02 November 2011

Cheap Commodities

Life sometimes lands you in such undesirable places as Target. The place may be a monument to all the reasons why the rest of the world feels the way they do about Americans, but they do have some pretty good socks now and then.
This pair features a duck in flight and a purple toe. Packaged with a second pair in black and grey mini herringbone weave, $5.00. Not bad. Should be all the rage between a pair of dark denim jeans and L.L.Bean rubber mocs (used to call those "duck shoes" in the old days).

24 comments:

Johnny said...

It's rare that someone manages to piss me off twice in one post.

First, this blog would be SO much better if you could leave the politics out of it.

Second (and germane to what we're here to discuss), I absolutely despise mid-calf socks. They don't stay up and often expose bare leg when you sit down and cross your legs. They're at the top of my list of Things That Shouldn't Exist.

I ask not to be antagonistic, but out of genuine curiosity: How can you stand to wear them?

What drives me nuts is that mid-calf socks are available in a dizzying array of beautiful patterns -- argyles, stripes, duck motifs, etc. -- for $3 or less at numerous places like Target, while OTC socks are either unavailable in a given store, or are only carried in solid black, navy, and brown (even gray is hard to find)for around $8 a pair.

And I've noticed that, in stores that carry mid-calf and OTC in the same brand, they're usually the same price -- so apparently the extra fabric and labor is miniscule enough to not even warrant a modest increase in price. (The problem, again, is that such stores will have literally 10 times more colors and patterns in mid-calf, and cheap OTC socks from the likes of Target don't even exist.) So why aren't all socks OTC?!

Giuseppe said...

Glad to be of service...twice in one post.

Scott said...

Care to elaborate on how the rest of the world feels about Americans? I am an American living abroad, and I must say that we are quite liked outside of the US. Are you speaking from experience or what you've observed on the news?

Jessica said...

Hello, your blog is wonderful. Don't even think of leaving out the social/political commentary! I have been to Boston! (I am English and live in Israel, so this is not quite entirely unremarkable). My husband, like you, is almost always the best dressed in the room, though he does wear cargo shorts in the summer (I find that his relatively diminutive stature goes a long way in making this work). My Father, Grandfather, and Brothers are also good dressers, so I have always had an interest in Menswear. I found your blog only a few weeks ago and admit to having proceeded to read all the archives. So far, I have just one question: does the fascinating Mrs G also have an online presence? What I really wonder, is how she dresses, and what your opinions on women's clothing are. I am a full time Mum to two girls (aged 5 & 3.5) and a wee boy (aged 1.75), and like you I choose to make an effort in what I wear, purely for my own enjoyment (well, they often pay me compliments, too!).
Cheers!

Sal said...

The store that makes people around the world feel a certain way about Americans has got be Wal-Mart, not Target.

Young Fogey said...

Johnny,

The political is inseparable from the rest of our existence. Now, I don't agree with G's dumping on Target, but I understand where he's coming from.

I have mixed feelings about Target. One the one hand, it's a highly-successful American company, providing jobs for tens of thousands of people directly, with trickle-down effects to hundreds of thousands more. On the other hand, they have tons of junk from China in their stores. I can't blame them for that; they did not create the situation where consumers care more about price than quality and politicians care more about profit than quality of life.

So how to shop at Target? Carefully. As it turns out, many of the Target house brand (Up & Up) products are actually made in America (mouthwash, body powder, and sunscreen being three I use daily). They carry many other domestically manufactured products as well.

As for Target's socks, I am actually wearing a pair of over-the-calf socks from Target today. I find that many of their sock offerings are that high. True, not all of them stay up, but most of the dress socks (available in patterns) do.

If you really want your socks to stay up, there's only one solution: sock garters. Best twenty bucks I ever spent.

Young Fogey said...

Jessica,

For women's dress, may I suggest you try Lydia Sherman's blog? Here is a collection of links on modest dress for women.

For a discussion of how a young housewife ought to dress, please try this post from The Thinking Housewife. A quote:

"Clothing is an expression of ideas, a form of communication that conveys certain transcendent principles. Clothes that are modest show a respect for intimacy and love. Clothes that are richly colored or patterned show our delight in nature, in its variety and fecundity. Clothes that honor sexual difference reinforce the principles of femininity and masculinity. Clothes that require care and attention show the measure of our regard for others."

David V said...

Sal is right on "Target" about the Wal

Anonymous said...

I really hate Target, too. Especially as they pay above union wages and offer the same sex partners of their employees access to company health care plans. Bastards.

oldmoney said...

I like my Target socks and find them just as good as some I've paid5x as much for in the past. Thanks for turning me on to them!

Giuseppe said...

Settle down. I hate big box retail. Having spent my whole life working for local small business, I just don't care for huge companies that homogenize everything and feed us crap. It's my opinion and one I share with many people.

I never said anything about same sex marriage and unions. I was talking about socks with ducks on them.

Who's getting political here, anyway?

Trace Bohannon said...

Pedant...get over yourself. You work in an effing liqour store.

Giuseppe said...

Indeed. I don't recall ever hiding that fact, so your point escapes me.

Dirty Jon said...

Wow -- I usually just read the posts and skip the comments -- I think I need to return to that policy.

Keep up with the great blog -- I have learned many things and find it very entertaining and informative. Thanks, G!

Grant said...

Johnny,

I wore OTC socks from Target today. They were blue with three different colors of stripes. They didn't stay up. They never stay up. But, Socks are tough.

Uniqlo mid-calf socks, on the other hand, stay up. So watcha gonna do?

J. said...

I'm already grading undergrad papers tonight so I'll attempt to he helpful here:

"First, this blog would be SO much better if you could only validate my perspective instead of making it clear that mine is not the only perspective". There you go Johnny-boy. I fixed that for you. Sadly for you, I don't think that's AAW's raisin-detruh.

As for Trace, he clearly meant to type "peasant" - he must have a cold.


G, you're killer. Thanks for sharing yourself with us.

(And thanks for the J.Crew tweed jacket, too.)

Johnny said...

I'm already grading undergrad papers tonight so I'll attempt to he helpful here:

"First, this blog would be SO much better if you could only validate my perspective instead of making it clear that mine is not the only perspective". There you go Johnny-boy. I fixed that for you. Sadly for you, I don't think that's AAW's raisin-detruh.

As for Trace, he clearly meant to type "peasant" - he must have a cold.

G, you're killer. Thanks for sharing yourself with us.

(And thanks for the J.Crew tweed jacket, too.)


I said I thought this blog would be better if Giuseppe left politics out of his posts, since we're here to discuss clothes.

Of course, everyone here is free to disagree -- especially Giuseppe, since this is his blog.

But I didn't ask him to validate my perspective -- in fact, my comment stated the opposite; I specifically said I wish he wouldn't.

For that matter, you have no idea from my post what my perspective is; for all you know, I may agree with him 100%.

For your students' sake, I hope you're a better grader than you are a reader.

Jradish said...

For those of us in the sub-Sasquatch foot size: I have found plenty of OTC in surprisingly Y chromosome patterns in the ladies sock department. Especially in the autumn, in warm and earthy colorways. Just avoid creepiness while shopping - grab and go, don't linger and leer...

Anonymous said...

Dear Diary,
Today I became enraged after reading a blog post about men's socks.

This seems perfectly normal to me, but my psychiatrist tells me that the medication dosage needs to be increased.

-Johnny

maven said...

I second Young Fogey's recommendation for Lydia Sherman's blog: http://homeliving.blogspot.com/

Also, my husband was once a Marine officer on the drill field at San Diego. You should have seen the sock garters/suspenders that THEY wore to keep socks up and shirt down tightly. Hubby twisted one from the front of the shirt to his inside knee to the back of sock. The back one came around the thigh and attached to the front of the sock. That my friends is one of the secrets to why the Marines always look so sharp! This blog has pic and a discussion on their use.

http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/forum/showthread.php?95653-The-Military-Tuck-Photos-Illustrations

Wilson said...

Great post, Guiseppe. And, Johnny, thanks for reminding us that the personal is political, and of the necessity of etiquette.

TRVS said...

Those duck socks appear to be the sartorial equivalent to the shooting of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria~~a war started over who, or in this case, what? A pair of socks. Too funny.

Young Fogey said...

Incidentally, I have found adequate variety in stay-up over-the-calf socks at Macy's, too.

Unfortunately, they're all made in China.

Young Fogey said...

Today I'm wearing a pair of Lands End over-the-calf socks. They stay up, too.

But they don't have ducks on them.

There's always a trade-off.