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How perfect is this? Almost exactly five years ago today I posted my first entry on the Sock Journal! It was about a style we hardly see any more (toeless tabi socks), since then I’ve learned to focus more on information, styles and topics that have a longer life and can keep being fun and useful no matter what products are currently available.
In the years between then and now our social media team has become so awesomely robust that between our Events, Latest News and Newsletters, we’ve been able to give you guys all sorts of voices and info about the styles we carry and what we love about them. All their hard work has freed up the Sock Journal to focus on specific things like colours, DIY and tips on using our site and more.
That influx of writerly talent has already been seeping into the ol’ Sock Journal a bit, as you may have noticed in a couple recent posts. With five whole years of you guys reading my words every week, it’s about time I step back and let some new voices in! From here on out other Dreamers will be taking the mic!
But I do still have a couple of those colour-nerd posts to share in the coming months, so at least through fall I’ll still see y’all once a month to ooh and ahh over bundles of socks in a single colour. Before I peace out though, indulge me in looking at some of my utter fave posts and themes from these past five years.
However you spell it, colours are difficult to convey across a monitor! I hope that the colour posts I’ve done over the past two years have helped you some when it comes to matching, coordinating and understanding how colours can act differently between in your hand and on your screen. Here are some of my favourites!
You think black would be simple, but it sure isn’t—not when you want to show detail and make sure people don’t think it’s navy!
Speaking of troublemakers, let’s talk about teal and turquoise.
Less of a pain and always beautiful is grey, with subtle shading between cool and warm, dark and light, gorgeous and like, really gorgeous.
Tips & Tricks
I haven’t written as many Tips & Tricks for our products and using our site as I want to, but I always want to write informative, explanatory stuff and also improve your browsing experience, so I don’t think I could ever write enough. These two though, I’m proudest of and think they’re good ones to bookmark!
Though we love to help you find the socks that will make your sock dreams come true, we can’t do it without a little help from you. Terms like “plus size” and “tall” can be subjective and when it comes to socks, you want an objectively perfect fit! Knowing what measurements to give us right off helps a lot in helping us help you!
Our compression sock options have grown more and better since we tentatively began offering a couple select styles. We’re in love and we want you to love them too, but to get the most out of compression socks you’ve got to put them on right. Knowing the trick not only improves their performance but ensures they’re helping and not hurting your legs.
What is A . . .?
Depending on where you live, what language you speak and about a million other variables, it can get confusing figuring out what exactly a person means when they say “tights”. Or “knee sock” or anything! Though the definitions we use are only definitive in the world of Sock Dreams, I hope that these “what is a . . . ?” posts about coverage styles help narrow down what you’re looking for.
Forever a matter of debate, whether you want that debate or not, the poor ol’ legging just wants to be itself: opaque enough not to let others know what underwear you’re wearing.
Always in-between worlds, the knee sock is an OTK for some and a knee high for others, floating up and down depending on your cuff preference, your calf and how long your legs are. Despite their lack of clear coverage, there is something wonderful about their mutability.
I’ve written a couple of posts on dyeing socks and stockings and as fun as they are (and as amazing as those petticoats turned out) I think I am happiest about the post with tips on dyeing stockings to match your skin tone.
It is a frustrating world out there and sometimes what you need and deserve isn’t available. We do our best here at Sock Dreams to offer all that we can to help you find the right sock for whatever your need. And when the right pre-made thing isn’t there for us to offer, we’re ready to help you figure out how to make what you got work until the world catches up with what is going on.
I’ve had a great time writing these Sock Journals and I’m glad that I’ve got a couple more posts to share about colour. I’m never going to stop loving helping folks find what they need and making things easier to find. ♥
It’s been warming up here in Portland, Oregon and finding the right socks for this weather has been a real chore for us! If you’ve also been perusing our Summer Collection for socks to wear while trying to beat the heat, you’ve probably noticed an unofficial theme of lightweight and openwork items. Together, the two make for a cute and comfy combination that is perfect for the warmer weather! We have a quick and simple way to add some visual interest to those footies and no-shows that only requires some basic sewing skills.
For this project you will need the following items:
• A pair of footies or no-shows; we chose the Vera No Shows. Not only are they a soft, recycled cotton blend made in the USA, they have a white contrast cuff around the sides and back that went perfectly with the trim we found.
• A form to stretch the sock on while sewing; we used the form that the footies came on as a sort of guide while sewing these. However, if you don’t have one you could always try the sock on and measure how long your trim needs to be.
• Your choice of trim; we went with a cotton eyelet lace
• A sewing needle
• Thread that matches your socks
• A bottle of anti-fraying glue (we used Fray Block)
Step One: Turn your sock inside out and place it on the form your footies were packaged on to determine how long your trim needs to be. You can also try the sock on and measure out the trim that way. Begin pinning the trim along the front of your footie.
Step Two: Using a basic running stitch, sew your trim to the sock. Be careful when doing this step because if you sew the trim to the footie without checking the stretch, it might be too tight! Make sure you check the tension.
Step Three: Cut off the trim where it meets the side edges of the sock and apply an anti-fraying glue to the freshly cut ends of the trim to make sure they stay tidy.
Once you’ve completed the last step, simply repeat on the other sock. After the glue dries, you are good to go!
If you have any suggestions or tips for adding sweet little adornments to your socks, we would love to hear them! Let us know what you think in the comments below!
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.
Though we started off, long ago, with a smaller array of coverage styles (knee highs, long socks, etc), we’ve added so many more coverage levels and styles in the past few years—this past year especially!
Most notably, more and more suppliers are offering true no-shows, little bits of nothing that cover your toes and your heels, but not the top of your foot. And we’ve also started offering shoe liners, a most un-sock-like sock option, but one that does the same job of keeping your shoes and feet from dirtying each other.
Because of this, we’ve refined some of our coverage categories (those thumbnails at the top of the Socks page) to make things easier to find and understand!
Let’s talk Liners
Liners, or insoles, are the closest to not wearing socks, because well, you’re not wearing socks at all! Shaped like the bottom of your shoe and made of materials to cushion or insulate, liners exist to give your feet some distance from your shoes. They can be tricky to first use, since it can take a little wiggling to get them into place. We’ve found holding them at the sides and bending the front edge back a little as you slide them in helps.
Right now we only offer two kinds of liners (we are sock folks, after all). The Alpaca Felt Insoles from Heartfelt are your winter option, adding warmth and coziness meant to work together with your favourite socks to keep your toesies cozy in the cold! SummerSox’s shoe liners are the summer option, for when you seriously could not imagine wearing socks, but don’t want your feet sweating and slipping on your shoes.
Though we were a little sceptical of liners at first, in our testing of them we fell in love! Having that extra layer between our feet and the cold ground that the Alpaca Felt Insoles offered made winter far more bearable. And the bonus to the SummerSox we loved was their soft combed cotton stopped that annoying “slap-slap” you get when walking barefoot in strappy summer sandals!
Colloquially called “peds” although “Peds®” is a registered trademark of the The Peds Company and only Peds® brand peds can be called peds, no-shows (or no shows, up to your personal hyphenation preferences) cover your toes and your heels, but leave the top of your foot bare. When paired with the right shoes, they’re practically invisible! Some brands also call them “liners” and we roll with that in their names, but if it’s covering your toes and heels and nothing else, then it’s a no-show—unless it’s a KeySock, in which case it is the happy child of a no-show and a knee high.
A great option for when you want the no-sock look or feel, but need more between you and your shoes than a liner can provide, the main drawback to no-shows is that the bit at the heel can sneak down into your shoe. Finding a style that fits you fab helps, but some styles know what is up and have grips at the back of the heel to keep things in place and we make sure to note that in Sizing Tips!
There are some no-shows that walk the line of not showing, like ToeSox’s Bella styles. That mary jane strap across the foot (that helps keep them in place) almost makes them . . .
Also called “sneaker socks” and sometimes even “anklets” (which are a whole ‘nother beast that is sort of similar/different to “ankle socks” in the same way crews and midcalves are just the barest difference of length). Footies dance right around the anklebone, landing either just below or just above, it seems like one of the key defining features of a footie is that it’s just the foot of a sock. See, the leg part of a sock is called the shaft (can ya dig it?) and a footie doesn’t have that. It covers the toes, heels, top of the foot and pretty much ends there. At most it has a bit of a cuff that covers the ankle bone.
Because a lot of the folks who make socks aren’t as persnickety as I am, footies also get called “no-shows” even though they show in most shoes (except sneakers, which would explain the “sneaker sock” term). And, as we tend to, we keep that supplier naming, and just sort them accordingly by coverage level.
A perfect summer or spring sock, often the height running styles are made in, footies are fun and fabulous when you just need a touch of sock but don’t want to be up past your ankles in warmth!
As the weather warms up, we hope these refreshed coverage categories make it easier to find just the right sock (or lack thereof) for summer!