these days (see what I did there?) regarding the acceptance and even promotion of mismatched sock wearing.  Some do so out of the necessity of being unable to find a matching pair.  Some purposely purchase socks that are packaged and marketed as wacky mismatched pairs.  What is this all about?  Since when are we so cavalier and reckless about our foot-fashion? Is nothing sacred? Whatever the source or motivation of mismatched socks, I am speaking up and out in defense of matching socks.  

Don’t get me wrong – I have a basket of mismatched socks.  I’m talking a big, fat, full-sized laundry basketful.  In my harried, unmethodical laundry-doing, I toss the pairs that don’t have their sole-mates (sorry) into the basket.  It’s a shameful business, not having control over your own sock sorting.  Then the basket sits there, in a corner of my cluttered bedroom, mocking me, taunting me, reminding me of my inadequacies.  Many mornings, I scrounge around to get socks for my kiddos and myself, racing against the clock to pair up two socks that are the same or at least similar enough.  I’ll admit, due to my own poor organizational skills, I’ve been down to the wire and have had to send my kids off with an odd couple on their feet.  I just hope nobody noticed.  

Look - a heaping portion of chaos!
Look – a heaping portion of chaos!

Admittedly, I have worn two different black or brown socks to work, a sort of subtle shame that would go unnoticed unless closely examined.  I’ve been more overtly mismatched (as in the photo above) when I had to run out to exercise or go to an appointment.  In times of mismatchery, I hope I am not in a freak accident or in a scenario where my shoes would have to come off and someone would see the disgrace of my lack of ability to bring my own laundry under submission.  I’m not some teenager trying to be quirky.  I’m a frazzled, disorganized mother who really could be doing a better job of keeping on top of the sock situation.  I’m the victim of my own procrastination and laziness.

Now some of you may be rolling your eyes and wondering what the big deal is about wearing mismatched socks. Admittedly, there are more pressing issues in the world.  Yet for me, there are a couple of reasons to uphold the matching of socks, namely the lack of control we have in so many other areas of our lives.  We are hurtling through life, navigating a host of personal, political, financial and work-related challenges.  The simple act of matching your socks and seeing them in a drawer, harmoniously in pairs, ready to be worn, gives you the feeling that maybe you do have your act together, even just a little bit.  Maybe the pressures and uncertainties of life can be eased just a little by a well-situated sock drawer.  This is not to mention the squelching of potential embarrassment at someone seeing your motley-clad feet in the event of an untimely deshoeing while in public.

Maybe the pressures and uncertainties of life can be eased just a little by a well-situated sock drawer.

Matching the socks says that maybe your pursuits as a mom aren’t totally a hot mess.  I may not craft cutesy homemade valentines or make spooky spider treats out of gumdrops and pretzel sticks at Halloween, but hey, my kids’ socks match.  And I took them out of a drawer, thank you very much.  I wasn’t pawing through a bottomless basket in my dimly lit bedroom, silently vowing to get more organized and match up whatever socks belonged together in said basket.  This fantasy was within reach – I only needed sort it out (again, sorry).

So my nemesis (the basket) and I had a showdown in the Prayer Lair a couple of weeks ago.  I sorted socks like it was my job, which it actually is.  From half the basket, I matched 28 pairs of socks for my kiddos and 16 for myself.  Mr. Earl Grey does his own wash, and only owns one kind of sock.  There’s probably a lesson in that.  Anyway, I promised myself that once I did all the laundry and certified that I had matched all I could, that the straggler socks were going into the trash.  Then, every sock in the house would have a mate and I would unswervingly keep them all matched up.

I’m not there yet, but have made progress and feel a little more in control of life as a result.  The simple act of matching socks does help bring me some sense of order and I hope it flows into the rest of my cluttered and crazy existence.  I just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other (insert groan here).


Hi! I’m Tracy…Christ-follower, wife, mama, writer, blogger, speaker, teacher, dreamer. I love Earl Grey Tea and quiet mornings. Here at Earl Grey and Yellow, the focus is striving to be faithful and appreciate the small things. So glad you stopped by. Please have a look around and subscribe to our newsletter and social media to stay connected.

One thought on “In Defense of Matching Socks

  1. My daughter can’t stand mismatched sock day at school! I always tried to encourage her to participate but she insists in wearing matching socks. After reading this I get her! She gets that people notice things like that and that socks go together for a reason. Then I worry that she cares too much what others think but then you talked about control. What can a 7 year old control in their life? Matching socks!!!

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