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Tips & Tricks
One of the things we love to do is help folks find which socks will work best for them. That’s why we put as much information as we can into the Sizing Tips on each product page and try to give as much real-life testing as we can into the styles we carry. Sometimes you’ve got to scroll a little to see it, depending on your monitor size, but it’s there!
And if it isn’t, or you’ve had a different experience, let us know via email and we’ll make sure things are up to date! So many products we carry are wrapped up in packaging and sometimes things sneakily change in a way we don’t notice until you let us know.
So okay, the information is there, but you’re still unsure—or, you’ve got a particular fit issue or need and our Advanced Search isn’t helping? Then it’s time for our handy-dandy contact form! Select “Sizing Query” from the topic drop-down and make sure your email address is correct so we can get back to you.
Now for your question itself! Something we tell folks a lot is that “large”, “skinny”, “plus” or really most adjectives and dress sizes don’t mean much without context. Who knows what clothing sizes mean anymore (besides, they’re based on everything but the measurements we need)! If you write us saying you’ve got “tiny calves” and nothing stays up or you’ve got “curvy thighs” and stockings always roll, we can only give you the vaguest help. But we want to give you specific help! So here’s what you’ve gotta do for ultimate sock searching assistance: measure!
Even if you don’t sew, a tailors tape (or fabric measuring tape) is the best $2 tool to have. I use mine to measure weird spaces furniture needs to go as much as I do when sewing! But, if you don’t have one, don’t worry. The same ability to measure around stuff is just as easy to obtain with some yarn or string and a regular ol’ ruler.
You just wrap the yarn around what you’re measuring, then lay it out next to a ruler and BAM! Measurements.
In general, a good reference for where you need to measure for what coverage of sock is the image on the Measurements & Sizes page (shown below with common coverage highlighted for easy reference). We also like to know your shoe size, too, particularly if you have smaller or larger feet than the average sock you encounter.
But more information is always useful, so after the jump we’ve got some slightly more in-depth tips for measurements to send with your sizing question.
A new year has begun and we’re busy restocking as fast as our suppliers can get socks to us! With our recent sale and all the great gifts you folks have gotten yourself and others, some of our stock is pretty depleted. We know a lot of you want to use your gift cards and get socked (ahem, I mean “stocked”) up for the new year, but some of the styles you want might not be available right now. What to do (and not do)?!
We get a lot of product questions that aren’t questions about the products at all. Instead of using the Questions and Answers tab on a product page to clarify fit, colour or what-have-you—some people use the space to ask instead: “When will it be back in stock?!”
Probably, if you’ve asked that, you’ll find that we’ve emailed you directly about it and removed your question from the product page. Not because we don’t love you, but because the availability of a style varies by supplier, season and a bunch of other things! So what we have to answer this time might not be applicable six months from now when somebody else is looking at the Questions and Answers.
You may have also poked into our FAQ, looking for the answer to “When are you restocking?” Just like we say there:
It depends on the style! We deal with many suppliers and receive deliveries nearly every day. But we cannot always get what we want when we want it, and sometimes suppliers discontinue things forever. Please sign up to be notified when an item returns and you’ll get an email the same day we add our fresh stock!
So what is the best thing to do when you see the dreaded OUT OF STOCK?
Take courage! The answer to your problems is right there in the same cruel space telling you the socks you want aren’t available. Just take advantage of our automatic notifications and sign up to be notified when new stock arrives. If the out of stock box pops up, just click on “sign up to be notified when new stock arrives” and enter your email in the space provided. You will get an email the same day we get that style back in stock with a helpful link to go get it!
You have two extra options when signing up for stock notifications. You can also check a box to be notified when that brand adds a new style (which is great if you have a favourite brand) and you can check a box to sign up for our newsletter (which is sent out about monthly). If you don’t check those boxes, you won’t be signed up for either of those extra things, you’ll just get an email when that style is back in stock. We know how annoying it is to get unsolicited emails, so we try to make it as easy as we can to opt out and to avoid them.
But what if, instead of a place to sign up for notifications you see this?
Then the fates have decreed that this style, colour or variety is no longer available to us and we shall never see it again. It’s sad, but with over a thousand styles, some things are bound to disappear after a while, if only to make room for new favourites. Though sometimes it is a surprise to us too, you can keep an eye out on styles that are going away by watching our Zap section (more information about that here) or by looking in a style’s Additional Info for the sad phrase “Quantities limited, we will not not be able to restock.”
Another bonus of signing up for notifications about an out of stock style is that if we only get a limited amount (or find a few hiding in our stock room) you get a special email that gets you (and others who have signed up) special access to order it before they’re made available to the general public.
There’s one last benefit to stock notifications, though it is also kind of a bummer. If a style doesn’t return from the great beyond and we have to remove it, you’ll get an email that lets you know. We talked about that a little in the Sock Journal when our site was first able to do that.
“Okay, okay” you say. “So I can sign up for stock notifications. But what if I need a specific style now or by a specific time?!” Why, that is still easy as pie. What you’ll need to do is drop us a line via email with what you’re waiting for (and “black socks” doesn’t count, tell us the style name, colour and size!) and when you’re hoping it will be back by. We often can’t give you an exact date that a style will be back, but we often can pin it down close enough to tell you if it is worth waiting for, or if you might need to find something else. A bonus to writing us directly is that then, if we have bad news for you, we can work together to find another style that might be a good replacement and answer any other questions you may have!
We don’t have all the answers, but we definitely try to get them, so if you’re not in a rush, just sign up for stock notifications and if you need something soon, email us to get the low-down. We’re often as anxious as you to see our favourites back in stock!
One of the beautiful things about getting somebody a present via the internet is that you can ship it straight to them! Physical mail is fun to get, particularly when it is a present. But there are problems. How do you make sure they wait until the special occasion or holiday to open their gift? How do you leave them a note or hide the price? Well, just read along, we’ve got some tips for you!
It all starts once you checkout. When you get to the page where you enter your information, pay attention to three places:
Make sure your Email address and Daytime phone are your contact info, not the person you’re sending a gift to. These contacts are how you get order and shipping confirmation and how we get a hold of you if there is something wrong with your order. If you put the gift recipient’s info there, then they find out what you’ve got them pretty much as soon as you buy it.
The Delivery Address needs to be the gift recipient (unless you’re shipping it to yourself, because you’re adding it to other, non-sock things, or whatever). If you put your address there, or forget to change it if you have the site set to remember your address, then it’ll go to you, not the person you’re trying to surprise.
To ensure no peeking, use the Company name field. It’s a sneaky trick that we love. The way shipping labels work, whatever you put in the Company name field goes on the line above the delivery address (this is also great place in general to let the postal worker know to leave the package behind the screen door, or with the super). So, if you want your giftee to slow their roll until an official holiday, write that here. Keep it short and all caps for best effectiveness.
Now, on to the Shipping Options page, which you’ll need to pay the most attention to!
If you want to leave a note for the person you’re sending socks to, or you don’t want them to see what you spent, check the “Gift invoice: do not include prices on invoice” checkbox. This does some magic and hides the prices from the gift recipient and! It opens up a nice space for you to leave a note, if you want to.
But what about that first box? If you type stuff there, where does it show up? Well, that’s where you put order notes, the stuff you want us at Sock Dreams to see! If you’re saying hello, requesting stickers, or crafting some emoji masterwork, this is where it goes (if you’re asking about sizing info, it should be emailed to us, not put in your order notes).
Here’s a side-by-side example of where each field goes once it becomes a printed invoice:
So what you type in the “order notes” box goes at the bottom of the invoice and what goes in the gift notes box (which only appears if you check the gift invoice checkbox) shows up at the top of the invoice, so it’s the first thing you see (if you don’t type anything there, no little Gift Note box will show up).
This means that if you’re sending a gift directly to someone, you should probably be aware that your order notes will show up on the invoice! So if you’re sending a gift, the recipient won’t just see the nice note you’ve left,
They’ll also see anything you put in as an order note too!
So make sure, when you get to the page that has you check over your order before finalising it, that everything is right!
Our free USPS First Class shipping in the United States (and free USPS Priority for orders over $50! check our Shipping FAQ) makes sending sock-tacular gifts easy, just remember to click that Gift Invoice checkbox to add a little personalisation to your present!
By “topless” socks and stockings, we just mean socks with no cuffs. Sometimes the description “raw-topped” is also used (raw meaning unfinished). We currently carry four styles of this kind of sock. They’ve got to have garters to hold them up, since they have no elastic band or cuff at the top, but that’s kind of the point.
They’re also great way to deal with tights that are too short or worn at the tops (as in this old Sock Journal DIY), just chop off the part that doesn’t cover your legs! Making raw-topped stockings is probably the best entry-level DIY.
But what kinds of knit can you cut without creating a disaster? The worst thing is to see your creation unravelling before your eyes. You can always drop us a line to double check the snip-worthiness of a style, but we’ve got a couple tips for what to look for after the jump!
As many of you have learned through unfortunate accident, nylon stockings, especially 100% nylon styles, are very delicate. Careful care in wearing, washing and storage can help extend your stockings’ life.
If you’re particularly prone to snags, check your nails (fingers and toes!) for sharp spots and fix them with a file, then add a little lotion to any dry or rough areas of skin. You want to try and reduce the snaggable variables. It is a special kind of infuriating to realise you’ve made a run in your stocking just by putting it on! We used to carry awesome, super smooth gloves for putting on stockings, but they are no longer made so we can no longer offer them. But if you (like me) know you need all the help you can get in preventing snags, even simple satin gloves can help.
Yanking isn’t the nicest way to shove your legs in any sock and for nylon stockings that is especially true. Carefully gathering the stocking up onto your thumbs (the thin nature of nylons makes this pretty easy), gently slip your toes in and ease it up around your heel. From there on out it’s pretty simple, letting the nylon slip from your fingers as it encases your leg. Once your stockings are up, use a careful touch and the pads of your fingers to ease the seam into lining up.
A great tip for encouraging those back seams to line up is putting a dot of sock glue at the back of your heel, sort of anchoring it in place. Since sock glue is water-soluable, if you fear damage to your stockings while removing them, just lightly dampen the area you’ve glued before removing your nylons.
Since it can be hard to check how lined up you are (because twisting to look at the back of your leg twists your leg too, throwing everything off) sit yourself down and use a small mirror on the ground, or in your hand, to check the straightness of that seam.
It’s best to respect the stocking’s fibers and listen to how much they want to stretch. Sometimes a stocking wants to be an OTK, or just hang out in the middle of your thigh, not go all the way up to the top your leg. Pulling hard at the cuff and shortening garter belt suspenders too much will put undue stress on your stockings. Not, like, emotional stress—they are just bits of nylon—but when every fiber is pulled to its max from your toes up your leg, something’s gotta give and it’s going to be the integrity of your stockings.
What about washing and storing? And what if you do get a run? Some more tips and tricks after the jump! Read more »