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The International Day of The Sock is a day for rocking your favourite socks (even more than usual)! The socks we want to rock this time around are the ones made right here in the USA. Our collection of American made styles is full of fantastic delights from two dozen suppliers.
And of course, pretty patterns.
But far more than our fabulous house brands are made in the USA. Why, did you know that from B.Ella we offer over forty USA-made styles? Only about a third of their styles we carry are made in Italy and the rest of these gorgeous, luxury offerings are home-grown.
And ALL of the Gumball Poodle styles are made in the USA. Stretchy and sassy, we even offer two styles that name-check the Pacific Northwest and one that honours our local Roller Derby team!
There are so many more made in the USA offerings! Just join me after the jump for a quick list (and links and Advanced Searches for) of USA-made styles.
We’re almost through the first month of the year! And I thought February was supposed to be the short month. But January is always full and busy as we sort out what we’re doing over the next year. In the sock world, that means saying goodbye to some styles to make room for new favourites. You might have seen Jess’ post in Latest News about a bunch of Leg Avenue we’ll be seeing the last of, but I thought it might be good to show you more ways to work the Zap! category. And it’s kind of fun to be able to look back on posts like this (like this one from 2010) and see styles we’ve forgotten about, like a sad time machine.
If you’re not familiar with our Zap! category, it’s sort of like a train station platform where we can wave goodbye to styles as they go away. This time of year our Zap! category swells as we find out what styles are being discontinued, what newer or better styles are coming out in the spring and just from general housecleaning. At this moment there are over 100 styles in Zap! I feel like I should add an extra exclamation mark, since the category name already has one. Heck, let’s do three!!!
But because we’re saying goodbye to these socks means you get to say hello. So here are a few styles that you might want to grab a pair of before they’re gone for good. Now, I’m trying to pick styles there are still plenty of, but be aware that some might be gone before you get there!
Almost a quarter of the styles in Zap! are knee highs, and a lot are super fun. I think almost every closet needs one pair of knee highs that make you smile or feel fancy.
Moving on up the leg, here are some over the knee and higher treats that we won’t have around much longer.
Some favourite tights are going away and I know several Dreamers have stocked up on their favourite pairs!
Of course, there is a sweet silver lining to styles going away and that’s when they go on sale! There are a lot of luscious choices with marked down prices that mean you get a pair before they disappear and feel smart for waiting because now you’re paying less.
There are a lot of reasons (most of them being whether or not we can still get a style) that a sock might go away and as sad as it is, it does mean that we’re busy picking out new things to take its place. So dig into the Zap! category or use our advanced search to pick through all these styles that are just waiting for a home—you’re helping us make room for some new favourite styles.
Putting on socks and stockings with vertical stripes can be kind of a hassle. You want the stripes to be straight, but it’s hard to keep them that way. It’s a special kind of frustrating to pull on a pair of tights with a vertical design and realise once you look in a mirror that they’re zigging AND zagging, instead of staying on the straight and narrow.
With our helpful assistant, Mrs. Half-Mannequin (“Half” is her maiden name) and a pair of Sheer Vertical Striped Pantyhose, I’ll share a couple tricks to help you guide those stripes. The wonderful Dreamer Zaf of our Tumblr took most of these pictures, since I only have so many hands.
In trying to keep those stripes straight, particularly with tights, sometimes the legs get twisted and that makes it awful up in areas that you really don’t want bunching. So here’s the key: keep the pattern straight from the start.
As you gather up the stocking or tights to slide them on, make sure you’re gathering everything evenly. Keep those stripes in line as you gather, starting from the top of the sock or leg of the tights. If you’re dealing with panels or designs, pay attention to what part is made to go in the front or back. What you’re doing is making sure your tights don’t get twisted.
Okay, now you’re ready to get fancy. Ease your little toes in and carefully put the stockings or tights on. It should be a lot easier now that you’ve essentially “prepped” them to keep their stripes straight. You may need to do a bit of adjusting as you go, but it should be pretty minimal.
Now they’re on! You may find that the toes are a little wonky. This is fine! You were focusing on getting things straight. Just adjust the toe seam to your comfort and pickiness—it’s a lot easier to get tights on straight then adjust the toe than make the toes perfect and try to keep the designs straight.
There, you look fabulous! For a twist you can do just that with socks and stockings (as opposed to tights), purposefully twisting them as you put them on for a new spin on vertical stripes. I think the Fast Lane Knee Highs are particularly well-suited to this.
Do you have any tips or tricks for putting on difficult patterns just right?
I don’t know how many of you ever got presents for your birthdays with coloured glass that represented your birthstone—but the idea of flowers, gems and constellations associated with a month is pretty fun. And it’s a great way to take a walk through our gardens, mines and galaxies of socks!
January’s gemstone is garnet, which is normally a gorgeous deep burgundy (though also happens in yellow and a startling green!). Philippe Matignon’s red is called “garnet” (or actually, “rosso granata”) and I couldn’t think of a better name for this shade.
It’s thought that the word “garnet” came from “pomegranate” and even if that’s not true, it totally could be. Our Dreamer Socks’ deep red shade is called Pomegranate, and we like it so much we’ve even got the 100 Inch Super Ruched done in the same delicious colour.
Each month has a couple of flowers to choose from, it all depends on where you are, really. But mostly it seems like January’s flower is the carnation. The original colour of the carnation is pink, but thanks to flower science and careful cultivation, they now come in a whole tonne of shades. But one thing makes a carnation what it is and that’s the layers of ruffle-y petals. Hmm, what do we have that has layers of ruffles?
Of course, you don’t need straight up lotsa ruffles to get a ruffle-y look. Sometimes a textured sock and a good scrunch is all that’s necessary.
The constellation associated with most of January is Capricornus (more commonly known as Capricorn). It’s a fish-goat. Or a sea-goat, if you want to be proper. Since we don’t have anything that has mohair in it right now (mohair comes from Angora goats), I think Capricorn will have to be represented by things that don’t go together, yet totally do make one awesome whole.
These Sock It To Me Toddler & Kids Two Packs are fun because they pair up some unexpected and adorable designs. You know that monkeys and dinos would hang out or that ninjas like robots. But did you know that ninjas also love cupcakes?
There’s still over half of January to go and a long way until spring up here in the Northern hemisphere, so keep warm! Unless you’re in the Southern hemisphere, in which case may I offer you some lightweight sock styles, if you don’t mind my totally shivering while I do.
I really love doing colour wheels. Maybe it’s the sorting, maybe it’s that they’re pure fun, but mostly I think it’s because we have some pretty luscious socks and this is a great way to show them off. I’d almost say that each one of our styles is as unique as a . . . snowflake. So let the cozy, cuddly, warm and snuggly winter wheels begin!
Arm warmers and fingerless gloves do wonders in keeping you warm!
Clockwise, from top: Harajuku Arm Warmers in Navy, Fingerless Arm Cozy in Denim Blue, Alpaca Cable Hand Warmers in Steel Blue, Wool Fingerless Gloves in Robin’s Egg, Acrylic Fingerless Shorties in Peacock, Orkney Angora Wrist Warmers in Azure.
Taller socks are a wonderful layer, over tights or under pants, for that extra level of cozy!
Clockwise, from top: Long Cuffable Scrunchable Socks in Royal, Orkney Angora Over the Knees in Azure, Kimi Wool Blend OTKs in Dark Royal, OTK Tube Socks in Royal, Long Cuffable Scrunchable Socks in Navy, Faux Fur Cuff Knee Highs in Sapphire.
Shorter socks can keep your toes snug, with warm wool and fabulous fuzzies!
Clockwise, from top: Gregorio Wool Bootsocks in Denim, Rainbow Striped Wooly Socks in Jean, M Bootsocks in Navy, New Zealand Bed Socks in Navy, ToeToe Walking Socks in Navy & Grey, Dahlgren Hiking Midcalf in Atmosphere.
Even tiny toes can be spared from the cold!
Clockwise, from top: B.Ella Stimolo Baby Bootie in Light Blue & White, B.Ella Baby Teddy Booties in Blue Marl, B.Ella Katy Striped Wool Baby Socks in Denim, Baby Wool Socks in Navy, Argyle Baby Booties in Denim, Dottie Polka Dot Baby Socks in Light Blue with White Dots.
There’s no need for fingers and toes to go blue from the cold, not when lots of toasty options exist already in those shades.