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chyna's avatar

Do your socks have to match?

Asked by chyna (41943points) October 23rd, 2011

I don’t mean wearing one black and one blue. I’m talking about white athletic type socks. Does it matter if the ribs are a little different, if you have one gold toe and one gray toe? As long as the sock reaches about the same level on your ankle, does it really matter?

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31 Answers

digitalimpression's avatar

It doesn’t matter to me either way. Different ribbing, different color.. meh. What’s the difference? (If wearing pants)

Now if I were wearing shorts they’d match.

njnyjobs's avatar

they have to match, as some socks have different elasticity and build. I usually feel odd when one sock is tighter than the other, or one is plusher.

Ayesha's avatar

No. I’ll wear pink on one foot and bright yellow on the other!
I don’t care.

Nimis's avatar

I like mismatching colours sometimes.
But the feel of the socks definitely have to match for me.
More annoying than a pebble in my shoe. Ugh.

ucme's avatar

My socks must match, but they don’t necessarily have to be on the right feet ;¬}


I hardly wear white athletic socks, but if I do, no, they don’t have to match, because they’re just worn for casual purposes anyways.

But when I slip on my executive length dress socks, yes, they have to match. Not only color——the right shade of black or navy blue, but also the ribbing. I prefer all my dress socks to have narrow, tight ribbing. And the fabric is important too. They all have to be made of nylon/spandex, so that they stay up.

Luiveton's avatar

As long as people don’t see you it’s fine.. I think. Personally I can’t stand wearing different socks.. It’s just so messed up.

augustlan's avatar

Mine must match, in every way. I even have multiple pairs that look the same, but have ‘worn’ differently over time, and I can’t wear a pair if one of them is more stretched out than the other, or something. I might be a little OCD about it.

chyna's avatar

@augustlan Why no, it doesn’t sound a little OCD at all.~

Jeruba's avatar

“Life is too short for matching socks,” says the maker of the socks I recently bought at a little sixties-throwback boutique in the Santa Cruz mountains.

There is no reason why we should be slaves to symmetry. I have more than one pair of earrings that consist of two complementary but different items. One pair has a vampire bat for one ear and a cross and a head of garlic for the other. Another has a star for one ear and a crescent moon for the other. I have even sometimes worn earrings from different pairs together. Who ever really looks at both of them at once, anyway?

When my son was in high school and art college, he used to routinely pair different colors of Converse High-Tops (he had more colors than just those). I was sorry when he moved past that colorful stage of his life.

I do keep matching socks together for as long as possible, I admit; but when one of the pair meets the eventual fate of all socks, I keep on wearing the survivor, paired with another widowed sock.

Jeruba's avatar

I’ll break a little rule of mine, just for this question, and post one of my 100-word stories. For discipline and practice, I like to write stories that are exactly 100 words in length, not 99 and not 101. This one happens to be about socks.


When Jason gets to work and discovers that his socks don’t match, he tucks his feet back beneath his chair all day, and he avoids walking past anyone at close range. Still, he thinks people are snickering.

When Matthew’s socks don’t match, he jokes loudly about them to everyone from elevator companions to cafeteria staff. Sometimes he blames his wife, even though he’s single.

The tyranny of convention is a terrible thing.

When Zack’s socks do match, it’s sheer luck. He pulls pairs at random from a drawer of loose dark ones. He thinks this is freedom, but it isn’t.

HungryGuy's avatar

Once a year or so, I go to Try-N-Save and buy a couple of bags of white socks (I have a few pairs of black socks for special occasions, but I rarely wear them) for $5 each bag full of socks. That way, I never have to sort socks or worry about them matching.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

I have gotten into the habit of purchasing only all black socks with no styling and only white socks of the same no name brand for the gym.

When I see a woman wearing mismatched socks, I think it is endearing, fun, and a little sexy. When I see a man doing so, I assume his mother or wife was busy and he was unable to wash his own clothes.

rebbel's avatar

We bought a linen cupboard some weeks ago and it also has some drawers in it.
When we filled it we had two drawers that we were going to put our socks in, one drawer for matching pairs and one for singles.
Turned out we had three or four matching pairs in the one drawer and about thirty single socks in the other….
So, nine out of ten times we wear unmatching pairs of socks we try to match them as good as possible…, not green with black, just gray with black and brown with light brown.

downtide's avatar

I don’t care as long as they’re the same thickness and roughly the same colour. One thick one and one thin one feels wrong. I usually buy black socks so they always look at least vaguely matching to a casual glance.

chyna's avatar

Mine don’t have to match, but at least be the same color. Or kind of near the same color.

blueiiznh's avatar

For white Athletic socks they just have to be the same length and approximate tone of white.
However, as much as I hate matching them, I still match them.

Ela's avatar

Yep, it matters to me. I’m a perfectionist and match them all up. If they don’t have a match they get tossed in a small singles basket until it has one. Poor guy may there for weeks until it’s mate either shows up or I toss one that gets a hole out and couple them two up : )

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Where I’m from the sock police will taser you if your socks don’t match. But I like the rush so I don’t worry about it.

stardust's avatar

I get a little kick out of wearing mismatched socks.

Fly's avatar

YES. They absolutely must match. I always buy the same exact type of socks (white, No Nonsense brand bamboo weave ankle socks) Not that I know that off the top of my head, or anything…and yes, because I know you’re all wondering, they are amazingly breathable!

But, every once in a while, I buy a pack that has differently colored toes without noticing! Oh, the horror! And a few older pairs (before I discovered the wonder that is bamboo fabric) still lurk around. So, I have to be very careful to make sure that the socks match completely. Yes, even the toes. I even try to make sure that they’re about evenly streched/worn, so as to ensure that they feel as close to exactly the same as possible.

I have friends who purposely wear mismatched socks, and it drives me absolutely insane!

Jeruba's avatar

Oh, dear, @Fly, remind me to hide my feet if I’m in your vicinity!

Can you supply a link to the bamboo weave socks you like? I never heard of them.

augustlan's avatar

NOTE: I swear I did not teach @Fly to be this way about her socks. It must be genetic.

Nor did I teach her to be up this late on a school night. GO TO SLEEP. :D

Fly's avatar

@Jeruba Here is a link to the ones that I specifically like. They sell them at places like Walmart, but this is the best I could find from my iPod. ;)

OpryLeigh's avatar

I don’t actually own any of those athletics type socks but I am quite OCD about my socks. I can’t bring myself to wear odd socks ever!

augustlan's avatar

It’s weird, because I don’t require symmetry for my ears (3 piercings in the left, and only 1 in the right) or my hands (I can wear one glove, if I need my other hand free for something). But my feet, my mouth (I like to chew things ‘evenly’ on both sides), and my boobs all need to feel symmetrical.

chyna's avatar

@augustlan I’m so glad your boobs are symetrical. I don’t think mine are.
However, I have to have an even amount of holes (additional ones, not original) in my ears. Two in each.

Fly's avatar

I think the only thing that I don’t have this issue with would be ear piercings. (I have five on the right, three on the left.) Other than that, I’m perfectionistic and slightly OCD about pretty much everything else.

Jeruba's avatar

SIDE NOTE Would it surprise anyone to know that untidiness, clutter, and chaos can be just as much a symptom of OCD-type perfectionism as compulsive neatness, symmetry, etc.? We often see someone use “OCD” (seriously? or jokingly? I’m not too sure) as if it were a synonym for fastidiousness and a drive to have things just so, but perfectionism can cause all kinds of paralysis as well as compulsive behavior.

martianspringtime's avatar

No. I often wear two completely different coloured socks because I can’t be bothered to find the matching one. They do have to be the same style though…shaped the same way, I mean.

David Tennant was on Graham Norton talking about how he has to wear matching socks, and he’ll spend hours trying to make sure one black sock goes to a certain other black sock, but now he wears the ones with the different coloured toe/heel (as well as the day of the week). Seems to work for him.

augustlan's avatar

@Jeruba Isn’t hoarding on the OCD spectrum? When I use “I’m OCD about it”, I mean that I’m overly compulsive about a particular subject, not that the subject is necessarily one related to neatness. I’m a huge slob in most ways, but I don’t feel compulsive about that. It’s more like a “Meh, I don’t really care” kind of thing. When I clean, it’s generally because I have to, so I don’t feel compulsive about that, either.

And then I have these little islands of compulsiveness…things I do care about, in a more-than-normal way. Some of them do involve neatness (keeping my silverware drawer, kitchen cabinets, and spice rack in perfect order) and some don’t (counting, repetitive thoughts, foot symmetry, etc.).

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