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Back in Autumn, Dreamer Zaffie covered the many accessories we carry to keep thigh highs from falling down. Today we’re going to take a closer look at our selection of garter belts. We currently carry seven garter belts on our site from five different brands, all of them a little unique in their own right. Shopping for garter belts (also referred to as “suspender belts”) can be particularly challenging when it comes to selecting a size. Understandably so, since where you wear your garter belt is really a matter of personal preference. Some folks prefer to wear their garter belts higher around their waist while others prefer to wear theirs lower on their hips. To prep for purchasing a garter belt, there are two key measurements you will need to know: your hip measurement and your waist circumference. Once we’ve got those two numbers, we can start taking a closer look at our selection of garter belts.
Industrial Suspender Clip Garter Belt
To start off, let’s begin with our Industrial Suspender Clip Garter Belt, made in the USA exclusively for Sock Dreams. This sturdy belt lacks frills, however, it more than makes up for it in terms of durability. Its straps extend 5.5-9 or 10 inches, including the suspender clips. The Velcro closure is constructed so that the rough side of the Velcro faces your clothing. Currently, this item comes in four sizes:
- Small: 24-28 inches
- Medium: 32-36 inches
- Large: 37-41 inches
- Extra Large: 43-47 inches
What people love about it: the suspender clips are designed to firmly hold up socks with thick cuffs, such as our Extraordinarily Longer Thighs
What people didn’t love so much: the clips can be rough on sheer, delicate thigh high styles
Left: shown worn lower on the hips with the straps shortened
Right: shown worn higher, closer to the waist, with the straps extended
Industrial Garter Belt
Much in the same vein as the previous belt, the Industrial Garter Belt is also a sturdy, practical way to keep up those thigh highs. The straps extend 5-9 inches long and instead of the suspender clips, these have a traditional button and loop fastener. For an extensive look into the difference between these clips, please see our “What is a Garter Clip?” post. The Velcro closure is designed with the rough side facing you, so depending on the fit you may want to consider wearing a camisole underneath this belt. Currently, it comes in three sizes:
- Small: 22-30 inches
- Medium: 32-44 inches
- Large: 44-60 inches
What people love about it: while it’s not best suited for thigh highs with doubled-over cuffs, this durable belt can hold up most medium-weight cotton styles such as our Long Cuffable Scrunchable Socks
What people didn’t love so much: the vinyl tab on the garter clips isn’t permanently attached (and, sadly, we do not have any replacement tabs) so make sure to keep them securely snugged after taking your garter belt off
Left: shown worn higher on the waist with the straps extended
Right: shown worn lower on the hips with the strap shortened
Deep Lace Suspender Belt
Taking a step back from our industrial styles, let’s jump right into the Deep Lace Suspender Belts from Miss Naughty. These beautiful belts are six inches wide and made of sultry, stretchy lace. The straps extend 6-11 inches long with button and loop garter clips that are disguised with a pretty little ribbon. The belt closes with eight hook and eye fasteners with three adjustable sizing options. This item comes in six different sizes, so having your waist and hip measurements is really important for these:
- Small: 25-32 inches at the top and 42 inches at the bottom
- Medium: 30-42 inches at the top and 47 inches at the bottom
- Large: 32-44 inches at the top and 49 inches at the bottom
- Extra Large: 34-47 inches at the top and 53 inches at the bottom
- 2X: 42-54 inches at the top and 61 inches at the bottom
- 3X: 43-58 inches at the top and 63 inches at the bottom
What people love about it: in addition to coming in a variety of sizes, the super soft and stretchy lace was a plus among those who reviewed it
What people didn’t love so much: the garter clips are plastic, not metal, which means that they can break if you try to force them to clasp socks with thick cuffs (this style works best with light-medium weight thigh highs like the Roll Top Extraordinarily Longer Thigh Highs)
Bear in mind that this belt is six inches long, so having both your waist and hip measurements is super useful when choosing the correct size
Lace Garter Belt & Thong
Staying with this lace theme, let’s move right along to our most affordable garter belt, the Lace Garter Belt & Thong from Leg Avenue. This basic garter belt has straps with button and loop garter clips that extend 4-8 inches long. This belt only comes in one size, with an adjustable strap in the back that closes with a hook and loop:
- One Size: 34-45 inches
What people love about it: those who reviewed this item were pleased with the pretty lace detailing and overall fit of the belt
What people didn’t love about it: the metal clips are very small, so while thinner or fishnet styles work wonderfully, medium-heavy weight socks will not fare very well
Left: shown worn high around the waist with straps extended
Right: shown worn lower around the hips with straps extended
(lace thong not pictured)
Satin Suspender Belt
If lace is not exactly your thing, you may be interested in Miss Naughty’s Satin Suspender Belt. The straps extend 6-11 inches long with button and loop garter clips that are disguised with the same pretty ribbon accent as the Deep Lace Suspender Belt. This belt closes with two hook and eye fasteners at the back, with three adjustable sizing options, and comes in six sizes:
- Small: 23-28 inches
- Medium: 27-37 inches
- Large: 31-41 inches
- Extra Large: 34-48 inches
- 2X: 43-55 inches
- 3X: 48-60 inches
What people love about it: not only is this garter belt comfortable, the traditional cut provides a flattering fit
What people didn’t love so much: the plastic garter clips aren’t well-suited for medium-heavy weight socks and the sizing is a little tricky for these, so please feel free to contact us with any sizing queries you may have
Left: shown here worn lower on the hips
Right: shown here worn higher on the waist
Rago Six Strap Garter Belt
This silky garter belt from Rago is lightly reinforced along the stomach area with decorative edging along the elastic for a chic finish. It features six glorious straps that extend 4.5-8 inches long with button and loop garter clips. Unlike the rest of the belts we’ve covered, this one doesn’t have a closure, it just slips on. This belt comes in nine different sizes, all listed for the waist measurement:
- Waist: 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42
- Rago recommends: choose the next largest size if your waist is 10 inches smaller than your hips or more
What people love about it: the ingenious six strap design was very well-received by reviewers and the loop on the garter clips is made from metal, which works very well for our medium weight styles, such as the Ribbed M Stockings
What people didn’t love so much: while great for medium weight styles, this belt isn’t really great for socks with doubled-over cuffs
Due to the sizing, having both your waist and hip measurements is important to finding the perfect fit
Rago Cincher Garter Belt
Our last garter belt is the perfect balance of utility and beauty. This cincher comes with removable garters that extend to 5 inches long. The cincher itself is 12 inches long, so you will definitely need both hip and waist measurements for this one. It closes in the front with hook and eye fasteners and currently comes in eleven different sizes, all listed for the waist measurement:
- Waist: 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46
- Rago recommends: choose the next largest size if your waist is 10 inches smaller than your hips or more
What people love about it: the removable garters are great because you can easily swap them out for Double Grip Clips if you want to wear this with thicker socks
What people didn’t love so much: some of our reviewers wished the garters could extend longer (they are 5 inches in length)
Left: shown worn lower on hips
Middle: shown worn higher around waist
Right: Double Grip Clips can be used in place of the removable garters
For more information regarding measuring yourself, take a look at Dreamer Brenna’s post about the Tips and Tricks to Measuring. Sometimes determining your size can be difficult even if you know your measurements, so please feel free to contact us with any and all sizing queries you may have. Should you receive a garter belt that doesn’t fit or work for you, please see our Returns Policy in order to review your options.
While we hope that every sock sold gets lots of love, we understand that sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Maybe those sparkly tights don’t match the dress you were planning to pair them with or those legwarmers arrived and they don’t fit? Perhaps you were lucky enough to be gifted some novelty crews but you’ve really been eyeing our selection of bootsocks? Whatever the reason may be, we’re here to help guide you through the returns process and let you know what your options are!
If the item in question hasn’t been actively worn or washed, it is eligible to be returned to us within 6 weeks from the purchase date. While we pride ourselves on offering free shipping where we can, we do not offer paid postage on returns. As you are responsible for shipping the return, it might be a good idea to snag a tracking number from the Post Office because we cannot offer credit for items we don’t receive. Please include a completed Return Authorization Form with your returned item; they are printed on the back of every invoice we ship out and they are also available on our Returns Information page. Once you have filled out the form, simply mail it with the socks you wish to return to:
Sock Dreams: Attn. Returns Dept.
Order # __________
7980 SE 17th Avenue
Portland, OR 97202
The type of reimbursement you qualify for depends on the condition of the socks you return:
If the item has not been opened or tried on (tags haven’t been removed/packaging is still intact), it can be returned for a refund or store credit. Items that have never had the tags removed and have intact packaging will be considered “P” as noted on the Return Authorization Form for “Packaged” and considered eligible for reimbursement in either form.
A new caveat to our returns policy this year: we are now accepting tights that have been tried on for reimbursement in the form of store credit. As long as they haven’t been actively worn or washed, they can be tried on and returned to us for a store credit. Leggings and tights that have had the tags removed or have been removed from their packaging will be considered “O” as noted on the Return Authorization Form for “Opened” and will only be considered eligible for a store credit.
Any socks, gloves, legwarmers, petticoats, or other accessories from our site that have been tried on can be returned to us for a store credit. This policy stands for all the items described above except for those from our house brands, as explained below.
Dream Stockings/Dreamer Socks
Our house brands, Dreamer Socks and Dream Stockings, are made in the USA from recycled cotton and we think they’re pretty great. So great, they can be returned to us for a refund or store credit even if they’ve been tried on, as long as they haven’t been actively worn or washed. If you’re not sure if the item you purchased is from one of our house brands, you can recognize them by the designated “DS” or “SD” in the beginning of their part code from your invoice.
Unfortunately, in order to speed up the returns process for our customers and eliminate some frustrations due to out-of-stock, back-ordered, or discontinued items, we no longer issue direct exchanges for returns. If you haven’t removed the item from its packaging and you need the item right away, we recommend purchasing it now, and requesting a refund for your return. If your item has been tried on, you can request store credit, and purchase the new item after we’ve emailed you with the code for your credit.
Returning a gift?
If you are returning a gift you probably won’t be interested in a refund, as we can only reimburse the purchaser’s account. If you do not have the original invoice, please include the gift-giver’s full name on the Return Authorization Form so that we can associate your return with the corresponding order. Additionally, you’ll want to enclose your email address so that we can email you the store credit code once your return has been processed and completed.
Returning to the shop?
If you live in the Portland area and would like to return your item back to our shop location, the wonderful Shop Dreamers will be there to assist you every day from 11 am – 6 pm. Please note that our shop is unable to issue refunds for online orders in-store. They can, however, process your return for store credit that you can then use in the shop.
Wrong or Missing Item?
Maybe your item arrived and there appears to be a hole or a pair of tights arrived in the wrong size? Perhaps a pair of socks is missing from your order, altogether? In case any of these were to happen, please contact us right away! We will replace the defective or incorrect socks and send you a postage paid return mailer to send back the defective or wrong items. Please note that defective or wrong item claims need to be reported to us within seven days of receipt so that we can best resolve the issue for you.
Once your return has been processed and completed, we’ll send you a confirmation email. Please bear in mind that January is a very busy month for returns; while we do our best to ensure each one is completed in a timely manner, processing can take 4-6 weeks this time of year. We appreciate your patience and thank you in advance! Our lovely Customer Service Department is available to answer any and all questions you may have via email (email@example.com) or telephone (888.717.6257). Cheers to bringing in the New Year with new socks!
Back in 2011 we wrote a Sock Journal on darning socks, which has turned out to be one of our most popular Sock Journals of all time. Since socks get so much traffic from being in your shoes all day, they tend to get holes more often than other items of clothing. You can fix these nicely with the darning tutorial we made.
Now darning is pretty great and looks neat and tidy, but sometimes it can be a bit fiddly. For those of us with little patience to spare, throwing the socks away gets more attractive by the minute. But if you’re patching a high-traffic area, like a toe or a heel, it doesn’t need to be pretty, it just needs to be sturdy.
If you were to look at wool fibers under a microscope, you’d see that each strand has little barbs running the length of it. When wool is exposed to heat and moisture, these little barbs cling to each other, thus creating felted wool. Needle felting is the process of repeatedly stabbing wool with a special needle, instead of applying water and heat. The resulting fabric is tough and perfect for patching a bare area on your best wool socks. If you’ve never needle felted in your life, don’t worry—it’s simpler than it seems!
What you’ll need:
• A 2 inch Styrofoam ball •
• A scrap of fabric (optional) •
• A felting needle (or two!) •
• Matching wool •
• A damaged wool sock •
First, wrap the scrap fabric around the Styrofoam ball to make a felting egg. You don’t have to use the scrap fabric, but it prevents you from having to pick little bits of Styrofoam out of your socks before you can wear them again. Our next move is to insert the egg into the sock right where it needs fixing. You’ll notice that in our darning tutorial, the sock is turned inside out. You can totally do that here, but I have elected to felt on the outside so the shoe rubs on the felt itself rather than the sock.
Lay a bit of wool over top, keeping in mind you can always add more if you find it’s not enough. Begin rapidly poking around the edges of the wool with your felting needle, being careful to keep your fingers away from where you are working. Don’t jam the needle all the way in, or you won’t be able to remove the egg easily; keep your needle stabs nice and shallow, just barely entering the egg. You’ll notice the wool starting to tighten up a bit and join to the sock. Once you’re confident the edges are nice and felted, start working towards the center in a spiral.
Here’s where your personal judgement comes into play. You’ll have to decide for yourself if it’s felted enough or not. Go ahead and pop your felting egg out of the sock and check it. Do the fibers pull apart if you stretch the heel? Do the edges come away from the sock? If yes, pop the egg back in and keep felting and checking. If it looks and feels nice and sturdy, you’re good to go! The final test, though, is to try on your sock and see how you like it. Go ahead, admire your hard work and ingenuity. You’ve earned it!
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.
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!