We offer FREE USPS shipping on all US orders!
We Dreamers wear a lot of hats (and socks, of course), but one of our favorite jobs around here is helping customers find the perfect socks for cosplays and costumes. While finding a good color match for a cartoon character’s socks can be challenging, things get even harder when it comes to historical costuming. This probably has to do with the fact that these “costumes” are supposed to look and feel like real clothes that people actually wore, which means that things like fiber content and construction become a lot more important than they typically are for fictional characters. While our socks are generally a bit too modern to be truly historically accurate, we’ve got some helpful hints on styles that evoke the right qualities for historical reenactment!
O Basics in natural, worn under a full length skirt.
For much of European history, women wore full-length dresses, which meant that counter to contemporary trends, there was quite a bit more variety and decoration involved in men’s stockings than women’s. In fact, our recommendations for women’s stockings don’t change much between the Middle Ages and the 18th century; it’s how the stockings were worn that changed the most! During this time most women would have worn over-the-knee stockings, in wool, linen, or silk, depending on their class. Our O Woolies and O Basics (which are a cotton blend that serves as a decent stand-in for linen) make good choices for women who weren’t part of the upper classes at the time, and while we don’t have silk stockings for the aristocracy, the Zena Knee Socks from B. Ella are made from a fine, slinky viscose blend which mimics the look and feel of silk to good effect.
Of course elasticized fabrics weren’t invented until 1820, so earlier socks needed some help defying gravity! While all of the garters we sell are made from elastic for stretch, most early garters were just ribbons that tied under the cuff of the stockings, to hold them above the knees.
O Basics tied up with ribbon garters
Now, while women were busy wearing floor-length gowns, men wore relatively short tunics or doublets, with hose (similar to tights). This was the norm from the middle ages until the mid-16th century, when breeches became a more common addition, eventually leading to pants. During the medieval and renaissance eras, hose actually consisted of two separate legs, which tied or laced together at the waist, and were worn with a codpiece. Often the legs were two different colors, and the hose were typically made of wool.
Two half-pairs of Signature Cotton Tights, in rust and brown, all ready to be laced together.
As far as recreating this look goes, we suggest forgoing the authenticity of wool fibers, as our more finely-knitted cotton tights can be altered without unraveling. The Signature Cotton Tights or Solid Cotton Tights handle alterations well, and come in a nice variety colors, for fun with mismatched legs! We took two pairs of the Signature Cotton Tights and cut them up the seams, from gusset to waist, then trimmed the waistband off. After that you can either snip small eyelets along the top edge where the waistband was (but not too close!) for lacing together, or to a belt, or just cheat and use some Double Grip Clips to hold them together!
All laced up with a shoelace and ready for a codpiece (worn over leggings for modesty).
When breeches came into style, men traded in their hose for stockings. Early breeches came down to the knee to overlap the tops of the stockings, which were held up by buckled garters. The stockings themselves were not unlike the ones which women had been wearing for centuries at that point – they went over the knees and were typically made of wool, linen or silk. Most of the same options previously suggested for women will work here. The O Rayons are another good choice, and the mushroom and wheat colors are not only typical of historical stockings, they’re also made with rayon blended from flax, which is what linen is made of!
O Rayons in flax and mushroom
As the 17th century went on, men began wearing tall boots which were fitted in the leg, but loose on top. The stockings they wore with these boots had embroidered or lace-trimmed tops, which were made to fall over the top of the boot for added ornamentation. Lace was a popular decoration for men and women alike! This is one of the harder looks to recreate from our catalog, but we have a couple of ways of making it happen. The easiest thing is to choose one of our taller lace-topped styles (many of which are sheer thigh highs, but as long as they don’t have grips on the inside, those should work fine) and arrange them in the boot so that only the lace part is visible, cuffed down over the exterior of the boot. A more difficult, but also more authentic version of this would be to take a sock that is fitted in the leg but loose in the tops, like our M45s, and add your own lace trim or embroidery to the tops so they can flop over the boots to reveal the flourish.
The world of hosiery didn’t change an awful lot during the 18th century, but it did mark the first time in European fashion that feminine clothes became more elaborate than their masculine counterparts. This trend of women’s attire being more decorative than their masculine equivalents’ carried on into the regency era and beyond… and that is when the world of hosiery started to get really exciting!
Join us in part 2, where we will make our way through the advances of the 18th and 19th centuries! Huge strides in technology will be made, and hosiery options galore will become available as we make our journey towards the present!
This year’s Dragon Con was the busiest event of the season! This meant that not only were we able to share our socks with a whole new group of stocking enthusiasts, we also got to meet an exceptional number of Sock Dreams fanatics. Here are just a few of the smiling faces that came by to show off their sock inclusive cosplays.
No anime or comic book convention would be complete with out heroes. Katie completed her Kate Bishop (aka. Hawkeye) cosplay with a comfy pair of Extraordinarily Longer Striped Thigh Highs in black and plum. Trish favored the grey Long Cuffable Scrunchables for her depiction of Beth from the animated web series Bravest Warriors.
Of course you can’t have a hero without a proper villain or two. Nicole made great use of our black and kelly Vertically Inclined Stockings in her feminine rendition of Loki, Thor’s mischievous sibling. We also met Michael, portraying a young Dr. Horrible. The only person who loved him more than we did was his mom Lori, who has always been his first and biggest fan. She rocked her look with our Extraordinarily Longer Striped Thigh Highs in steel and light blue.
Coming all the way from Hogwarts were three alumni from the world’s most famous school of witchcraft and wizardry. Both Kara and Jessica were sorted into Gryffindor. Jessica was exuberant about her dark red and gold Sorcerer Socks. Kara chose to show off her Gryffindor pride with the dark red and gold Super Stripe Knee Highs. Heather, a Ravenclaw, gave her dark blue and silver Sorcerer Socks an enthusiastic thumbs up.
Finally we spotted a couple of characters from an enchanted forest. Diane was a sweet fairy who adored her Oregon Dreamy Knees. We caught Rhica prowling around as Little Red Riding Wolf. Her Extraordinary Striped Thigh Highs in black and natural were just the thing she needed to complete this fun mashup.
Our next event is Rose City Comic Con here in our hometown of Portland Oregon. We’ll be at the Portland Convention Center on September 19th and 20th. Be sure to visit us at booth 408 to take advantage of our special deals and to grab our latest con exclusive sticker, like our new little fan Ciaran.
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.
For our latest adventure, the events team and I took flight across the country to participate in another comic book convention. This one took place in the gorgeous city of Boston, right on the Harbor. What a city! The days were full of sunlight and ocean breezes. The evenings, with their gentle rain fall, and the music wafting from the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, were truly glorious.
And that wasn’t even the best part! As it was our first time in New England, we got to meet an exceptional number of folks who had never even heard of Sock Dreams. Even though the summer heat was reaching into the mid nineties, these northerners know better than most that winter is coming. With 105 inches of snow last year, they were eager to find stretchier and more colorful ways to beat the impending chill. This gave us the opportunity to demonstrate the extraordinary nature of our socks to a whole new band of dreamers. Some of them even stopped by to show us what they did with their new stockings.
Nancy snapped up a pair of Double Grip Clips and our con exclusive Extraordinarily Longer socks. She added her own diamond touch to them, for her Harley Quinn cosplay. Sierra was pleased as punch with the Pink Knees she picked up for her cosplay as Annie from the popular online game, League of Legends. Also cosplaying a League of Legends character was Jill as Leblanc. She wore the Wet Look Thigh Highs that she had previously purchased on our web site.
Our next big event is Dragon Con, in Atlanta Georgia, and it is coming up fast. If you are going to be in the area, get your ticket, get in cosplay, with your favorite Sock Dreams stockings of course, and come say hello. And don’t forget to ask us how you can get a free pair of socks!
The legends say that we were made from sugar, spice, and, I don’t know, niceness. The thing is, when the world has gone to the wolves, sugar is hard to come by. Spice is a luxury. And niceness? That can get you into a whole lot of trouble. So, our creator made us with the tools he had at hand. Grit, steel, and regenerated cotton.
I’ve heard the crazy rumors about us. They say we can fly and shoot laser beams from our eyes. Lies. You wanna know the secret to our true super power? Socks. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. “Socks? Really? In this day and age?” I get it. Radiation storms blast through the lands. The dead rise hungering for flesh. And giant apes are trying to take over the world. But I’m telling you, our socks are the key to all of our heroics.
There was the time that the three of us were captured by a mutant. I kid you not, he had claws for hands. He locked us in a tower, while he plotted our demise. Fortunately, he left the window unlocked. It was a piece of cake to tie our Extraordinarily Longer Thigh Highs into a rope and climb to the balcony below. We were able to take him by surprise and put an end to his reign of terror.
The rumor about our super human strength is also complete bunk. I’ll tell you though, it’s incredible what a sturdy pair of socks and some leverage can do. One time, we were tracking a gang of delinquent boys. These guys were no evil masterminds, but they were rowdy enough to cause serious trouble in the settlements nearby. They’d holed up in an old gas station. An ancient water tower stood looming behind it. With the help of my sisters and a well placed Dreamy Knee, I was able to pull a rusty support beam free. Brought the whole thing down and the boys came running right into our trap.
Socks have been essential to our survival in the outer wastelands. I’ve used my socks to start fires, snare food, make shelter. One time, I even used my Spandex Fishnets as a sling shot. Lodged a stone in the gullet of a lightning breathing iguana. Sure, there are actual monsters roaming the streets, and angry cyborgs wreaking havoc. But all I need are some good socks to keep me safe in this crazy world.
I’ve got to go. Just got word that the giant robot we’ve been hunting is planning to crash the Boston Comic Con. Can you believe they still hold those? I suppose nowadays, we all want to believe in heroes. If you think you’ve got what it takes to be a hero, meet us in Boston. We’ll be at the Seaport World Trade Center from July 31st to August 2nd. And we’ll bring plenty of socks.