After years of being lost in my laundry bin searching for matches, I finally decided to make the switch.
No more of the garden variety black, brown, white foot coverings, now I was going to go all in on color and pizazz. As my birthday approached, I instructed my family to purchase as many dancing frogs, buzzing bees, and flowering trees to fill a sock drawer. They obliged, ordering up a whole array of pastel colors, easy to spot while I was walking down the street, and more importantly, easy to find matches for.
I thought I was set, until my daughter stopped me one day and said, “Dad, you don’t match!” How was that even possible? I thought. But, I looked down and saw she was right. Apparently, I had mixed together cupcakes and ice cream cones, a natural mistake, especially for a colorful sock novice.
A few weeks ago, I told this story to my sister-in-law who said she had me beat. Forget mismatched socks, what about mismatched shoes? When her twins (now in their twenties) were just born she was looking down at the shoe bin after her husband went to work. That’s strange, she thought, why is there one black shoe and one brown shoe? She soon figured out, in his utter exhaustion, my brother-in-law had gone to work with mismatched shoes.
People are also reading…
Not to be topped, I said I could do her one better, describing the time my wife ran out of the house with two left shoes. Luckily, there happened to be an extra pair of shoes at her workplace or she would have had to run all the way back home to change. My sister-in-law then described how one of her boys went to the top of the mountain while skiing only to realize he had mistakenly taken two left gloves. He had to ski down the mountain with his right thumb tucked inside his wrong-handed glove.
All of these stories made me realize just how often a wardrobe malfunction can happen. Whether it was through a spill or a rip, or just plain old-fashioned color screw-ups, there were countless times I had left the house when I probably shouldn’t have.
As someone who would describe himself as more color-blurred (I can see the colors, I just don’t understand how they match), than color blind, I often put the wrong blues with the wrong browns when picking out my work clothes. Indeed, one of my greatest mysteries is how to wear a striped tie with a striped shirt. They apparently can go together; I just have no idea how.
But, watching my youngest son last week perform at his school’s talent show with a plain white shirt, instead of the one with the school insignia he was supposed to be wearing, I came to realize something: the clothes you are wearing matter less than how you wear them. My son couldn’t have cared less about his outfit as he sang his heart out on the Windermere Boulevard auditorium stage, and the audience (with the exception of my wife) hardly noticed either.
So, next time you look down and realize you have mixed up a horizontally striped black sock with a vertically striped one, just remember if you don’t care, no one else will either. The secret to my colorful sock faux pas was to just pretend cupcakes and ice cream cones matched perfectly. Instead of two mismatched socks, I had created a conceptual fashion statement.