Socks and Undies: the Survey Results

November 19, 2011

The much anticipated results of the previously posted Socks and Undies Survey are here! Thank you to the 40 people who participated. (The 41st respondent was me.) Click on this link to view the results…

Wow. What does it all mean? I’m sure you’ve got your own opinion, but here is mine:

  • One of my friends identifies strongly with Pan the Piper.
  • Having over 40 pairs of sock is not common, however, I can’t exactly reduce numbers when busily coveting woollen 80’s beauties such as these:

  • 1 in 4 respondents have mended a sock recently. Well done, we should all do this more often.
  • Weather variations were not taken into account for the survey. Especially the weather in Calgary. One friend kindly pointed out to me that living with huge weather variations has a direct effect on the number of socks and shoes required to undertake daily activities throughout the seasons. Think skate socks*; casual mid-calf height socks; casual, cotton, summer ankle-height socks; wicking athletic socks (for running & cycling); calf-height dress socks; trouser socks; tights; pantyhose;  and Christmas socks.
    *20 year old threadbare socks usually make the best skate socks.
  • The most common amount of stocked undies is between 10 and 20 pairs. I seem to be stocking an abnormally high amount of undies. (40+)
  • There are many reasons why a pair of undies become a rag. Refer answers to question 5.
  • Nearly 70% of respondents believe they can carry out all their daily activities with just 5 pairs of shoes! Let’s give some shoes to the op shop- if weather permits!
  • Some people probably don’t wear t-shirts to work like I do. I have lots of t-shirt because I don’t have many formal “top” options. My brother and I surely must be in the group of respondents who have over 30 t-shirts.
  • For my 18th birthday, a group of close friends gave me soft cotton bonds t-shirt with a print of a Snoutling jeromii fish on the front. I was only just able to throw it in the rag-bag this year when a gigantic hole expanded to the breast area of the t-shirt. I kept wearing that t-shirt for 18 years.
  • Throwing stuff out is difficult, because even the most everyday items (such as socks) evoke memories of bygone eras and the fun experienced at that time. (I used to ride a skateboard in those red and brown socks.)
  • One friend was disappointed that there was no room in the survey for general comment. This is because the free survey at SurveyMonkey contains only 10 questions. I ran out of room for comment, but am happy to summarise her extra contribution here:
    She really does love her socks and undies. She has a selection of undies made from comfortable materials. She has a pair from NYC with diamontes which look very fancy, but were a bargain because they were purchased from Century 21. Her favourite undies are a pair which go right up over her bellybutton. She wears them on days when she is relaxing and doing comfortable things. “They are like the undie equivalent of an afternoon nap.”

Socks and Undies – The Survey

October 20, 2011

I have been wondering what is “normal” when it comes to needs and wants in relation to clothing. When do my friends think it is time to throw out their underwear? Is it common to have over forty pairs of socks? Do I really need all those socks?

I created a survey to in an effort to consider my own needs and wants and to compare them with others. I am, after all, a self-confessed spy-bird who enjoys going for walks around the neighbourhood hoping people have their front blinds open so I can see whether there is an appropriate flower arrangement in the lounge room or an oversized TV. Rather than coming to your house to look in your sock drawer, I thought it would be simpler and more fun for you to complete an online survey. (That is, of course, if you are willing to participate.)

Separately, yet adjacent to this musing, I recently read the Book “Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things.” by Randy O. Frost and Gail Steketee. I realised I did not have a serious hoarding problem, but the book assisted me to make more of an effort to take unused items to the op-shop. Perhaps this survey will form a personal inventory of your things. You might be encouraged to consider what will stay and what will go, and how often you really need to buy a new pair of shoes.

The survey has 10 multiple-choice questions. It will take about 3 to 7 minutes, depending on the accuracy of your counting. Survey participants are anonymous, however the general results will be published in Snippets in November.
Click here to take survey