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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.
Weather-wise, in the Portland area November stops being fall and starts being winter abruptly and wetly. The darkening skies of incoming winter storms mean grey is the perfect colour to focus on this month.
More often than not called “silver”, “charcoal”, “graphite”, “anthracite” or “slate”, grey is a wonderful neutral that stays surprisingly neutral (though some styles tend more blue or yellow). A mutable hue, it’s greatly affected by what it is next to, like these O Chevrons (and an A Chevron) show for our Dream Stockings in Grey and in Charcoal.
Grey falls into about three categories: light, medium and dark, as you can see by how I sorted out my bins of examples.
Disclaimer time! I’m not trying to define grey. If you want some poem-like lists of names for shades of grey, 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. There are a lot of greys from our suppliers, so I’m not going to clutter your monitor with all of them, just representative examples.
Dream Stockings and Dreamer Socks
We have a pretty lovely range of grey, if I say so myself! From light to dark, we’ve got ‘em in lots of different fibers (including the Dreamer Acrylic Slouch Socks in Silver Grey that I forgot to add here)!
From left to right: Gregorio Wool Bootsocks, Sergei Recycled Cotton No Shows, Zena Knee Sock, Bess Cashmere Slouch Rib Knee Sock, Ginger Ribbed Knee High, Pantera Jersey Dress Midcalf, Kayla Stripe Trouser Sock, Erika Microfiber Tights
Just a single shade, really, Anthracite is the fanciest-named grey we carry.
Just two shades of grey here, but both medium and dark greys covered nicely!
Tending towards marled, Foot Traffic offers some nice greys that go a bit bluer in the microfiber versions.
From left to right: Signature Cotton Tights, Textured Cable Acrylic OTK, Cotton Rag Bootsock, Microfiber Stirrup Legging, Signature Cotton Tights, Opaque Nylon Trouser Sock, Fleece Lined Knee High, Super-Long Ribbed Leg Warmer
From light silvery grey to dark Night Grey, Tabbisocks offers a lovely range of greys across several fibers.
From left to right: Crochet Lover OTK, Harajuku Arm Warmers, Basic Tabi Socks, Harajuku Arm Warmers, Cotton Tabi OTK, Crochet Look Tights, Harajuku Arm Warmers, Harajuku Scrunchy Socks
Bottom row: Color Tights in Silver Grey, Color Tights in Dark Grey
Most of the various greys that are only represented by one or two styles in other brands fall in the medium to medium-darker grey range. I’m just showing some good representative examples below.
Grey falls into some pretty simple categories: light, medium, dark and tending to yellow or blue. Check out the breakdowns after the jump!
We’ve gone through all the main colours this year in our monthly focus posts and now with black under our belts, let’s take this colour matching to the next level: matching stripes across brands and styles! It’s something we see a lot of you folks doing as you put the final touches on your Halloween costumes, so I figured it’d be timely to talk about it now.
As we’ve learned, if you want to keep your colours matching, it’s best to stay within a brand or style, particularly in the Dream Stockings, since we use the same yarn for each colour. So, naturally, the M Sleeves and the Super Warmers short or long, match their corresponding colours in the Color Knees and Super Stripes (with some cross-pollination between all of those styles, plus the Neapolitans and Rainbow Dreams!).
Ditto the Sorcerer Socks and Sleeves, the Chevron Sleeves and their various levels of coverage. And Leg Avenue offers the Neon Rainbow Gauntlet Gloves to go with the tights and Neon Rainbow Striped Fishnet Tights to go with the fingerless gloves.
Top row: Sorcerer Sleeves, Chevron Sleeves, Neon Rainbow Gauntlet Gloves, Rainbow Net Fingerless Gloves
Bottom row: Sorcerer Socks, O Chevrons, Neon Rainbow Tights, Neon Rainbow Striped Fishnet Tights
But what about rainbows, or black/purple and black/red? What if your perfect sock to match your arm warmers is made of a totally different fiber? Well, we have good news and bad news, depending on what colours you’re talking about.
Black is black, is black, unless it’s “Caviar” or “Nero”—although “Caviar” and “Nero” are just some more words (the former being descriptive, the latter being Italian) for “Black.”
As you can imagine, this colour focus post is going to be a little different. Black is pretty much black (an absence of colour). There are shades of black that are darker and shades of black that are blacker and yes, that is an actual distinction! Sometimes we can’t portray the true level of darkness while still showing you guys what the texture of a sock is.
So, this time around, we’ll do the regular thing of looking at some representative versions of black across suppliers (though it’ll not be an exhaustive list, because there are so many!), but then I’m going to look at a few distinctive aspects of this hue and the problems one can encounter in trying to properly convey black socks online.
Disclaimer time! I’m not trying to define black. If you want some poem-like lists of names for shades of black, 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. That said, let’s get down to it!
Let’s get down to the suppliers, then. I apologise if your monitor decides to display the following images as Stygian rectangles from which no light escapes.
Dream Stockings & Dreamer Socks
Using “Caviar” to mean black most of the time (though sometimes black is just black), they’re also nicely black, with the Erika Microfiber Tights being a little less dark and the Meg having the slightest green tint.
Either wool or cotton, they’re black, with the Simone’s Sleeves being a good match for the Cotton Overknee.
Though their black remains the same in their boot socks, the Socklings are softer than their taller OTK and thigh high cousins.
With a style in almost every fiber combo, they keep it pretty on-point, with the Textured Cable Acrylic OTKs a little softer and duller than the rest.
From left to right: Bamboo Ribbed Tights, Wool Rib Tights, Ribbed Knit Leg Warmers, Solid Acrylic OTKs, Textured Cable Acrylic OTKs, Solid Opaque Thigh High, Microfiber Stirrup Legging, Fleece Lined Knee Highs, Signature Cotton Thigh High
They seem to deal in textures (fishnet, lace, satin) so for their image I’m using one style that has satin, ruffle and nylon, and another that’s a black sheer. Pretty much all of their black styles are nylon or polyester and are textbook black.
Another pretty straightforward series of black, with the Color Tights a little bluer than the rest!
Of course, there are a lot more suppliers who have styles available in plain ol’ black, but these are some good, representative examples.
Whew. Okay. I’m just gearing myself up for some ‘splaining. Like with Teal & Turquoise, how we have to deal with black as a “colour” when editing can get tricky. Alright, let’s go!
Good ol’ brown. Now, I mean brown-brown, not tan or beige (which are their own thing in our Color Search). Deep, earthy, bark-like, ranging from cool to warm, brown is a great “neutral” shade for when you don’t want to go black or navy or grey.
You’ll see, as we look at the different supplier’s browns, that there are definitely some dye batch differences that exist within brown, but everybody can fall into a pretty clear family of umbers, chocolates, earthy loams and red. I think in this post, the images of each brand’s array of browns is closest to spot-on for colour accuracy.
Brown seems very mutable, and reflects the colours it is next to or knit with quite strongly. See the difference in how the colour presents between the white elastic of the O Chevrons and the black elastic of the B Chevrons below!
Disclaimer time! I’m not trying to define brown. If you want some poem-like lists of names for shades of brown, 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. That said, let’s get down to it!
Oops, I forgot to include the Dreamer Socks’ Extraordinary Thigh Highs in Dark Brown here, but they’re just a touch richer than the Dark Brown in the Dream Stockings styles. Earth is nice and cool-yellow and I love the Coffee nylon hue, so rich!
Ooh boy. Not only does B.Ella offer “Espresso” “Chocolate” and plain ol’ “Brown”, there’s some variation within each colour (both the tights on the far left and far right are “Espresso”). It does mean a gorgeous range of hues, though.
From left to right: Patricia Merino Crochet Tights, Meg Unconstricted Top Crew, Trentata Italian Trouser Sock, Pantera Jersey Dress Midcalf, Gregorio Wool Bootsocks, Vera Recycled Cotton No Show, Bastia Comfort Top Crew, Codori Crochet Tights
Either deep or chocolately-basic, Cronert keeps it simple with two very good representations of brown.
EG Smith tries to keep it simple with just a simple “Brownie” and a heather. But, as you can see between the two boot sock styles (with the same fiber content) below, there’s variation. We keep our images updated the best we can when dealing with dye batch differences like this. The Sockling and the Solid OTK are pretty much the same hue, on the other hand.
Not normally one to offer a full range of hues, Foot Traffic brings it home with a pretty selection of browns from loamy to umber to chocolate. The colour variation in Brown between the Opaque Solid Nylon Trouser Socks and the Solid Opaque Thigh Highs seems to be that the former is 80% microfiber nylon and the latter is 90% plain ol’ nylon.
From left to right: Super Long Ribbed Leg Warmer, Fleece Lined Knee Highs, Opaque Solid Nylon Trouser Socks, Solid Opaque Thigh High, Signature Cotton Tights, Signature Cotton Tights, Cotton Lace Anklets
Nouvella’s colour consistency is a little uneven when it comes to browns, with the widest range between dye batches. Below you can see two different dye batches of the Nouvella Cotton Leggings in Brown. What a difference! We try to catch all changes we can so we can keep our images updated.
For once, Tabbisocks does not dominate a colour with a masterful array! Their brown tends towards maroon (except for their Color Tights, which are nice and cool, a rather umber-y chocolate).
Lots of browns show up as single examples across different brands.
Okay, after the jump, let’s look at the variations within the variations of brown!
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