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It’s easy for socks to go missing, and it’s annoying to have to match up socks. My girlfriend and I have developed two entirely different strategies for dealing with these eventualities.
She owns a good variety of socks which are safety-pinned together anytime they’re not actually on her feet. Her socks do everything paired up. This solves the matching problem and greatly reduces the likelihood any go missing (and at least they do it in pairs). If one should wear out before the other, though, they’re both lost.
My strategy is to own a large number of exactly two styles of socks: black unlabeled athletic ankle socks and black unlabeled athletic crew socks. Sorting is trivial, loss and damage are inconsequential. Wearing mismatched socks is only sometimes necessary on laundry day and is at least unobtrusive. When I notice one type of sock is low, I just go buy another dozen.
What’s your sock strategy?
2007-02-22: My girlfriend would like it to be known that she does not dispose of the surviving complements to worn out socks, they go into a drawer to be potentially matched up with other socks whose mates are lost. This distinction is vital, and I admit my sole culpability in its oversight.