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Of all the colours, why did khaki get saved until October? Well, because it is the scariest! Not like, “oohooOOH, I’m Khaki and I will haunt you!” but oof, it’s a complicated colour that likes to defy both colour-editing and easy classification. So, more of a monster type (though it may haunt a colour namer’s nightmares).
In short, khaki is somewhere between tan and green. Where that “somewhere” is varies highly by supplier, though it tends on the side of tan.
Disclaimer time! I’m not trying to define khaki, just understand it. It’s far too subjective and colloquial to really pin down. Khaki is a slippery beast! 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. And we’re going to go over some basics about the origin of this colour term (thanks to this helpful Wikipedia entry), so you can get an idea where khaki is coming from.
But before we get into all that, let’s see how our suppliers handle khaki.
With the widest range of interpretation, B.Ella takes khaki from dusty greenish to pinky tan all the way to a proper safari drab
Probably the most dedicated to the colour khaki, EG Smith also lands a bullseye for khaki ideals. There’s always a bit of dye and fiber batch variation between their three bootsock styles, but otherwise they nail it.
Another solid khaki though, like most of their colours, it’s used more often as a one part of a colourway, rather than the starring attraction.
Not many other brands dare to tread the path of khaki. And when they do it seems a little forced. To be fair, the Julia Over The Knee are technically called “Sage”, but we also add in their Additional Info that they run a bit khaki.
So, what is up with khaki anyway? Let’s corral this sneaky monster of a colour.
As the leaves change into their autumnal blaze, it seems appropriate to talk about those not-quite-orange-not-quite-red colours we call “Rust”, “Spice” and “Paprika”. When we talked about orange and about red, we skipped over this kind of colour, because it’s totally its own beast.
Like with dark reds and navy, both of which are technically shades of another colour (red and blue, respectively), “rust” is a darker orange, or a yellower red, depending on the particular flavour of the hue. And, same as dark red and navy, we don’t have a colour search for it specifically.
But if you search “rust” and choose Orange and (or) Red from the Colour options on the sidebar, you can pin-point it easily. Though: not everything these hues is called “Rust”, so here are quick search links for you for the most common colour names:
And if you want to get the whole lot in one sweep, try this link!
Disclaimer time! I’m not trying to define rust, or “spice” or “paprika”. If you want some fancier names for shades of rust, Wikipedia gives you just some (neat, but not useful) facts and points you to articles on shades of Orange, Red and Brown for your poetry! 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. That said, let’s get down to it!
Dream Stockings & Dreamer Socks
I think we have a delightful range of toasty shades, with the O Rayon book-ending the basic orange tones with dips into red and gold.
Mostly, B.Ella uses rust as a colour pop, paired with brown. Though the Sophia Confetti Knee High come up in this search, I think they’re actually quite truly red and not that rusty.
Cronert rarely goes rusty, but the batch of Cotton Overknees we have right now have two shining examples of the shade.
Purveyor of paprika, EG Smith keeps their rusts red and ready, but toasty enough to stand on their own.
They don’t play in this colour much, but Foot Traffic’s two entries into rustiness are nice options. As they do regularly, the hue of the Opaque Trouser Socks is the same as the tights and the Signature Cotton Tights are the same hue as the leggings.
Nouvella is special because they have Spice. It’s a space dye, something I never usually include in these colour posts, since one of the defining aspects of space dye is the use of multiple colours! But, Nouvella’s “Spice” space dye is so unique and so utterly a rust I had to include them. The spice must flow, you know.
Oh Tabbisocks. They hide their lovely range of hues with words like “brick” and “red brown”, meaning a causal search for rusty tones won’t bring them up! But they’re there and glorious.
Another one you have to trick the search to show, Una has two flavours of spicy shades that fill any rusty holes in your soul.
Amazingly, there’s no “Assorted” batch for me to share; everybody (right now anyway) offers one or two types of rusty radness. So let’s go look at how this already in-between-y hue breaks down into futher nit-picky sub groups.
A lot of people say “nude” when they refer to beige and tan. A lot of our suppliers do too (Leg Avenue, in particular), but we use “Beige” as a colour name in place of the erroneous “nude.” Why? To be very frank, peachy beiges and tans are not a skin-matching “nude” for everyone. We’ll get into that a little later in this post, with some options for finding styles that might be “nude” for you.
Disclaimer time! I’m not trying to define beige and tan. If you want some poem-like lists of names for shades of either, Wikipedia has them for both Beige and Tan and is kind of an amazing resource for colour in general. 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. That said, let’s get down to it.
One last thing though: I’ve yet, in my seven-plus years slinging socks, found a clear delineation between how “beige” is used and how “tan” is used. Like, one isn’t more pink or anything. As with “teal & turquoise” we’ll have to accept that “beige & tan” are forever linked into one, indefinable mass.
Dream Stockings & Dreamer Socks
From a soft gold to cool and deep, our house brand styles run a neat and tight selection of hues.
Pinky, golden and neutral, B.Ella hits the main colour points with just a couple of styles.
With a handful of beiges, Foot Traffic treats beige and tan like basics, with a nice selection of options.Their nylon beige matches across both tights and trouser socks.
Because they focus a lot on classic stocking styles, Leg Avenue’s beiges and tans tend to be sheers and net, which can cause some interesting issues if you are looking for a shade that will match your skin instead of contrasting. However!! The Professional Fishnet Tights in Light Toast are darker than their standard “Nude” (what we call Beige), which is why we made sure to post a straight shot of the net itself as an extra image.
From left to right: Professional Fishnet Tights with Cotton Sole, Sheer Thigh Highs with Lace Stay-Up Top, Contrast Cuff Cuban Heel Thigh Highs, Sheer Lace Top Stockings with Backseam, Spandex Fishnet Pantyhose
As usual, Tabbisocks nails this hue down, with a nice range of warms and rosy tones that are particularly lovely in everything from Mori to Victoriana styles.
From left to right:Harajuku Leg Warmers, Ruffled Arm Warmer, Basic Five Toes, Crochet Lover Over the Knees, Harajuku Scrunchy Socks, Crochet Look Sleeves
Bottom row: Five Toes Pantyhose in Chocolate Brown, Beige
From pearly porcelain to tawny dust, brands that only offer one or two beiges or tans have a nice range among themselves.
All of these hues fall into some gorgeous groupings of colour, let’s take a look at that next!
It’s easy enough to say what white is not, it’s not supposed to be a colour and it’s not “off-white” (which is a problematic colour to pin down anyway). But even so, when it comes to actual objects, whites have a colour cast that can be frustrating when you’re trying to colour match.
I’d say white is actually one of the toughest colours to match, purely because there is so little colour to work with. But even if this white doesn’t match that white, that doesn’t make it off-white! Ideal white is almost an impossible thing in clothing. In manufacturing tints of blue are often added to the process to balance the inherent yellow-warmth of most fibers and trick the eye into thinking the white is more true.
Easily influenced by what’s around it, due to pure power of reflectiveness, its mutability can be tricky. The only difference in the O Chevrons below is that the left sock has black elastic and the right sock has white. But the yarn of the sock on the left looks grey!
Disclaimer time! I’m not trying to define white. It’s a very scientific colour, really, and if you want more on it, Wikipedia has the starter details. I’ve done my best to accurately represent these non-hues in relation to each other, so you can gather a good idea of what matches and what doesn’t.
Now, let’s float off into the nothing and everything that is white!
Dream Stockings & Dreamer Socks
We have two variations of white. The cotton blends that make up most of our socks are a clean, blue-hinting white. The nylon yarn in the N40s have a yellowy-green undertone next to bluer whites, though they become brilliantly so-bright-who-cares-how-white outside.
The only variance to the softer, clean-cotton tint of B.Ella’s white is the Meg, with their nylon blend and tiny kiss of cool colour.
Though they call their white “Miracle White” EG Smith often has slight batch differences across the same fiber, when it comes to white. There’s some trickiness to it we’ll talk about later.
With a yellow tint to their acrylic blends, Foot Traffic’s white mostly sings pure and clean, particularly in their nylons!
With most of their white in satin, lace and utter fluffery, Leg Avenue’s whites tend to have more lustre and warmth by sheer default, though they’re still a touch bluer than a cottony tee.
Brightly blue-ish, for the most part, Tabbisocks does a solid job of keeping their whites in a narrow range. There’s some that are more yellow, some that are brighter, but overall they’re closer than most.
Every brand offers something in white. Overall, if you only make one or two things in white, you make them a little bluer and cleaner.
Matching whites is the hardest thing, let’s look at some whites next to a super light off-white—how they compare is going to differ based on your monitor, the lighting and even how your individual eyes physically work (some eyes see yellow more easily, some see blue more easily!).
As a summery counterpoint to springtime pastels, the bright pops of neon colour are fun, fabulous and hard to define. “Neon” specifically means the noble gas used to light gaudy signs, but when it’s used to describe colour, it means high value and high saturation, so: bright and vivid and gloriously eye-searing!
The drawback to neon colours is the difficulty in properly portraying them across your computer monitor. They’re not as bad as teal and turquoise, but the sheer power of a neon colour can be difficult for us to light, shoot and edit in a way that lets you see just how bright they are without dampening the colour’s hue. Luckily, most colour names for neons include the word “neon” or similar terms like “hot” or “electric”, and we always mention in Additional Info if something is just too bright to convey.
Sometimes people want to use the word “fluorescence,” but that’s only truly applicable to colours that, well, fluoresce by throwing out light that they’ve absorbed. Now, we’ve touched on neon colours and UV reactive styles that glow under blacklight before (quick version: search “blacklight”!), but I’m hesitant to really dig into the science of it, since folks who make socks are often euphemistic in their colour descriptions. A good quick look into how fluorescent colour works is, unsurprisingly, available at the DayGlo website.
So, disclaimer time! I’m not trying to define neons. What we’re going to be looking at are the defining features of colours classed as neon and found in the “neon” area of our colour search. Because neon can be a little subjective, I’m using some blindingly bright paper as my background.
I’m sure you’ve encountered these standard paper colours before (and if you’re old enough, you’ll remember when paper this colour wasn’t recyclable!). All photos were edited in a batch, so you can use your familiarity with brights and neons to better place what the colours look like in life, not on a monitor.
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