Buttons and Socks


There is a perfidiousness in this world.  An unnatural, unholy condition which bedevils sage and idiot alike.  So dire is this nefariousness that it manifests itself more than just in a singular occurrence.  This insidious evil has a name.  Be afeared, now, as you read it, for surely will you feel the chill of terrified recognition…

Buttons and socks.

Someone must tell me how these two relatively minor parts of daily clothing became such fiendishly frustrating items.

Let’s tackle the malevolent button, first.

Sadly, the universe does occasionally require something other than a slip-on tee.  When this occurs, the predominant fashion construction uses buttons.  In a perversity that could only have been intentional by the designers, buttons fall off.

I can recall quite a few shirts I’ve owned that have had extra buttons down at the bottom for just this eventuality.  The majority of shirts, however, don’t offer this wonderful (and usually necessary) aid.

For example, I recently had a terrific shirt, quite stylish (so you know it was a gift), with a button down lapel.  Not an oxford, but the effect is the same.

Brief digression:  It should be noted (as I have in previous posts) that I’ve had the benefit of a reasonably consistent body shape since college.  This has allowed me to often keep clothes so long that, rather than be out of style, I like to think I’m actually on the leading edge of them coming back into style.

Well, this terrific shirt, at some point, lost a lapel button.  Of course.  The evil button designer wouldn’t have a normal sized button fall off.  It has to be the stylishly different, size-challenged lapel button.  Were there any extra buttons with the shirt?  Would I need to write a rant if there were?

Now, here’s the rub.  How do you go shopping for a lapel button?  Do you wear the shirt into a store and then try and Gumby your head to see the button as you compare it to spare buttons in the store?  Do you carry the shirt in with you and hope you are not targeted as a shoplifter?  Do you just buy a box of 10,000 buttons and hope that one of those matches the one you have?  Maybe I can rip the other button off and take that in with me?

Let me state this plainly.  I like buttons.  I have nothing against buttons.  Some of my best friends are buttons….er…no, that’s not right.  Anyway, I think buttons are keen.  But they are evil.

Socks, on the other hand, are not.  Socks are the imps to the buttons devils.  Socks don’t play fair, but at least they don’t deface an entire outfit.

We all know how socks can mischievously misplace themselves.  Slip behind the dryer, perhaps?  Get mixed up with some other laundry and washed into another color?  You think that’s an accident?  You think that’s your fault?  Oh, how innocent you are!

But socks do have a darker side.  If you keep them around long enough, if you survive all their other attempts at disappearing or discoloring, then they surely pull out their most awesome weapon:  wear.

For socks, in their innate desire to confound, don’t wear evenly.  Perhaps it’s the left heel, or the right ball of the foot or maybe just general flabbiness around the top.  Whatever direction your socks decide to go, they know with full certainty that all they need to do is a half-ass job.  Of course!  You still have to throw away the other sock if one of the pair is worn out.

It’s an amazing trick, showing a skill so refined that it can only be branded malicious.  Surely no more wasteful clothing product exists but for the sock.  I am sure that this is the birthplace for the new sockless generation that chooses to go without such frustrating accessories, no matter the additional protection and comfort they might try to seduce you with.

Perhaps you have faced these twin evils of the clothing world.  I share your pain but have no solace to offer.  I can only suggest you count to ten and maybe have a glass of warm milk to calm your nerves.  I don’t recommend hanging garlic in your closet, though.

As for me, I’m off to Wal-Mart to buy a box of 10,000 buttons.

4 Responses to “Buttons and Socks”

  1. Fran Colwell

    what you do about the buttons, is find another set you like, and replace them all…lol As for the socks, ALWAYS but multiple pairs…when one wears out, you’ll always have a “pair” …it works for me

    • JMD

      See? That’s why I do a blog. Now if only my sewing could handle more than one button at a time!


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