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It is now late December, and as such our busy season is both thoroughly underway, and about to start winding down for “the Winter Lull”. The lull is really only about a week, during which people go into post-holiday hibernation mode, and can’t be roused to purchase socks until early January. In fact, there’s kind of a funny story having to do with the lull, but we’ll come back to that in a bit… for now we’re preparing to wrap up our Department Spotlight series with a piece on the head honchos here at Sock Dreams – the Officers Department.
From left to right: Kori, Mr. Natosi, Niq and Dara
The latest addition to the team (not that any of them are particularly recent additions) would be Dara, who started in 2006. Like all of our officers, Dara fills a variety of roles here, including managing our health insurance (THANK YOU), making our recycling system as efficient and waste-free as possible, and doing a whole lot of purchasing of socks – particularly our USA-made house brands. Most notably, she’s behind almost our entire line of Dreamer Socks (little known fact: the Dreamy Bamboo OTKs were originally designed for her wedding). Her favorite part of the job, though, is in true Sock Dreams fashion: the people! Not just her coworkers, but our fabulous customers as well, of course. We love to communicate with our customers, so never hesitate to contact us with questions, feedback, requests, or just silliness! When asked about her favorite socks, she confessed that she, like many long-time Dreamers, is somewhat torn between the past and the present. Her favorites are therefore tied between the O Dreamies in the long-discontinued Classic colorway, and the currently available Dreamer Tartan OTKs in navy with rust.
Kori started just the year before Dara, in 2005. She is now our CFO (because math is awesome), and works with the various other departments to help make the Big Decisions, as well as overseeing the PR and CS departments. Kori’s favorite part of the job is also the people, but specifically the people she works with – that’s a good thing since she hired most of us! The one thing that we have in common is that we’re all total weirdoes. I love these guys! She was a little afraid that her choice of favorite sock – the Extraordinarily Longer Harvest Rainbows—might be a little bit too predictable, so she defended her choice: First of all, ummm… GORGEOUS! And secondly, these longer Extraordinaries go all the way up my legs, past the squishier part of my thighs, so they actually stay up fairly well on their own. But even on more active days, they’re long enough that I can pair them with an Industrial Garter Belt for better sock security. Like Dara, Kori’s advice to the customers is to talk to us! Not just because we like to hear from you, but because we want to set your feet up with their perfect socks…. their sole mates, if you will.
Mr. Natosi is one of the original Dreamers (which is kind of like being an original vampire, only not). As such, he started around the year 2000. These days he oversees our shipping department, but in the beginning he was the shipping department. He takes well-deserved pride in his department, and their ability to compete with much larger companies in both expedience and accuracy. His favorite socks are either the Dalhgren line of alpaca blend socks for their sheer comfort and warmth, or the Graphic Stripe Midcalves from B. Ella, which he wore for their photo, as they’re more visually exciting. His favorite part of working at Sock Dreams is…. Working at Sock Dreams! There are awesome people, there are bacon and waffle days, and we have a wonderful boss… to whom he happens to be married.
Niq was instagramming her own version of this shot as she posed. Instagram is the one social media she still refuses to give up.
And speaking of that awesome boss, last but certainly not least is our founder, head photographer and president, Niq! You may also know her as Niqkita or Monique (when you grow up unable to decide on a name, why not have [at least] three?). As our founder she has been here since the beginning of time, or around the turn of the century to be more precise. In this photo she is seen wearing a pair of O Dreamies in the now-discontinued Antique yarn, but the title of “favorite sock” is split between these and their longer counterpart – the Super Dreamies. Her response for her favorite part of the job was so lovely that you’re going to have to read it in her own words: My favorite thing was completely unexpected in the beginning… I love making a difference in people’s lives, it’s a thing I never thought I could do with socks. From people who love wearing the many socks we offer to people who work for us, either directly or remotely… offering so much more than just a living, offering actual careers with benefits. Not only do I get to live my Dream, I get to see dozens of other people prosper as well simply because I Dreamed out loud and in full color. Pretty precious right? Thank you, Niq, for sharing your Dream with the rest of us!
Niq and Mr. Natosi modeling some long-discontinued stripey socks, way back in the day!
Now, I believe we promised you a special, extra story about The Lull…. as I mentioned earlier, Mr. Natosi and Niq are married, but they weren’t when they started working together (which actually happened prior to the inception of Sock Dreams) – that only came to pass in 2003. They wanted to get married on Halloween (who wouldn’t?), and even went so far as to fill out a marriage license…. and then Busy Season hit. This was long before they had any other employees. Business was so good that year that they didn’t have a chance to get married until it slowed down the day before Christmas Eve – the Lull! Their marriage license was now on the verge of expiring, so knowing it was a long shot, Niq called up the Wedding House. After explaining their situation and simplistic needs, they were able to squeeze in a last-minute wedding, and they got married on Christmas Eve!
Their feet (in the original E. G. Smith Bootsocks), moments before exchanging vows.
This has turned into quite the write-up, but if any department deserves a small essay dedicated to them, it’s the officers! We wish Niq and Mr. Natosi the happiest of anniversaries, as they head off to their annual vacation. As for the rest of you: Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Habari Gani?, Joyous Solstice, Fabulous Festivus, and general Seasons Greetings! Whatever you may or may not celebrate, we thank you for taking part in our Dream!
As I was shooting pictures for this post, other Dreamers would walk by and ask “Is the colour for December white?” And before I could fully huff about “off-white” they’d correct themselves with “I mean Ivory!” or “Ecru!” or “Natural!”
Our colour search calls it “Off White – Natural”, because that’s the best general term for a colour that isn’t really a colour at all! Too pale to be “Beige – Tan” and too much colour to be “White”, off-white things can’t really even be called pastels. The one unifying thing that they seem to have are undertones of beige or yellow that visually dirties their whiteness (you could even say it makes them a bit “off”). The phrase “natural” comes from the natural colour of undyed yarn, which is the meaning behind “Ecru” as well. Words like “Ivory” or “Eggshell” are descriptive terms that mean the same thing in this colour context. “Not white!”
Disclaimer time! I’m not trying to define off-white. If you want some poem-like lists of names for shades of off-white, both Wikipedia and the Color Sorting Wiki are kind of amazing resources. I’ve done my best to accurately represent these hues in relation to each other, so you can gather a good idea of what matches and what doesn’t.
Dream Stockings & Dreamer Socks
Mostly we use “natural” as the name for our off-white. It’s a nice bright and clean off-white that pairs nicely with pastels and deep earth tones alike.
Their crochet styles have a strong ivory-yellow tone, less so in the nylon Trentata.
Though their Heather Socklings in Cloud are a bit of an outlier, overall EG Smith’s “Natural” is a close colour to our house brand “Natural”! Their Nuby Crew does sometimes get darker (more manila folder looking in tone), but overall it stays close to the rest.
A lovey use of ivory across several styles and in a subtle range of shades, Foot Traffic has two styles that use “Ivory” as a name, but they aren’t very.
From left to right: Cotton Rag Boot Socks, Double Fishnet Trouser Socks, Cotton Lace Anklets, Signature Cotton Tights, Textured Cable Acrylic OTKs, Opaque Solid Nylon Trouser Socks, Four Button Rib Leg Warmers, Ribbed Knit Leg Warmers, Lace Knee High Boot Sock
Along with a refined “Ivory” that is almost gleaming, there’s a particular cleanness to Tabbisocks’ “Natural.” And yes, their Harajuku Chic Leg Warmers are actually “White”, but they’re also the same colour as the Crochet Lover OTK in Ivory, so there’s today’s mystery!
There’s more than these three, but they’re good representatives of various brands’ single entries into off-white.
Off-white can be split into about five categories, two are pretty straightforward and just lean warm or cool, let’s look at those first.
Holiday-tastic styles are parked in the top three rows of the What’s New page, so you might have missed the return of two old favourites.
Somewhere in the tail end of 2011, we stopped carrying EG Smith’s “Leg Therapy” tights, along with their thigh highs and OTKs. Why? Well, I dug into my dusty email archives for what we were telling folks back then and unearthed this ancient scroll form letter:
And so we waited and tested, and tested some more. EG Smith made sure to send us lots of samples so we could give them thorough wears and washes to make sure the old problems (dye bleeding, surprise holes) were fixed. Once we were satisfied, we then had to wait for EG Smith to have enough stock to send us, because we knew there were a LOT of you waiting for their triumphant return.
But the wait is over! We’re being cautious, because as much as we tested them, there are only so many of us Dreamers. So we’ve started out with just the Solid Cotton Tights and the Heather Footless Cotton Tights.
Now, they are different from your old pairs of EG Smith Leg Therapy styles, so let’s take a look.
There are places out there that specialise in the complicated world of kid-sized socks, so we leave that main focus to them. But we still want to be able to offer you awesome folks awesome socks for your awesome little footed friends (and selves!). Since this time of year has folks shopping for shoe sizes they may not normally be looking for, here are some quick tips!
Though the category says “Baby & Kids”, right now we almost have more kid’s styles than baby-sized styles. What’s the difference? And what about toddlers?! Let’s talk sizing. First off, the age of a kid sometimes has little to do with their foot size. Some kids have big paws that they’ll grow into later, some have little feet, just like in adults.
The baby and kids’ sizes we have fall in four-ish very general categories that are influenced by how our suppliers, like Sock It To Me, size their children’s socks. There are some basic inch-length differences between the umbrella sizes (“Baby”, “Toddler”, “Big Kid”, “Little Kid”) that we’ve found hold pretty true across most children’s foot sizes. I’ll be referring to Zappos’ shoe size conversion chart as I know it’s one you (and I!) use as a general reference for shoe sizes, but be sure to check the Sizing Tips for the styles you’re looking at and drop us a line if you have any questions. Let’s dive in!
Baby socks have feet around 3 inches long, unstretched, which is perfect for most newborns and folks under eighteen months. Shoe-size-wise, they’re about an Infant size 2 and smaller. These wee socks are squee-ingly adorable in their minute proportions. If you’re getting socks for somebody’s first Christmas, these styles will probably be the best match for their feet. If you want to look at just socks this size, click here (or search “Infant” and limit the results to the Baby & Kids category). The styles below are some of our favourites:
Toddler socks have feet around 4 inches long, unstretched, they also fit bigger-footed babies, though if somebody isn’t toddling, extra fabric on the end isn’t too much of a problem. When it comes to shoes, they’re around an Infant size 2.5 to about a Toddler size 5. Once folks start walking, what socks fit them (and their hilariously tiny shoes) best starts to really vary! But most folks under three should do okay in these styles. Which styles? Click here to see toddler styles (or search “Toddler” and limit the results to the Baby & Kid’s category). Here are a couple of our favourites:
Now, you may have noticed that Polar Feet’s styles with kid sizes came up in the Toddler search. This is because the smaller size is called “Toddler” and they’re slipper socks, so the extra room in the toes (as modelled by Little Dreamer Izzy, below) isn’t that big a problem.
Bigger toddler feet fit them fabulously, as the smaller end of their fit scale is a Toddler size 6. The same goes for the Hooray Hoopla “V.S.” socks, they’re a great match for bigger toddler feet. But both the Polar Feet and Hooray Hoopla socks are more properly . . .
Little kid socks, which have feet around 5 inches long, unstretched, are generally designed for folks in the 5-8 years old range, they fit at least a Toddler shoe sizes 6 through 8, but their stretch can let them fit up to a Little Kid shoe size 1 to 3, depending on style or brand. The age and shoe range starts to get a bit murky around here, because growth spurts rule the day for this age range. Be sure to look at the Sizing Tips for the styles you’re interested in, to make sure they fit the little kid you’re shopping for.
Overall, little kid socks are too big for pretty much all toddlers (though again, it all depends on the kid) and too small for middle-schooled folks. Sock It To Me calls this size “Youth” and our Dreamer Socks for little feet use the same terminology. Click here to see all the styles in this size (or search “Little Kid” and limit the results to Baby & Kids category). Don’t be confused by the adult feet you see in some thumbnails, those styles just come in three sizes, one of which is for bigger feet! Some favourites:
Big kid socks, which have feet around 6 inches long, unstretched, are generally designed for folks in the 7-12 age range, but because of the stretchiness of socks, there’s a lot of give in this size. They fit at least a Toddler shoe size 8.5 to a little kid size 11, but with their stretch, some sizes fit up to a US women’s shoe size 6!! Holy cow, guys. You can see why we tend to be general in size naming and try to put foot length in the Sizing Tips for children’s socks!
Remember, each brand or style is going to be a bit different, so be sure to look at those Sizing Tips! Sock It To Me calls this size “Junior” and our Dreamer Socks for little feet use the same terminology. Check out all the big kid options by clicking here (or search “Big Kid” and limit your results to Baby & Kids). There are some fun styles in this size range and a lot of overlap with the Little Kid styles, most of which have two sizes:
Special bonus! By clicking here, or searching “Big Kid” and limiting the results by clicking “Small Feet” under Category, you can find all the kid sizes that fit up to a US women’s shoe size 5 or 6 (depending on style and brand). How do we know they fit up that big? Because grown-up Dreamer feet have tried ‘em on! In fact, both of these styles have smaller-sized adult feet modelling them:
We know having a smaller shoe size can make sock shopping frustrating, so drop us a line if you have any questions! There are some sneaky styles that fit far better than you’d think!
And as for those growing kid feet, don’t stress too hard about the sizes. When in doubt, round their size up, because before you know it, they’ll be fitting them.
Well dreamers, the international order dates we posted last month are slowly dwindling away, but there’s still plenty of time for all of our friends here in the USA to receive their socks (and winter stickers — just request one in an order note!) in time for the December holidays! Just check out this handy chart:
And while you’re wrapping up your holiday shopping (get it? Wrapping?) be sure to pop over to the Sock Journal for Brenna’s round up of all of the pertinent ordering information: gift notes, wishlists, measurements, last minute gifts cards — it’s all there! Professional Dreamers are standing by to fill your orders and answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to ask!
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