SOCK TROUBLE

My socks keep twisting round in my boots.  I know it’s not the kind of news that is going to keep you awake at night but it is really annoying. I’m constantly having to stop to sort it out, hopping around on one foot whilst I twist and turn the uncooperative fabric back into place.

Before you start casting aspersions about the shape of my feet, let me assure you that they are not the problem.  Sock twisting is a relatively new phenomenon for me. It’s the quality of my socks – my new socks let me add. If they were old and worn with the lycra long since gone to meet its maker, I would be less irritated. But these are new Marks and Spencer’s socks.

I suspect that you are wondering where on earth I could possibly be leading you with this erudite and insightful observation. Well, this is a post about quality verses price. You get what you pay for, as someone once said to me. Marks and Spencer’s socks now cost next to nothing. A veritable bargain in fact at £4.50 for three pairs except they are not fit for purpose and won’t stay right way up in my boot.

It’s not just socks. School polo shirts seem to have fallen for the old “Never mind the quality: feel the width” adage as well. Cheap as chips but almost see through and washed out of shape long before they are grown out of. It’s the dumbing down of retail. Perhaps they think I won’t notice? Well I have.

But times are hard. People are price conscious and, lured by the temptations of the super cheap stores, our expectations about how much things should cost are becoming muddied. After all, who wants to pay top dollar for something when you could buy it for a third of the price just down the high street?

Well, me actually. Call me old fashioned but I’d rather pay a little more for a pair of socks that stay put. I’d like to throw my socks away because they have worn down to the warp and weft and not because they have gone baggy before their time. ( I generally draw the line at darning. I’m not that old fashioned.) I was taught to launder well and take care of my clothes but I seem to be a dying breed. At some of the prices in Primark it hardly seems worth laundering at all.

I’m hoping for a backlash. Perhaps eventually we will tire of this disposable world that we live in and yearn for quality once again? It does seem to be happening in other areas but I fear that soon we will be so far down the road of cheap clothes that it will be culturally impossible to turn back.

I could, of course, shop elsewhere for my socks. I know that if I paid a little more I could get socks that stayed put. It’s just that I have bought my socks in Marks and Spencer’s for as long as I can remember and it seems a betrayal to jump ship. Then again, they have betrayed my too. They have some in Harrods, I note, that might fit the bill!

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