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With Daylight Savings Time this weekend, all I can think of is how I’m going to lose an hour of sleep. But at least what sleep I do get will be paired with the ideal sleeping socks!
Wearing socks to bed isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. If socks make your toes feel confined or over-warm, it’s hard to imagine how much other folks love finding the right socks to sleep in. We’ve talked about bed socks before, but that style is more specifically an in-and-out of bed cuddle sock that does just as well when you’re tucked up on the couch as snuggled under covers.
Socks to sleep in tend to fall into a couple of groups: socks you can kick off, socks that stay put, and socks with serious levels of warmth. From there, it’s a case of individual coverage and warmth levels. I personally never understood wearing socks to bed until I found a style that I could kick off when I got too warm, so let’s start there!
Sleeping socks to start the night in
Sheets can get so cold that it shakes sleep off when your toes encounter their freezing caress. Sure, later the bed is all warm, but that doesn’t do any good when you’re first settling in! So, you wear socks to bed, only to drift to awareness hours later, way too warm but also way too sleepy to break your feet free of sock jail! There is only one solution: a looser sock!
Now, I don’t necessarily mean a loose sock. It’s gotta last part of the night and not skin off right away. What works best for you is going to depend a lot on your legs and comfort levels, but here are some Dreamer favourites for socks that stay on until you want ‘em gone:
The Harajuku Scrunchy Socks on the left are my favourite. I’ve got larger feet, so they stay in place until I kick them off in my sleep. They’re tall enough to protect even my knees from the monstrosity that is a bed in an unheated room, but their loose body means even the most uncoordinated fumbling shucks them easily.
The EG Smith Original Bootsock (pictured on the right) and the GoGo Bootsocks (not pictured) are a shorter option of the same idea: a looser-bodied sock that stays put but is easily removed with little effort.
For a little more stay-put-ness, roll top styles like the Sunnie Striped Slouch Midcalf, on the left, are the way to go. A practised scrape of one foot against the other ejects them from the bed—and no cuff means more talented toes can grab hold and pull off (though that’s advanced level sock sleeping).
Another reliable, removable style are the QT Feet crews, like the Lima Lurin Crew. Especially if they’re a bit worn in, these soft cotton socks will melt off you as soon as you ask, but stay where they’re supposed to as long as you want.
Socks that sleep over
For other folks, the idea of finding themselves sockless (or half-sockless!!) in the middle of the night is a terror to be avoided. But what will stay in place without leaving ouchy dents in your soft, sleepy flesh?
Non-constrictive styles, like Sockwell’s Relaxed Fit (such as the Easy Does It, shown above left), or the Bastia Comfort Top Crew, are a good match for folks who want shorter socks that stay in place while they snooze.
Another good bet, especially for extra cold nights, are any of the B.Ella wool blend midcalves and crews. There are lots of styles and textures, and with larger footed midcalves and smaller footed crews (like the Maniche on the left and the Erin on the right, above), there are more options for more feet!
It’s tougher to find a taller option that comfortably lasts the night, since our feet can be so much pickier when asleep than awake. But our Dreamer Sock knee highs and OTKs are a good bet, with wide cuffs that distribute the stay-up. The breathable Dreamy Patterned Bamboo OTKs are a particularly good way to ride out the chills without overheating. And the smooth stylings of the Space Dyed OTK Stockings and the other EG Smith OTKs are like your favourite sleepy t-shirt for your toes.
Socks for serious sleeping
Sometimes you need a little more warmth and snuggliness. These styles from the depths of our Warm! category should be your go-to when sleeping gets tough!
If the cold is just not messing around, forget the pyjama bottoms and go for something like the Thermal Fleece Leggings. Super fuzzy-furry insides keep you cozy at night and in the bitter cold mornings. In the same vein, Polar Feet’s various fleece styles, like the Jellybean Fleece Knee Highs, are serious sleep sock business. The Ribbed Wool OTK are a taller option that can slouch down well without coming all the way off, if you need to adjust comfort levels in the middle of the night.
Do you sleep in socks? If so, share what your go-to sock is!
Though some feet don’t seem to mind the seam across the toes of their socks, others do. Sensitive toes and certain kinds of toe seams can be pretty uncomfortable. Our Woven Toe Seam section is there to help you find styles that will cause less discomfort!
Before we go into what styles have woven toes seams, let’s look at some regular, machine-stitched toe seams. Socks are knit in a tube by a machine and in large production they’re finished off by another machine that tightly sews the toe closed. It sort of looks like a serged edge, like most seams you see in store bought clothing.
For a lot of folks, this kind of seam isn’t noticeable. On styles with a formed heel, the seam falls across the top of your toes where there is often room in your shoe for toe wiggling. That gives you some ease for things like seams.
In tube style socks, that seam runs across the end of the sock and falls across the tip of your toes, or at the edge of your toenails. Even if you’re someone regular seams don’t bother, the kind on tube socks can be an irritation, depending on where it lands (smaller and narrower feet have more problems with tube socks sometimes, due to excess fabric) and what shoes they’re paired with.
Above, you can see the seam at the end of the toes on the Signature Cotton Thigh Highs on the left, compared to the kind of seam a formed heel style has in the Althea Cashmere Crew on the right. Some Dreamers with sensitive toes choose to turn styles like the Semi-Opaque Color Tights inside-out, so they keep the look but don’t have to deal with the seam. Not all styles are reversible (the nature of patterns and knit!) but there are styles in openwork, fishnet and lace that can work just as well outsides in.
Sensitive toes can also avoid the tyranny of a machine-stitched toe seam by choosing squishier styles. The nature of bouclé, for example (as we’ve discussed previously) adds a lot of loft that cushions your toes from a seam. And terry-lined styles work in the same way. You can see how comparatively minimal the toe seam on the Top Striped OTK Tubes is, once you pack terry loops around it!
In the same vein, thicker styles like the Erin Wool & Silk Socks (or the larger footed Maniche) can cushion around a seam, making for a more comfy fit. If you’re ever curious about how thick a seam is, drop us a line before ordering, our toes run the range of sensitivity, so we’re familiar with all sorts of comfort levels!
But for the ultimate avoidance of toe seams, it’s the woven (or “hand-linked”, or “flat”) toe seam. There’s barely a bump where the edges meet, perfect for those particular feet. Some brands, like Stance (on the left, below) or Sockwell (on the right, below) never use anything other than a woven toe.
Last week we talked about the ZAP! Category and why a style goes away. You’d think, since we deal with this regularly (and some of us have to make the “this needs to go” decisions), Dreamers wouldn’t feel the pangs of loss as sharply when a style goes ZAP! But we do!
I asked my fellow Dreamers what socks they have and love, that we don’t carry any longer and they were quick to reply! Some are worn with the years, some are perfectly preserved (and worn only on special occasions), but all are styles we dearly miss. I bet a lot of your long-gone favourites are some of these too . . .
Old O Dreamy and Super Dreamy colours
Sure, we still sell the O Dreamy and Super Dreamy styles. But, as many of you know, the yarn is as difficult to get as a dragon’s hoard and eventually a colour runs out and that’s the last we see of it. Niq has expressed before that the Dreamy style is her personal favourite, and her collection of them is mighty!
The yarn used to be a bit more slubby back in the day too, as you can see in the original Bark Super Dreamy she’s layered under the old Antique O Dreamy. On the right are old product shots of the Hibiscus, Autumn and Classic colours. Old yarn or new, this style does just get softer and better with each wash.
Earlene Plaid Cat Socks (and other B.Ella cute crews)
For the style that Dreamer Lucy picked as her long-gone favourite, our image Archives sadly failed me. Somehow we no longer have images of this kinda-rustic, kinda-wooly, VERY comfortable crew. That’s just like cats, to tell the truth, off into the shadows! So I’ve added old images of the Susan (a merino blend with bold flowers) and the June (a classic picnic blanket check) on the right, so they all generally represent B.Ella crews lost and gone.
It’s not just these styles from B.Ella that has sadly but swiftly passed through our hands. Crews and ankle styles are clearly where B.Ella loves to play, they so regularly introduce new styles each season and only the strongest survive. It’s a sock-eat-sock world out there. Luckily, B.Ella offers several tried and true styles we can count on to keep on keeping on (even if their colours cycle out to new hues).
Shaggy Stripe Leggings
The nubbly, furry texture of these leggings definitely split opinion. You either loved them (like Dreamer Nina in the Black & Grey below), or you were Rather Not Into It. With decent stretch and good basic colours they did well, but they had two flaws.
We weren’t able to get them as regularly as we needed from their supplier, which is always frustrating, but these fabulously fuzzy leggings also were prone to holes at the crotch seams. That double whammy meant a sad goodbye, even though the folks who loved them (like Nina) don’t mind a bit their structural instability, because nowadays all we currently have to offer are fleece-lined styles and mere touches of microfiber fuzzies.
MP Coarse Knit Knee Highs
We mostly said goodbye to the MP brand about two years ago. They’re an expensive and difficult to import style, though we still carry some of their Cotton-Lined Wool Tights. But the gem in the MP crown was the Coarse Knit Knee Highs (and, before that, the shorter Coarse Knit Ski Socks). Thick, but not too thick, with a sweater-like rib that made them the ultimate in cozy, Dreamer Rosalind loved them so much that she collected four pairs before they went away forever.
I particularly love that she’s got a hat that matches their grey marl, it means the yarn is out there somewhere, just waiting to be made into socks we can easily carry! None of our warm, ribbed styles really compare, even the Ribbed Wool OTK isn’t as perfectly thick a sock.
At-Cross OTK and Kalana Wool Tights
This is actually another MP style—not as madly loved as the Coarse Knit, but a stellar example of the lovely over the knee socks from MP often offered. Deeply textural, and with a cuff that Dreamer Rachel loves because it’s the same inside and outside (allowing her to make them OTKs or thigh highs on her shorter inseam), there’s nothing that quite compares, though the Textured Cable Acrylic OTK come close, particularly in cuff. The Cronert cotton overknee styles also are similar. Even though they have a doubled cuff the ribbing is the same inside and out, making them quite cuffable!
But it wasn’t just the OTKs that Rachel was reminiscing about, she was also wearing the gorgeous Kalana Wool tights from B.Ella, which you can see peeks of around (and through!) her socks. One of those “crochet-style” tights, the Kalana were a lot like the Patricia Merino Crochet Tights in fiber and style, but with a gorgeous band detail at the thigh that we rarely see (though the ZAP!-ed Samara have a similar look). Together with the also mourned MP OTK, it’s a pair for the ages.
Surprise Rib OTK
We never did quite figure out what the surprise was in Ozone’s Surprise Rib OTK. Was it that “Khaki” was actually a brilliant green? Or the “Prune” had more warmth and gorgeousness than its name implied? Most likely the name came from the way the ribs opened up on these socks, creating a depth of texture that took you from “eh” to “OH!” Dreamer Stephanie had little hesitation when choosing this as her favourite long-gone style and regretted not getting more than one colour (though we may have been down to just “Khaki” and “Prune” when she first started with us).
Nowadays, Ozone seems to be focusing more on shorter styles and there’s nothing quite like the Surprise Rib OTK out there, though the Sweater Style Over the Knee has the same surprise effect when the ribbing opens up as you put them on.
Coyote Knee Highs
Nowadays we mostly only offer RockNSocks’ OTK and midcalf styles, with just the Eleggua Knee High representing that coverage level. But, once upon a time, there were several knee highs from RockNSocks available, like Dreamer Tori’s pick: the Coyote Knee High! And she isn’t alone in her devotion, another Dreamer came up as I was getting the snap below and when they learned it was for the “socks we miss” post they were crushed—turns out the Coyote Knee High were a favourite of theirs too and they didn’t realise that style had been gone for some time.
For fuller legs, a RockNSocks OTK is more like a knee sock, but that’s still a far cry from the sweet spot of “knee high.” Luckily, our Dreamer Socks have come out with more knee high options to fill that need for an eco-friendly, reclaimed fiber knee high that fits just right.
Oh Stance. You make such fun styles, but they’re so seasonal! Here for a year (or less) then gone. Dreamer Sabrina’s pick, the Galacticat Midcalves, were one we almost missed out offering online, and their time with us was far too short (they were pretty popular with everyone, it seemed). Cats. IN. SPACE. What else could we add to make them better? Sabrina’s pair is well loved and worn, because again: cats in space.
What can even compare? Oh, how about Grumpy Cat Grumpy Space Leggings? Another favourite that we didn’t get for very long were called “Plasticism” (the ways people get around directly referencing Mondrian’s designs are kind of great), but they live again from another supplier, the Abstract Rhythms Midcalf from Soxks. Stance has wonderfully unique socks, so it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on their page so you don’t miss any of the seasonal styles. Who knows what they’ll make that might top GALACTICAT?!
US Arm Warmers
Marls, stripes and solids, the lightweight yet warm US Arm Warmers (made, naturally, in the USA) were a basic-basic. Simple, tube style sleeves with a finished hole for the thumb, they were an inexpensive but favourite layer for Dreamer Rae.
There’s no direct equivalent to these old mitt-style arm warmers, the Harajuku Arm Warmers are cozy in the same way, but too short. The Una arm warmers are as long, but a totally different material. And neither have that sort of rustic, sort of punk (rustic punk, can that be a thing?) overall look.
But that’s how it goes. A style goes away and leaves as space that can’t always be filled in quite the same way. However, give anything enough time and something even better may come along that more than fills the space, it covers and landscapes it!
I’ve talked about the ZAP! Section before, and it’s always sad to be reminded that a favourite style isn’t going to be made forever. It’s also a tough category to do a focus post about, because sometimes a style sells out before I can hit “publish”! But, it’s a good category to remember and keep an eye on, because nothing is quite as sad as going back to order your favourite style only to find hide nor hair of it.
Styles end up in Zap! for one of a couple basic reasons: a limited number were made and we’re down to the last pairs, the supplier has stopped making that style, or (and this is the tough one) they just don’t sell well for us and we’ve got to make space for more popular and new styles. It’s a bummer to mention, but we’ve got limited space and if a style isn’t pulling its weight then we have to move on, no matter how much we love them.
Someday, when we have trans-dimensional storage for our stock room, then we can have EVERYTHING. But for now, we can’t, so let’s look at some current styles that we’re sadly waving goodbye to.
Alas, the dreaded “seasonal” style. You’ll often see a phrase like “Limited availability, we may not be able to restock.” tucked into the Additional Info of seasonal and limited styles. A lot of suppliers only make certain holiday socks right around that particular holiday. Or (a lot of our European suppliers do this), a colour or style is only available for a season or a year, then POOF, off into the great socky beyond.
Because sometimes we’re able to get a couple-dozen more they don’t always go into ZAP! right away, but we do note if they’re seasonal or limited right off, so a good search to see what we may not get more of is “Limited.” Two brands that are pretty much mostly seasonal in their offerings are Icelandic Design and Cronert. Ah Cronert, the hearts you’ve broken by only offering certain colours for one year!
Some of the loudest growls happen when we learn that a style beloved by both us and you has stopped being produced. Mysterious are the ways of the sock supplier! Maybe they can’t get the yarn any longer, maybe the machine or technician who made them isn’t working any more, maybe they were cursed by dragons to no longer make such a fabulous style.
Whatever their reason, once we’ve learned that there’s a limited number of pairs left and off into ZAP! they go. We may still be able to get them for a while, but the exclamation point of ZAP! hangs over their head like the Sword of Damocles, imbuing each restock with the knowledge that it may be their last.
It’s not you, it’s me
We’ve been selling socks for a long time, so we have a good sense for what socks are a good match for us to offer you. But sometimes we miscalculate and realise no, that is not a good match for us or you. Or, we super truly fall in googly-eyed love with a style and are blinded as to how well it will do.
This is where that “limited space” thing comes into play the most. Somehow we’ve Tetris’d over 1,000+ styles (and their colour and size variants!) into our little stock room, but it’s a game of balance. If a supplier can’t get us the amounts we need, or a style just isn’t working, we’ve got to move on. That’s part of what makes the ZAP! category so great, because it lets you know that a style you like has a short time left with us.
A style going into ZAP! is a bummer. We know what it’s like to have your favourite style go away forever, believe it! In fact, next week we’re going to share some of our long-lost favourites. What style are you (or were you) saddest to see go?
The year “2015” is kind of an exciting number, right? We’re getting into the digits that meant crazy cool future in old science fiction books. The year lays out before us, fresh as new snow, ready for us to put our mark on it.
More likely than not, you’ve spent the last couple of weeks worrying about treating others with love and giving them just the right present that shows them how important they are to you. Let’s start this new year with you remembering to do the same for yourself. A wise man once said, “Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it. Don’t wait for it. Just let it happen.”
We know you can’t get yourself new socks every day, or maybe even more than once a year. But that’s partially what wishlists are for, keeping track of those bigger presents you’re dreaming about. So, whether you’ve got your eye on a dream sock to save up for, or you want to treat yourself a bit more frugally, we have two great categories for you, Indulgences and the On Sale section!
We put the styles above a certain price in Indulgences, because we know dropping $19 on a midcalf or $59 on gloves isn’t an everyday thing for most folks. But they’re amazing styles that are worth saving up for.
These are the styles that garner sighs of envy when they arrive, who are texturally delicious and visually stunning, styles that are wished and waited for and become a favourite cherished pair.
In a world where $8 for a pair of knee highs can be expensive, these luxe styles earn their keep through quality materials and beautiful craftsmanship. B.Ella indulgences are both. Luxury fibers and an amazing wear make B.Ella styles a worthy investment in chic comfort.
The indulgences of Icelandic Design and Cronert are quality production and limited availability. For all of Icelandic Design and a good deal of Cronert, these gems don’t stay in our hands for long and we rarely can get more.
Because of their limited availability and our limited room, some Indulgences end up in the On Sale section, which is a much more approachable place! Now, just because something is on sale doesn’t always mean it’s going away (check our ZAP! section to see what styles we’re waving au revoir to). Sometimes we just end up with a lot of something and need to get things shakin’!
Of course, the things I link in the following paragraphs may not be on sale when you read this a month or more from now. But I bet there’s something new and exciting and cheap in there if you go look! And if you’re going in armed with a gift card, here’s where you get the most bang for your buck! Pro tip: sort prices low to high to see the cheapest things first!
Right now, what’s on sale? There’s fancy additions to your accessory wardrobe:
Or cute kitties that are a leeeetle past their season:
So, whether you’re indulging in a singular item or staying within budget while treating yourself, we’ve got something that’ll do the trick! Even if right now virtual window shopping is all you can do, we’re waiting for you and if you have any questions, we’re right here to help. Let’s start the year off on the right foot, remembering you’re worth it!
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