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For those of us that are going back to school, Labor Day signifies the end of summer. Amidst all the shopping that comes with school back in session, we can’t help but be reminded of the once-often popular fashion trend of “no wearing white after Labor Day”. It’s hard to imagine a moratorium on a color holding such weight today, but it used to be standard in women’s fashion to put away all white clothing until Memorial Day. This custom was practiced throughout the first half of the 20th century, though today it is largely ignored. We covered fashion lawbreakers a few years ago however, our sock selection has grown quite a bit since then to incorporate even more fashionably deviant items. Today we’re celebrating those rebellious rule-breakers that forgo trend stipulations and the socks that follow suit!
There are a few different theories behind the origin of the “no white after Labor Day” rule. Some contend that it’s a petty statute invented by the elite upper-class and some say that the practice was implemented in order to separate lightweight clothing from heavy, winter clothing. While it’s understandable that a lot of white clothing is lightweight, there are quite a few comfy, white items in our Warm Collection that will keep you cozy far after Labor Day. The Orkney Angora Over the Knees are very soft and the angora/lambswool blend will definitely keep you warm. Both the Long Cuffable Scrunchable Socks and the OTK Tube Socks are Dream Stockings staples that are great for fall and winter; while the former is perfect for cuffing and scrunching, the latter is lined with thick terry knit to keep you warm and dry.
One of our favorite explanations of the “no white after Labor Day” rule is that it was implemented in order to save nice white clothing from getting muddied by the fall rain, especially shoes–something we have much experience with in the Pacific Northwest. We try not to let the rain inhibit our choice of shoe too much, though.
Other than solid white, there are a few other seemingly out-dated color stipulations in the fashion world. This includes combinations of some colors that supposedly aren’t complimentary because the two colors are similar, but different enough not to “go together”. Our first ill-fated color combination might be too sweet for some, but we think that Red & Pink are a lovely match. If you find yourself in the Valentine’s Day spirit, the bold, bright contrast of the Red Hearts & Swirls Crews may be just what you’re looking for! Alternatively, the stripes on the Red Pink Knees are pretty eye-catching, especially with those white boots! Speaking of fabulous shoe selections, those Pink Cotton Slouch Socks look great with those red heels!
We’re not sure where the Navy & Black boycott came from; we think they look great together! However, there was a time when it was a big fashion no-no to mix the two. The wide horizontal stripes on the Navy & Black Extraordinarily Striped Thigh Highs spark a striking contrast to the understated pattern on the Navy Boy’s Socks, which we find almost reminiscent of pinstripes. We also love the way the Navy/Black/Rust Dreamer Tartan OTKs incorporate the Rust as a pop of color, too.
Brown & Black, the last combination we’ll go over today, is quite possibly our favorite color duo! We offer this particular pairing in a few different striped options; in addition to the Dream Stalker Stripes pictured below, we carry Black Brown Knees and Black & Brown Striped Thigh Highs. If you prefer something different than alternating bands of color, the subtle design of the Dark Brown/Black B Chevrons might be perfect for your two-toned needs. Alternatively, the Dreamer Vertically Checkered OTKs show how beneficial this color partnership can be when another neutral color is brought into the mix.
So far we’ve only covered antiquated color rules, but truthfully there are plenty of other aspects of fashion that at some point in time have come under scrutiny. Mixing patterns, for example, can get mixed reviews. Personally, I love to mix textures and patterns throughout my outfit, but even I have to admit I can go overboard sometimes. We have a lot of items on our site that are specially made a little out of the ordinary to help you make a bold statement. Below, the Prowl Midcalf socks have a band of animal print breaking up stripes of various widths, adding visual interest way down to your toes. However, if you are looking for more of a stark contrast in pattern, the Harlequin Diamond Striped Tights may do just the trick! Additionally, the Mix It Up Knee High 2-Pair Pack comes with four individual socks that you mix and match at your discretion for total pattern chaos.
The last fashion rule we’ll cover today has sparked tiffs between friends and families for years. Do you wear leggings as pants? We’re not here to judge if you do, but plenty of people can agree the jury is out on this one. Regardless of how you like to wear your leggings, we do have a few pretty opaque options. Honestly, the Leopard Print Velvet Leggings are close to being pants on their own–they’re opaque, sleek, and very comfortable (they also come in a solid black version, as well). The Static Houndstooth Leggings are super soft and their thick, sweater-like knit is sure to keep you cozy. Pictured far right, the Lace Jacquard High Waist Leggings are definitely eye-catching; we love the floral design paired with the deep texture on these. Additionally, as noted in the Sizing Tips on their page, “the opacity of these thick leggings is almost pant-like, hiding contrasting underwear and underwear lines quite well, even when stretched to 46 inches at the hip” much like the Diamond-Sided High Waist Leggings, also from M. Rena.
When it comes to fashion we aren’t really into labels, we just like what we like! Whether you are fashion-forward or vintage-inclined, we’re here to help you nail down the right items for you, no matter how you choose to wear them. Are there any fashion rules you love to break? We’d love to hear any and all of them in the comments below.
We’ve just concluded our second-ever Pinterest contest, and we have to say, these were some pretty impressive submissions! Narrowing our options down was tough, but we finally managed to select six winners who really conveyed the “Back-to-School” theme, while showcasing our favorite accessories: socks!
Our first place winner and recipient of a $75 gift card was Jessica G., who captured our hearts with this vintage-inspired look in shades of tan and red. Featuring red Color Tights and the scrumptiously soft Leola Merino Bouclé Anklets, Jessica payed great attention to detail, and we love the way she explains every element of the outfit in captions.
Our second place winner, Sharon Rose, also went with a vintage vibe, though instead of the clean lines and pert tweedy patterns that Jessica chose, she went with a softer, more feminine look, featuring an abundance of foxes, including the Fox Slipper Socks from Foot Traffic. We love the freshness of her mint and rust color scheme, and her selection of literature for her first day back to school.
We’ve got to give it up for our first honorable mention, submitted by Jill. We can see that she clearly built the entire outfit around a pair of Abstract Rhythms Midcalves, and continued the themes of color blocking and crayon colors from there. This outfit just screams, “art kid” (and actually came with kind of an artist’s statement, appropriately enough), and we really can’t argue with that.
Ginie’s outfit board also earned an honorable mention. Featuring subtle makeup, neutral tones, and lots of classic pearls, this look really draws your attention to the Harvest Rainbow Thigh Highs, and you know we love a good sock-centric style! To keep the stockings up, Ginie chose a pair of Extra Long Sock Garters with Suspender Clips in olive — so stylish and practical!
Rachel, another winner of an honorable mention, came through with this outfit that we think is perfectly suited to a witch’s first day back at school. The bracelet referencing Harry Potter ties in nicely with the feather nails and tree branch patterned bag, which remind us of Harry’s faithful snowy owl, Hedwig. The amethyst ring, cloak and scarf featuring a map of Tolkien’s Middle Earth just seal the deal. Of course an aspiring sorcerer needs good legwear staples, and we think the combination of Perfect Pair Tights and 4 Button Ribbed Leg Warmers from Foot Traffic are ideal for a magical, scholarly environment.
Theresa’s submission really brightened our day, drawing from a hodgepodge of delightfully geeky influences, from school supplies (captured well by the Ashi Dashi Notebook Paper Knee Highs) to scifi and fantasy references, including Sorcerer Sleeves. And how cute would that red petticoat be with the R2D2 dress? SO cute! Theresa definitely earned herself an honorable mention with this look.
Thanks so much to everybody who submitted! It’s been incredibly fun looking at what you all came up with, and we can’t wait for our next contest!
Not long ago, in a forest just outside the city of Portland, a dragon awakened from his century long rest. The two headed beast bellowed and thrashed through the forest beyond the city walls. The people of Portland were frightened and the guard gathered their weapons. “Stop!” came a commanding cry. A collective gasp ran through the crowd as they turned to discover the legendary Sock Dreamers in their midst. “Go back to your homes,” Dreamer Rae called. “Put away your swords,” said Dreamer Nina. “We’ll subdue the dragon,” said Dreamer Rose. The townsfolk stared with open jaws as the maidens strode through the gate.
It was not long before the Dreamers found the dragon stomping grumpily through the forest. Cautiously the sisters approached the dragon. Knowing that after such a long slumber the dragon would be hungry, they lifted their offering of chocolate cupcakes. The dragon paused its raging. The creature’s two heads slowly sniffed the cakes. Liking what he smelled he gobbled down the tasty treats.
Once his hunger had been sated, the dragon let out another roar. Placing a soothing hand on the dragon’s wing Rose felt him shiver. “He’s cold,” she said. “I have just the thing,” Rae replied. As Nina hugged the dragon, Rae helped him into a pair of Extraordinarily Longer Radiant Rainbow socks. The socks were so long, and the stretch was so great, that the dragon was cozy and warm in no time.
With the dragon at last comfortable, the three Dreamers knew there was only one thing left to do. Far to the East, in the city of Atlanta, in the kingdom of Georgia, a great gathering of dragons was due to take place. It was the duty of the Dreamers to bring the creature to the gathering, know as Dragon Con. Rae consulted her map and then the Dreamers climbed onto the dragon’s back. He flapped his wings and took to the sky, heading East. On September 4th, when the half moon sets, the Dreamers will arrive at Dragon Con. Follow the map to join them there and get warm and cozy socks of your very own.
A few weeks ago, to celebrate its 150 anniversary, we brought you a run-down of our favorite items inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Although she helped define children’s literature, Alice wasn’t the only one to touch our young hearts, or make us dream of nonsense and wonders. Today we’ve got some great items to keep some of those other classics close to your heart (or your feet).
If you were raised dreaming of jungle adventure, we’ve got some great items in keeping with the 1890s classic, The Jungle Book. We’ve got some Earth Crews to help set the scene, and the Black Cat Tights to represent one of Mowgli’s favorite companions. If you’re a fan of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, we also have some Suede Snake Printed Trouser Socks reminiscent of his heroic struggle against the cobras.
At the turn of the century, L. Frank Baum first introduced us to his colorful world in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. We’ve got some Ruby Slipper Socks for Dorothy, and even some Striped Tights and Wicked Knee Highs for her witchy adversaries, inspired by the successful screen and stage adaptations. Not to mention, plenty of rainbows.
If the mid-century stylings of Roald Dahl are more to your taste, we’ve got the perfect adornments for visiting Charlie and the Chocolate Factory…
Or hanging out with the Fantastic Mr. Fox and his family…
And if James and the Giant Peach is more your flavor, we had a whole post on peaches a couple weeks back.
Finally, if you’re a fan of modern classics, it’s hard to ignore the Harry Potter series, which ushered in a whole new era of children’s literature. And we’ve got the perfect items for those aspiring witches and wizards out there. Whether you’re properly suiting up in your Sorcerer Socks and Sorcerer Sleeves, or donning the Barn Owl Knee Highs to keep your trusty familiar close at hand, you’ll be studying in style!
Alice would be so proud!
In celebration of Sock Dreams’ 15th birthday, we are having a party and the gifts are all for YOU! Enter the code MmmCake at the top of your online shopping cart to receive 20% off your entire order between now and 11:59pm PDT August 31st. As always, we have FREE shipping in the USA, and now offer FREE International Airmail for orders over $30USD!
We also have a limited edition Birthday sticker featuring our lovely logo lady in Extraordinary Radiant Rainbow Thigh Highs along with that delicious cake we mentioned above. To get one of our stickers in your order, please leave us an order note wishing us a happy birthday!
If you’re a Portland local, chances are you’ve been to our Shop in the Sellwood neighborhood. While Sock Dreams is well into our teens now, the Shop is still at little sibling status and turns 6 years old this summer. We’re pleased to announce that we’re having an all-day bash at our shop on September 12th. Check out our Facebook event page here. There will be great discounts and a prize wheel. We also have a special Shop birthday sticker to give away for the first 100 lucky customers who shop with us! We hope to see you all there.
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