Why Are Men's Socks Sold in Resealable Packages?

I’m sure I don’t have to explain how ridiculous the thought of “keeping socks fresh” is. I’ve asked around about this and got several different responses. The most reasonable one was that it makes it easier to sell socks after they’ve been opened because people don’t have to rip open the packaging. But many packs of socks require you to rip a portion of the packaging to get to the resealable zipper anyway. But, even when I use the zipper I still end up ripping the packaging. Furthermore, who keeps their socks in the packaging anyway???

In the US? What brand? I’ve never seen men’s socks in a resealable zipper bag ever.

I’ve bought bars of soap that come in boxes cut like breakfast cereal boxes, to be re-closed after opening. Because that’s what people like to do after they use a bar of soap, is put it back in the box it came in.

I think the answer to this is, because people who design packaging need to keep their jobs just like the rest of us. And they do it by periodically convincing manufacturers to change their packaging in some way that is infinitesimally less expensive, even if it doesn’t make any damn sense because the machines that make that packaging are already running and making the re-closeable box cut or the zipper top.

And what’s the deal with those little plastic sock hangers? Are people using little sock closets?

Yes, I believe this is only in the US. The others I’ve asked have expressed confusion when they weren’t from the US.

I’ve always figured it’s so you can take the sock out and look at it without tearing the package apart and ruining it so no one else will buy it, since, even if you like it, you’ll probably buy the sealed one instead of the one you just ripped open.

I could see this for athletic socks. People may want to buy a pack and stick them in their gym bag. Some people just toss them after one use. But I’ve never seen this for regular dress socks.

I buy Hanes athletic socks; they tend to come in bags with 6 pairs (sometimes more), and always have that goofy resealable bag. I guess I can see that this is so that a shopper could open the bag to examine the socks, then close it back up, but I’d never considered that possibility up until now. :slight_smile:

While I imagine that there are some brands of dress socks which are packaged like that, the ones I buy aren’t in bags; they’re usually in some sort of a cardboard sleeve which partially covers the socks, and have the little hanger (which I imagine is primarily for stocking them on a pegboard, not for home storage).

Without the sock hangers, how would they display the socks in the store?

And how would I hang up my Action Man outfits?

For anyone who’s wondering, here’s a picture of Hanes socks from Wal Mart.

That top part is sealed, and below where it says “Made in USA” is the resealable zipper. You can’t just open the package to check out some socks without permanently ripping open the top part first.

Shouldn’t it have teeth to be a zipper? (But I defer to your expertise, of course)

Anyway, the resealable part keeps unused socks fresh or used socks from stinking up their surroundings, no?

Or, a clever consumer could use them for sandwich bags.

It’s not a zipper zipper, it’s a zip-lock bag-type zipper.

And yes you have to tear the package open to get at the zip-lock, so the “people can open it and touch the sock without ruining the packaging” idea doesn’t work.

I’ve wondered about this too. I kind of get the whole, “buy a pack and just throw out the socks after one use and keep them zipped in your bag”, but who would just throw money away like that? Wouldn’t the kind of people who have money to throw-out be buying more expensive socks than Hanes?

I guess I’m out of touch with modern sock-shopping. Every sock I’ve ever purchased came in a package with a paper/plastic strip around the middle of the socks to hold the bunch together.

But I suspect that the explanation for this depends on the cost of production. Producing two million zip bags is probably cheaper than one million zip and one million regular bags. My father used to sell packaging materials like boxes and bags, and customers who had a dozen items to order would often benefit by making them similar enough to gang up the orders for a single run.

Only if they want to ensure that their kids get beat up. :slight_smile:


This. I think I’ve seen the Hanes-style packaging as discussed here. But most of the socks I see in stores, and all the ones I ever buy, are displayed as described by dracoi here. They are displayed hanging on hooks, thus the little plastic hangers.


OMG it’s to keep the socks fresh? I just figured it was because most guys in my experience can’t be bothered to keep their damn socks in the drawer so at least the socks would stay together in a bag.

Honestly, if I was filthy rich I’d buy my SO a new pair of socks for every day, and at night he could just throw them away, so I’d never have to chase them around the house or find them in weird corners again.

Those are the ones I buy. They often have a little plastic string running through the socks too.

I’m voting for something to put smelly gym socks in. Besides the issue that you can’t open them in the store, who needs to inspect gym socks? Dress socks have different thicknesses and material, so it is good to be able to check them out.

To tell you the truth, I don’t think I’ve noticed whether the bags of socks I buy have a zip lock or not. I’m just going to rip the package open anyway. I hardly ever buy anything but white sweat socks.

If a person is traveling and didn’t bring a Baggie just for the soap, they might not want to pitch the soap after just one use - that’s my guess.

I suspect you might be exaggerating, but I’ve had the same thought… I LOVE the feel of new socks, if I could afford it, I would never wear the same pair twice. Actually, I think I did the math once, it only comes out to about a dollar a day, so you don’t have to be “filthy” rich, but it does seem like a ridiculous waste of money to do that. But people who smoke or drink (I do neither) probably spend at least that on their habits.