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For those of us that are going back to school, Labor Day signifies the end of summer. Amidst all the shopping that comes with school back in session, we can’t help but be reminded of the once-often popular fashion trend of “no wearing white after Labor Day”. It’s hard to imagine a moratorium on a color holding such weight today, but it used to be standard in women’s fashion to put away all white clothing until Memorial Day. This custom was practiced throughout the first half of the 20th century, though today it is largely ignored. We covered fashion lawbreakers a few years ago however, our sock selection has grown quite a bit since then to incorporate even more fashionably deviant items. Today we’re celebrating those rebellious rule-breakers that forgo trend stipulations and the socks that follow suit!
There are a few different theories behind the origin of the “no white after Labor Day” rule. Some contend that it’s a petty statute invented by the elite upper-class and some say that the practice was implemented in order to separate lightweight clothing from heavy, winter clothing. While it’s understandable that a lot of white clothing is lightweight, there are quite a few comfy, white items in our Warm Collection that will keep you cozy far after Labor Day. The Orkney Angora Over the Knees are very soft and the angora/lambswool blend will definitely keep you warm. Both the Long Cuffable Scrunchable Socks and the OTK Tube Socks are Dream Stockings staples that are great for fall and winter; while the former is perfect for cuffing and scrunching, the latter is lined with thick terry knit to keep you warm and dry.
One of our favorite explanations of the “no white after Labor Day” rule is that it was implemented in order to save nice white clothing from getting muddied by the fall rain, especially shoes–something we have much experience with in the Pacific Northwest. We try not to let the rain inhibit our choice of shoe too much, though.
Other than solid white, there are a few other seemingly out-dated color stipulations in the fashion world. This includes combinations of some colors that supposedly aren’t complimentary because the two colors are similar, but different enough not to “go together”. Our first ill-fated color combination might be too sweet for some, but we think that Red & Pink are a lovely match. If you find yourself in the Valentine’s Day spirit, the bold, bright contrast of the Red Hearts & Swirls Crews may be just what you’re looking for! Alternatively, the stripes on the Red Pink Knees are pretty eye-catching, especially with those white boots! Speaking of fabulous shoe selections, those Pink Cotton Slouch Socks look great with those red heels!
We’re not sure where the Navy & Black boycott came from; we think they look great together! However, there was a time when it was a big fashion no-no to mix the two. The wide horizontal stripes on the Navy & Black Extraordinarily Striped Thigh Highs spark a striking contrast to the understated pattern on the Navy Boy’s Socks, which we find almost reminiscent of pinstripes. We also love the way the Navy/Black/Rust Dreamer Tartan OTKs incorporate the Rust as a pop of color, too.
Brown & Black, the last combination we’ll go over today, is quite possibly our favorite color duo! We offer this particular pairing in a few different striped options; in addition to the Dream Stalker Stripes pictured below, we carry Black Brown Knees and Black & Brown Striped Thigh Highs. If you prefer something different than alternating bands of color, the subtle design of the Dark Brown/Black B Chevrons might be perfect for your two-toned needs. Alternatively, the Dreamer Vertically Checkered OTKs show how beneficial this color partnership can be when another neutral color is brought into the mix.
So far we’ve only covered antiquated color rules, but truthfully there are plenty of other aspects of fashion that at some point in time have come under scrutiny. Mixing patterns, for example, can get mixed reviews. Personally, I love to mix textures and patterns throughout my outfit, but even I have to admit I can go overboard sometimes. We have a lot of items on our site that are specially made a little out of the ordinary to help you make a bold statement. Below, the Prowl Midcalf socks have a band of animal print breaking up stripes of various widths, adding visual interest way down to your toes. However, if you are looking for more of a stark contrast in pattern, the Harlequin Diamond Striped Tights may do just the trick! Additionally, the Mix It Up Knee High 2-Pair Pack comes with four individual socks that you mix and match at your discretion for total pattern chaos.
The last fashion rule we’ll cover today has sparked tiffs between friends and families for years. Do you wear leggings as pants? We’re not here to judge if you do, but plenty of people can agree the jury is out on this one. Regardless of how you like to wear your leggings, we do have a few pretty opaque options. Honestly, the Leopard Print Velvet Leggings are close to being pants on their own–they’re opaque, sleek, and very comfortable (they also come in a solid black version, as well). The Static Houndstooth Leggings are super soft and their thick, sweater-like knit is sure to keep you cozy. Pictured far right, the Lace Jacquard High Waist Leggings are definitely eye-catching; we love the floral design paired with the deep texture on these. Additionally, as noted in the Sizing Tips on their page, “the opacity of these thick leggings is almost pant-like, hiding contrasting underwear and underwear lines quite well, even when stretched to 46 inches at the hip” much like the Diamond-Sided High Waist Leggings, also from M. Rena.
When it comes to fashion we aren’t really into labels, we just like what we like! Whether you are fashion-forward or vintage-inclined, we’re here to help you nail down the right items for you, no matter how you choose to wear them. Are there any fashion rules you love to break? We’d love to hear any and all of them in the comments below.
A few weeks ago, to celebrate its 150 anniversary, we brought you a run-down of our favorite items inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Although she helped define children’s literature, Alice wasn’t the only one to touch our young hearts, or make us dream of nonsense and wonders. Today we’ve got some great items to keep some of those other classics close to your heart (or your feet).
If you were raised dreaming of jungle adventure, we’ve got some great items in keeping with the 1890s classic, The Jungle Book. We’ve got some Earth Crews to help set the scene, and the Black Cat Tights to represent one of Mowgli’s favorite companions. If you’re a fan of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, we also have some Suede Snake Printed Trouser Socks reminiscent of his heroic struggle against the cobras.
At the turn of the century, L. Frank Baum first introduced us to his colorful world in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. We’ve got some Ruby Slipper Socks for Dorothy, and even some Striped Tights and Wicked Knee Highs for her witchy adversaries, inspired by the successful screen and stage adaptations. Not to mention, plenty of rainbows.
If the mid-century stylings of Roald Dahl are more to your taste, we’ve got the perfect adornments for visiting Charlie and the Chocolate Factory…
Or hanging out with the Fantastic Mr. Fox and his family…
And if James and the Giant Peach is more your flavor, we had a whole post on peaches a couple weeks back.
Finally, if you’re a fan of modern classics, it’s hard to ignore the Harry Potter series, which ushered in a whole new era of children’s literature. And we’ve got the perfect items for those aspiring witches and wizards out there. Whether you’re properly suiting up in your Sorcerer Socks and Sorcerer Sleeves, or donning the Barn Owl Knee Highs to keep your trusty familiar close at hand, you’ll be studying in style!
Alice would be so proud!
A lot of people say “nude” when they refer to beige and tan. A lot of our suppliers do too (Leg Avenue, in particular), but we use “Beige” as a colour name in place of the erroneous “nude.” Why? To be very frank, peachy beiges and tans are not a skin-matching “nude” for everyone. We’ll get into that a little later in this post, with some options for finding styles that might be “nude” for you.
Disclaimer time! I’m not trying to define beige and tan. If you want some poem-like lists of names for shades of either, Wikipedia has them for both Beige and Tan and is kind of an amazing resource for colour in general. 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.
One last thing though: I’ve yet, in my seven-plus years slinging socks, found a clear delineation between how “beige” is used and how “tan” is used. Like, one isn’t more pink or anything. As with “teal & turquoise” we’ll have to accept that “beige & tan” are forever linked into one, indefinable mass.
Dream Stockings & Dreamer Socks
From a soft gold to cool and deep, our house brand styles run a neat and tight selection of hues.
Pinky, golden and neutral, B.Ella hits the main colour points with just a couple of styles.
With a handful of beiges, Foot Traffic treats beige and tan like basics, with a nice selection of options.Their nylon beige matches across both tights and trouser socks.
Because they focus a lot on classic stocking styles, Leg Avenue’s beiges and tans tend to be sheers and net, which can cause some interesting issues if you are looking for a shade that will match your skin instead of contrasting. However!! The Professional Fishnet Tights in Light Toast are darker than their standard “Nude” (what we call Beige), which is why we made sure to post a straight shot of the net itself as an extra image.
From left to right: Professional Fishnet Tights with Cotton Sole, Sheer Thigh Highs with Lace Stay-Up Top, Contrast Cuff Cuban Heel Thigh Highs, Sheer Lace Top Stockings with Backseam, Spandex Fishnet Pantyhose
As usual, Tabbisocks nails this hue down, with a nice range of warms and rosy tones that are particularly lovely in everything from Mori to Victoriana styles.
From left to right:Harajuku Leg Warmers, Ruffled Arm Warmer, Basic Five Toes, Crochet Lover Over the Knees, Harajuku Scrunchy Socks, Crochet Look Sleeves
Bottom row: Five Toes Pantyhose in Chocolate Brown, Beige
From pearly porcelain to tawny dust, brands that only offer one or two beiges or tans have a nice range among themselves.
All of these hues fall into some gorgeous groupings of colour, let’s take a look at that next!
The beginning of August marks the mid-point between the summer solstice and autumnal equinox, signifying the height of summer here in the Pacific Northwest. The warm season is in full-swing, so why not reap the benefits while you can? All those backyard barbeques, picnics in the park, and excursions to the seaside wouldn’t be complete without incorporating summer’s fresh bounty of produce. So many delightful fruits and veggies crop up this time of year that it’s hard to choose a favorite. One fruit, however, gets its very own month of recognition! August has been National Peach Month since 1982 and it’s easy to see why! Peaches are a summer staple and we have some peachy-keen items to help you celebrate this wonderful fruit all year.
One of the key characteristics of most peaches is their signature fuzzy exterior. This velvety coat doesn’t come on all peaches, but it is a dominant trait that provides a tactile aspect to enjoying this great fruit. Our selection of velvet items includes wrist warmers, gloves, and leggings. Though we don’t currently offer any resembling the color, they’re all pretty peachy!
On the left, we have a pair of Black & Gold Velvet Wrist Warmers from Polonova, a Portland-based company that specializes in screen-printing beautiful, ornate designs. There are a few velvet items from this company and they are gorgeous, every one. Next, for those of us that wish for a longer, more luxurious look, there are the Black Velvet Opera Length Gloves from Leg Avenue. Lastly, on the right we have the purrfect Leopard Velvet Leggings from K. Bell (which also come in a solid black version).
Sure, the peach fuzz trait is pretty easy to identify, but the color peach itself can be tricky; with over 700 different varieties of peaches in this world, the spectrum is pretty broad. A quick internet search will provide a fluid palette of tones varying from pastel orange to a pale, pinky-yellow. Additionally, as dreamer Brenna already discussed in both our Orange and Pastel Spotlights, light orange isn’t a very popular color among socks. While there is a wide range of the color peach, there aren’t a whole lot of socks in our collection that necessarily fit that description.
First, we have a pair of the Mango Solid Opaque Nylon Trouser Socks from Foot Traffic. We just love this particular shade of yellow-orange because it is so reminiscent of the sticky, sweet interior of a ripe Yellow Peach! Next up are the Sherbert O Basics and the Rust Orange Knees, both of which are from our Dream Stockings house-brand. While there’s no denying the Sherbert O Basics are a lovely punched-up peach color, the stripes of the Rust Orange Knees add quite the visual interest and are a nod to the signature blush on peach skin. Last, we have the Coney Space Dyed Over the Knee Stockings from E.G. Smith; a more artistic take on the fruit, the beauty of space-dyed items lies in each pair looking just a little different than the last, much like the beloved treat itself.
While all these items truly convey peachy qualities, none of them are quite on the softer, pastel side. In order to come up with a more delicate shade, we decided to try our hand at dyeing a pair ourselves. We’ve covered dyeing socks several times in our Sock Journal; from the basics onto various techniques, such as matching stockings to skin tone or coloring specific products like petticoats or nylon items. Personally, I have very little experience in dyeing clothes pastel colors, as the majority of my dyeing experiments have only incorporated dark colors. Thank goodness dreamer Brenna suggested I check out a brilliant resource on Rit Dye‘s website! Their Color Library had a plethora of tips and archived color combinations, which helped in creating the perfect peach formula! After we found Rit’s Peach Color Formula to be a little pink-er than we’d aimed for, we switched up the amounts of dye to create a different concoction. Both the Ivory Dreamy Bamboo Patterned Crews and the Natural & White A Chevrons made for great color studies, as their distinctive patterns showed up in a particularly lovely way!
No matter how you like them (fresh off the tree, baked in a cobbler, puréed in ice cream, or canned at home) we hope that you enjoy a peach or two this season, if you can! It has been pretty sweet sharing our rocking good times with all you wonderful dreamers out there and we hope the second half of your summer is just as nice, if not better, than the first!
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. ♥