Thoughtful Thursday: Holes

September 6, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday

While we’re on the topic of old clothes…

What is your tolerance for holes?

Remember the late 80s/early 90s? Not only did we keep wearing jeans that had big rips in the knee, sometimes we actually cut giant holes into new jeans. Oh what our parents must have thought.

Nowadays, I’d never wear clothes with holes… except when I do. I try to present myself decently, so it’s quite surprising how many clothes with holes I continue to wear. When it comes to pajamas, I have no problem with holes as long as the shirt is comfortable enough and the holes not too big or egregious. I have a few lounge pants with holes or wear at the hem. For clothes I wear outside the house, I’d normally never wear anything with holes. But, for the past few months many of my shirts have ended up developing tiny holes, all in the exact same spot at the waist. It turns out that the zipper of my work bag has been poking holes into my shirts. I can’t very well throw out more than half of my wardrobe, so I wear them despite the little holes.

I don’t ever tolerate holes in socks, or underpants, or seats of pants, or knees of pants, etc. I do retain some standards.

I don’t tolerate any holes in my husband’s clothes, though. Those get thrown out as soon as I (or he) see them.

For the children, normally I don’t tolerate holes at all. But, when they’re in phases that ensure messiness (coming home from nursery school with their shirts covered in paint, potty accidents in pants…) and when the item of clothing is particularly cute, I tolerate tiny holes. But when we’re done with them, I throw them out — I’d never pass along something with holes as a hand-me-down.

What is your tolerance for holes?

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13 Responses to “Thoughtful Thursday: Holes”

  1. St. Elsewhere Says:

    It depends hugely on how much I like a piece of clothing. I do have t-shirts/pajamas that are so comfortable, that I will tolerate a little tear or holes in it. Sometimes, I get embarrassingly possessive about such clothes, even though they are no longer decent wear. But the ground rule is that I would not wear any such thing outside the house.

    I do have socks with runs and holes in them, and I will wear them, but mentally I will process it if the day will make me end up removing my shoes. If I am going to be doing so, I will avoid the hole-filled socks. I seem to be lazy about buying/replacing old socks.

    With dear daughter, the reason why I discard/keep away clothes is because she has outgrown them…there are no distinct hole stories that I can recall right now.

    With hubby, he gets to choose if he can tolerate the holes. His vests/underpants do have holes sometimes. But then, it is his call and he does not wear any of that stuff outside the house.

  2. Aryanhwy Says:

    For the most part, holes signal the end of life for clothes. My socks and underwear get thrown away when they get holes (…and only then. I still have about 4 socks that I bought in high shool, more than half my life time ago, that have not yet given up the ghost). My husband’s boxers generally go into the rag bag or the scrap material bag. When my husband’s undershirts get holes, they become rags. I usually have one pair of pants that has ripped at the knees, for wearing around the house, cleaning the bike in, or doing anything that needs something that could potentially get irreparably stained. So long as they aren’t stained, I’ll sometimes run to the grocery store in them, but usually once they develop holes in the seats, they get put into the box of scrap material…where sometime in the future they will be resurrected and returned to other pants, often along with parts of old boxers. Because the one exception to this rule are my husband’s pants and long-sleeved shirts, which he will wear past the point of disintegration before I can convince him to throw them away. He will beg for years, and I will usually capitulate, and patch the holes, and then patch the patches, until the knees and elbows of his clothes are this riddled Frankenstein. I keep threatening to teach him to sew, but he steadfastedly refuses, so even while I’m begging him to throw them out, I’m still mending them.

  3. strongblonde Says:

    I’m actually able to tolerate holes better than stains on my clothes! I always seem to manage to get a stain in the worst spot. When I’m lucky, B can get it out (he’s magic!), but otherwise I have to let it go. When I do get holes in my clothes, it is almost ALWAYS in the upper thigh/butt region in jeans. I’m guessing that it is because I generally only have one or two pairs that I wear…and then I wear them out to the point of getting a hole! I’m at least smart enough to throw those away. If it can be mended, I may try if it is something that I love….but otherwise, I don’t think other holes bother me too much. So…either that means that I’m somewhat relaxed about holes, or that I don’t notice holes that much, or that I don’t get a lot of holes. Hmmmm….

    B has a shirt that has a hole on the seam of the right arm. He wears it once a week. it would be very simple to mend. But he won’t do it. and I won’t do it. So he continues to wear it. And I notice it every single time 🙂

  4. a Says:

    I have a thoroughly moth-eaten sweater that I won’t get rid of. I do have a couple cashmere sweaters that have small holes, and when they get too big to ignore, I stop wearing them to work…but I don’t get rid of them. I need to learn how to sew, so I can reuse that cashmere!

    Holes in jeans means they’re goners. Holes in shirts…well it all depends. Socks…they actually have to become holes (instead of just thin spots) in order for me to get rid of them. Underwear – holes just mean they go into my holey underwear pile.

    My husband has holey items that he uses for working around the house. He determines when things get turned into rags.

    As soon as I see a hole in my daughter’s clothes, I get rid of the item. No mercy. But, she’ll get a whole new wardrobe in a few months, so that’s why I’m so quick to dispose of her things.

  5. jjiraffe Says:

    What a funny (and fun) question. Answer: lots of tolerance for myself, indifferent for my husband and absolutely NEVER for my kids. This probably reflects on a need for self-care that is at the bottom of my list. Always.

  6. Elana Kahn Says:

    I hate holes! They completely creep me out. I have no tolerance for them whatsoever on anything. My husband will keep wearing an undershirt with holes until it falls apart, I’ll chuck it right in the trash where it belongs. Socks with holes? Gone

  7. Cat Says:

    Even though I wore ripped jeans back in high school when it was cool, I am horrified that the trend is back. I’m pretty sure means I’m old.

    Now, I don’t like holes in clothes. I mend it if possible or throw the item out if it’s unfixable. I have two t-shirts with some holes, but they’re shirts from mission trips so I still wear them around the house. The kids get stains a lot more than holes, but I have had to mend a couple pairs of knit pants that snagged on something.

    My husband has no such qualms about his clothing. His work clothes are immaculate, but he has t-shirts, briefs, and shorts that are appalling. I’ve begged him to throw away one t-shirt in particular that has holes along every seam, ever edge, and some places in between. He claims he needs a shirt for doing stuff around the house in, but I think he keeps it to torture me. I do the laundry and know for a fact that he has several dozen t-shirts and among them there are other shirts he could – and does – wear for chores. He doesn’t NEED to keep the really nasty one. His shorts and briefs need some replacements, too. All the holes are in the same place and I just told him yesterday that one of these days the holes are going to line up and his b@lls are going to fall out. I really want to throw it all away and buy him some new stuff, but they’re HIS clothes, not mine. I have thrown away holey socks of his before after I had bought him two new packs of socks, but that’s as much as I’ll do.


  8. hahaha! I’m horrible when it comes to holes in my own clothing. always have been. my husband actually nags me about getting rid of things that have holes. i will say that i have less holes now, just because i invest in more quality clothes now that I have a mom body that requires quite a few more stunts when it comes to looking good in what i wear. so far no holes in my anthro gear.

    but I won’t abide holes in my daughter’s clothing (which is very cheap), save for one pair of pajamas, which only we see.

  9. clumsykisses Says:

    I’ve finally got fed up of holes in my knickers and have replaced lots!

  10. Lavender Luz Says:

    Small tolerance for me. Huge tolerance for my kids. They don’t care at all.


  11. No August Intelligentsia list…?

    Very small tolerance for holes, unless it’s in a place where no-one can see it and in one of my favorite shirts, then I can live with it for a while…

    When it’s in something else, I love sticking my finger in the hole and then ripping the entire clothing item apart 😉

  12. Mel Says:

    I have a high high high tolerance for holes. And ink stains. Other stains, not so much, but the ink stains — for whatever reason — I’m okay with.

  13. loribeth Says:

    I have been getting a lot of little holes in MY T-shirts in that exact spot too. I never used to. I’ve concluded that the cotton is a lot thinner & construction is a lot shoddier than it used to be. :p I do still wear them, especially the ones I really like, albeit just around the house.

    If a sock is wearing thin, I am OK with it… but as soon as a hole develops, out it goes. : ) Same with underwear & jeans. Dh is really bad about wearing undershirts with holes in them. I told him it’s OK around the house, but I noticed this week that he’s been wearing one TO WORK under his shirt with a hole between the neckband & shirt, & told him that is verboten. :p


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