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November 28th, 2014
It is now officially holiday shopping season. We know it can be stressful, finding just the right thing for somebody (or yourself). Whether you’re having trouble choosing a style, figuring out fit, ordering and shipping your socks or all of it is dumb, why are presents so hard—don’t worry, we’ve got some tips and tricks to simplify the process!
I’m going to try and get all the tips and tricks and hyperlinks together in one place here, so buckle in for a longer post, but bookmark it, because I think it’ll be a good source of help for this and future holiday seasons! At the verrrrry end of this post are a bunch of links, so if you’re short on time, skip down there!
Picking styles for yourself and others
Even for yourself, creating a wishlist is a fun and useful thing. If you try to leave items in your shopping cart as a way to hold onto a style, they don’t always stay in your cart! Remember, other people are shopping too and they might be quicker on the draw for that last pair. We recommend folks finish their orders in an hour to make sure everything is there.
So, if you can, encourage folks you’re shopping for to make a wishlist. We added wishlists in 2011, and they’re easy as pie to use. Just make sure you’re signed in and click that little “Add to wishlist” button!
Wait, “signed in”?! Yep, even though you can shop as a “guest” and not have an account, it can help a lot for tracking orders and making wishlists if you have one. If you have questions about your account, they’re probably answered in the Account FAQ, we do our best to keep all our info up to date and useful!
Okay, but what do you fill that tempting wishlist with? And how do you know that the styles you’re buying for someone will fit them? Does knowing their dress size help, or that they’re “slim”? Or, if you know they wear plus-size styles, then you can’t get them anything that says “one size”, right?
Nope! “One Size” and dress sizes don’t mean a thing when it comes to fitting socks and legwear!
Figuring out fit
First off, as Dreamer Zaf says in this fabulous Tumblr post, when we say “one size” “Never, ever, ever do we mean One Size Fits All. Generally, we mean it only comes in the one size.”
So, if you click the drop-down box for size (the middle one, after the one you use to choose colour) and you see “One Size” is the only choice, then we sadly don’t have any other size options for this style.
Sometimes (most particularly with Leg Avenue), there will be a “One Size” and a “Plus Size” in the drop-down. This is a combination of things, based partially on what the supplier calls a size (and how it is then entered into our system) and a result of a style gaining a larger size at a later date.
But we could call One Size “fishcakes” and use the word “marabou” to mean “Plus Size” and it doesn’t really matter. Just like in clothing, sizes are different across suppliers and styles, so we do our best to make sure the Sizing Tips on each product page gives you all the information you need to know if what this particular iteration of “Plus Size” or “Small” or “fishcakes” is right for you. Even if that means we end up writing what looks like a tl;dr of info. I think the greatest example of which is the Professional Fishnet Tights with Cotton Sole.
But, if you’re looking for a good fit, then that highlighted Sizing Tips box is your best buddy! For example, when searching our Plus Size category you will see styles with only a “One Size” option, but that doesn’t mean it won’t fit some plus size bodies. And “Small” in a lot of brands (like Cronert, or Dream Stockings) is about foot size, not leg size. With your measurements in hand, you’ll know if a large kid’s size is actually exactly your small foot size.
Dreamer Zaf talks more about the importance of measuring on our Tumblr, but here are the basics:
• Know the measurements of the person you’re shopping for •
• Don’t worry about what the size is called, look at what that size fits •
• If our Sizing Tips say something should fit but it doesn’t, let us know •
Okay, okay, so what measurements do you need to know? And how do you get those measurements for someone without ruining the surprise of a gift?!
We used to have a LOT of November birthdays. I want to say it was like 20% of our very small staff seemed to have a birthday this month, which added a lot of cake and joy into one of our busiest seasons.
One of my favourite things about Rachel is that she brings some of the most ace props when modelling socks. She’s another one of the Dreamers with an almost supernatural ability to match and complement colours across an outfit and I end up clapping my hands gleefully when I see how she’s put the socks I need to shoot to work!
Rachel’s favourites are a regular favourite for a lot of us, and for good reason. She says:
My current favorite socks are the O Dreamy Stockings. They’re warm, comfortable, and the yarns are always so beautiful. Plus they’re easy to wear with lots of different outfits due to all of the colors contained in just one sock. They’re always at the top of my OTK sock drawer.
I love that she paired the Shorty Scrunchable Warmers in Teal with these. The jewel tones of the Shorty Scrunchables is a perfect foil to the secret vividness of the dark marls of the O Dreamy in Nebula.
Stephanie knew exactly what her favourite socks were: slipper and house socks, the cosiest of them all! She says:
Most important criteria for a favorite sock: coziness. I can dig dressing up socks for daytime wear, but if it isn’t soft, squishy, and ultimately made for lounging, it will sit at the bottom of my drawer. My favorites right now are the Lumberjack Fleece Knee Highs, but basically anything from Polar Feet is great. I used to think that color didn’t factor into what socks I sported more, but based on what socks have the most wear, I suppose I like warm colors! Bonus if it is space dyed, marled, velvet, or tie dyed!
You can tell that the Lumberjack Fleece Knee Highs are a top fave because she’s worn them in well. I love how extra cozy this fleece gets as it is washed, worn and loved.
At first, Mr. Natosi couldn’t remember the name of his favourite socks, “the textured ones” he said, having the same problem most of us do when trying to remember the name of one of our over 1,000 styles. I had a guess that it was one of B.Ella’s newer cotton larger-footed midcalves and I was right! Their casual dapperness totally matches his style.
I also had to make sure to grab a snap of the arm warmers he’s wearing today, because I honestly can’t picture Mr. Natosi without them. He’s had his thumbs in almost every arm warmer style we carry!
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!
Okay, for real now, it’s leg warmer season. My ankles are cold and after a couple of days of complaining about it I remembered all the leg warmers I have exactly for this season. I think most folks don’t consider leg warmers as a dated fashion accessory any more, they’re just a perfect way to stop drafts between your shoe and pants, or to add another layer over leggings or under boots.
How much leg warmer you want is going to vary though. How much scrunch can you handle? Do you need ‘em to go up as high as they can for extra cold mornings? Are they going over pants or bare legs and tights? Well, we have two styles that each have two coverage levels that might just be exactly what you’re looking for.
Let’s look at the two main styles and then we can compare!
Long Cuffable Warmers
Though originally only available in a 33 inch length, the Long Cuffable Scrunchable Leg Warmers now come in a shorter version for folks who just don’t need that much leg warmer. The Shorty Scrunchable Warmers, a mere 20 inches long, are also available in bolder, more jewel-toned colours. Both are made in the classic cotton blend most of our Dream Stocking styles are, which is great for folks who want warmth without fuzzy halos.
With a stretch of 21 inches at the “top” cuff, the longer version is good option for slimmer thighs that would like their leg warmers to stay up. The shorties have a 22 inch stretch throughout and are great for folks with shorter inseams who just don’t want that much legwarmer and fuller calves that want a leg warmer without all the extra length. They also make a great sleeve-style arm warmer!
Ribbed Knit Leg Warmers
A Foot Traffic classic, they come in the 40 inch Super Long Ribbed Leg Warmers and the shorter Ribbed Knit Leg Warmers, which are 20 inches long. Fuzzy in texture, they’re 70% acrylic, which means they dry fast, so they’re awesome in snowy or rainy weather. A couple of the colours are available in both lengths, but the long version has some new, ultra-delicious options that we’re in love with.
The Super Long Ribbed have one cuff that is tighter, stretching to only 25 inches (24 for the Charcoal), the body and cuff at the other end stretch to 30 inches! The shorter version have less stretch, with 20 inches at the tighter cuff, 27 inches at the other cuff and 29 inches in the body of the leg warmer.
Now, let’s compare!
Or, if I may, let’s see how they stack up against each other. . .
Both styles, as you may have noticed from my descriptions, have a tighter cuff and a looser cuff. The tighter cuff is supposed to be the “top”, and is tighter because of the thin bands of elastic threaded through the top row of stitches.
The “bottom” cuff is just the finished, ruffly end of the legwarmer itself, so it has practically the same stretch as the rest of the warmer—uninhibited by elastic’s rules, man.
And you too can reject what’s supposed to be up or down and wear them as you will! Most ankles are narrower than calves and thighs, so it works out well to have the less stretchy bit down there. Keep in mind, though, that the stretchier end has little stay-up power and will need to be paired with a sock garter like the Simply Adjustables to stay up through your day.
Texture-wise, the ribbed knit legwarmers are fuzzy, wuzzy and (for some folks) a little itchy when worn against thin tights or bare skin. Due to their killer stretch, that works out well, as they are AMAZING over pants and a lot of legs find they will go even over jeans.
The Scrunchables are a thinner cotton and a little snugger. So they have a sleeker look, both in texture and how they fit against and over you. I personally find them less than ideal to go over trousers, but they are perfect over tights and leggings.
So, two different leg warmers that are also very similar. Between them, four singular styles to select from to keep those ankles draft-free and to add another layer of warmth as we snowball into winter!
Halloween might be one of our favourite times of year here at Sock Dreams. It’s one of the reasons why our Halloween category is easy to find year-round. Normally by now on the Sock Journal I’d have talked at least once about costumes and given you ideas, but all of you are clearly on top of it this year! We’ve seen so many cool combos of styles go out this month, you all are really making our season.
Since this year was full of some fabulously Halloween-riffic new styles, let’s just revel in a bit of Halloween trend goodness on this day o’ spooky and costumes. Some are out of stock at the moment (due to this being the season they’re most in demand) but, if you’re anything like a lot of us Dreamers, the visual themes of Halloween aren’t limited to one month of the year, so we’re sure you’ll find a use even in spring time for . . .
Cats! Like that familiar familiar, the black cat,
Or the sideways-talking Cheshire cat.
Even more classic are movie monsters!
And of course there’s just the general spookiness of spiders, bats and eyeballs.
Okay, I’m going to close with a real nerdy thing. I noticed this year that black and orange aren’t the hot Halloween colours. Both in what people are buying and what I’ve seen out and about. So I made some pretty ridiculous graphs of our two big Halloween brands because I know y’all are nerds too.
In Leg Avenue striped styles, the clear winner is Black & White. Then comes Black & Purple, with Rainbow and Black & Red about tied! The predominance of Pink & Purple stripes purchased from Leg Avenue is what prompted their addition to this pumpkin pie chart. A lot of sneaky Cheshire Cats about this year!
Now, in Dream Stockings and Dreamer Socks, we see more folks getting the basics they need to finish off a more complex look. Stripes aren’t as stratospheric a seller. Unless you’re rainbows, that is! Between the various Radiant and Harvest Rainbows, plus the Rainbow Dreams, you folks are representing all the colours! Classic Black & Orange is much higher on the list for Dream Stockings. We are embarrassed to admit how long it took us to add Black as an option in the Orange Knees, but dang we’re glad we did!
Remember, seeing how you use our socks in your costumes gives us undead creatures of the night life! Tag us on Tumbr, share with us on Facebook, give us a virtual trick-or-treat of how awesome you all are. ♥
Have a happy Halloween and may your evening’s celebrations be bountiful!
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