Shelf Life: How Long do you Keep Socks?

A money-saving website I visit recently asked, “Could you go all of 2010 without buying any new clothes?”

Hmmm … well, yes, I don’t think that would be too difficult. I buy very little clothes now; I owe it to two things:  one, it seems that once I had kids I kind of lost most of my interest in fashion since their clothes was so much cuter, and two, when you’re home all day it kind of takes away the incentive to buy new clothes to look cute in (that, plus the fact that when I was working I was 15 years younger and 15 pounds lighter).

As I read the responses, it seemed that many of the women out there agreed that they could go a year without new clothes. But what stood out to me was that almost all of them said they couldn’t go a year without buying new socks and underwear.

I’m wondering, why? How long do you keep socks?

I know this is veering dangerously close to TMI-land, but we all wear one pair of undies a day and one pair of socks, and then wash them, right? At that rate, I keep mine several years. I’m assuming most people don’t?

I remember in high school my sister and I watched an episode of Family Feud. One question was, “What’s the average life of a pair of socks?”

The answer:  6 months. My sister and I were stunned!  At six months, we considered socks still new!

The other day I put on a pair of socks, fondly remember that a fellow teacher had given them to me as a gift when I worked at the preschool in Birmingham. In 1987. They are still fine!

So I guess I’m wondering, what is your criteria for getting rid of underwear and socks? Do they truly wear out? Do you just get tired of them? Do you automatically replace them all every 6 months or year? Do tell!

As a related frugal note, if you don’t have a Victoria’s Secret credit card, get one now. My sister clued me in to the fact that they send frequent (and I’m talking probably 5 times per year) coupons to their card holders for a totally free pair of underwear – no purchase necessary. I get so many that I’ve started getting the underwear for my daughter – I can’t keep up with all the free pairs!

6 thoughts on “Shelf Life: How Long do you Keep Socks?

  1. Well, gee… if you really want to know 🙂 if they fit and aren’t saggy-baggy and worn out, I keep on wearing them until they either wear out or don’t fit. Seems simple to me! (But my sister has a phobia of undies that aren’t crisp and new. From our young days of genteel poverty and hand-me-down undies from well-meaning, but misguided people. Mom dusted with them. But still…just for the record, poor people do NOT want your hand-me-down underwear).

  2. I wear my socks & underwear until they are unwearable. That would mean I use them for years! When my socks get a hole, I darn that hole. Remember, I ride a dinosaur around my backyard each evening at dusk.

  3. I am clueless on this one. I lost weight so had to change size, but still have the bigger size in my drawer in case I ever gain my weight back. Plus unders are expensive. I buy a certain brand of Jockey and they usually sell for 3 for $24. I was lucky to find some pairs at Ross Dress for Less for $1.99 to $2.99! As for socks, I have socks in my drawer that I have had for years. Now if this article was referring to boys, well, I could understand why they would need to replace socks and even underwear every six months. LOL

  4. I buy almost nothing now that I work in Academia…..still I have about 12 pairs of sock and undies. Washing machine helps a lot here!! lol…. Since I don’t have to wear stockings or panty hose my work wardrobe is much cheaper. Since I do not buy many items I do have to replace things that just plain wear out. My work wardrobe consists of “nice” khaki, navy and black pants with a selection of shirts, “tops” [“nice” solid ladies tshirts, cotton turtlenecks, etc] and sweaters. I have a pair of black and a pair of brown all purpose “dress” shoes to wear with them. At home I wear my one pair of jeans and my “too old looking for work” tops or t-shirts. I have a pair of running shoes and flipflops. That’s about it!

  5. First time visitor! I LOVE this blog. I would definately have to buy undies and socks. I keep about 20 pairs, Hanes. About 5 need to be repaced every six months. My size has changed so much in the last 15 years. So I dont have as many clothes as most women. I have a tiny closet so I only keep two sizes. I am blessed that I finally learned how to diet for my body. So I will be adding to my wardrobe this year.

  6. I do not like socks that fall down, so I get new ones then. I wear tights until they get torn or loose their shape, washing them in cold water and hanging to dry makes them last longer. Hanes all cotton undies last a long time if you wash in cold and hang to dry. I think using a dryer shortens the life span of clothes. Therefore, none of the clothes I wear ever see the inside of a dryer. Plus, it saves $$

Thanks for taking the time to comment. I enjoy hearing your thoughts.