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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!
As I was shooting pictures for this post, other Dreamers would walk by and ask “Is the colour for December white?” And before I could fully huff about “off-white” they’d correct themselves with “I mean Ivory!” or “Ecru!” or “Natural!”
Our colour search calls it “Off White – Natural”, because that’s the best general term for a colour that isn’t really a colour at all! Too pale to be “Beige – Tan” and too much colour to be “White”, off-white things can’t really even be called pastels. The one unifying thing that they seem to have are undertones of beige or yellow that visually dirties their whiteness (you could even say it makes them a bit “off”). The phrase “natural” comes from the natural colour of undyed yarn, which is the meaning behind “Ecru” as well. Words like “Ivory” or “Eggshell” are descriptive terms that mean the same thing in this colour context. “Not white!”
Disclaimer time! I’m not trying to define off-white. If you want some poem-like lists of names for shades of off-white, 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.
Dream Stockings & Dreamer Socks
Mostly we use “natural” as the name for our off-white. It’s a nice bright and clean off-white that pairs nicely with pastels and deep earth tones alike.
Their crochet styles have a strong ivory-yellow tone, less so in the nylon Trentata.
Though their Heather Socklings in Cloud are a bit of an outlier, overall EG Smith’s “Natural” is a close colour to our house brand “Natural”! Their Nuby Crew does sometimes get darker (more manila folder looking in tone), but overall it stays close to the rest.
A lovey use of ivory across several styles and in a subtle range of shades, Foot Traffic has two styles that use “Ivory” as a name, but they aren’t very.
From left to right: Cotton Rag Boot Socks, Double Fishnet Trouser Socks, Cotton Lace Anklets, Signature Cotton Tights, Textured Cable Acrylic OTKs, Opaque Solid Nylon Trouser Socks, Four Button Rib Leg Warmers, Ribbed Knit Leg Warmers, Lace Knee High Boot Sock
Along with a refined “Ivory” that is almost gleaming, there’s a particular cleanness to Tabbisocks’ “Natural.” And yes, their Harajuku Chic Leg Warmers are actually “White”, but they’re also the same colour as the Crochet Lover OTK in Ivory, so there’s today’s mystery!
There’s more than these three, but they’re good representatives of various brands’ single entries into off-white.
Off-white can be split into about five categories, two are pretty straightforward and just lean warm or cool, let’s look at those first.
There are places out there that specialise in the complicated world of kid-sized socks, so we leave that main focus to them. But we still want to be able to offer you awesome folks awesome socks for your awesome little footed friends (and selves!). Since this time of year has folks shopping for shoe sizes they may not normally be looking for, here are some quick tips!
Though the category says “Baby & Kids”, right now we almost have more kid’s styles than baby-sized styles. What’s the difference? And what about toddlers?! Let’s talk sizing. First off, the age of a kid sometimes has little to do with their foot size. Some kids have big paws that they’ll grow into later, some have little feet, just like in adults.
The baby and kids’ sizes we have fall in four-ish very general categories that are influenced by how our suppliers, like Sock It To Me, size their children’s socks. There are some basic inch-length differences between the umbrella sizes (“Baby”, “Toddler”, “Big Kid”, “Little Kid”) that we’ve found hold pretty true across most children’s foot sizes. I’ll be referring to Zappos’ shoe size conversion chart as I know it’s one you (and I!) use as a general reference for shoe sizes, but be sure to check the Sizing Tips for the styles you’re looking at and drop us a line if you have any questions. Let’s dive in!
Baby socks have feet around 3 inches long, unstretched, which is perfect for most newborns and folks under eighteen months. Shoe-size-wise, they’re about an Infant size 2 and smaller. These wee socks are squee-ingly adorable in their minute proportions. If you’re getting socks for somebody’s first Christmas, these styles will probably be the best match for their feet. If you want to look at just socks this size, click here (or search “Infant” and limit the results to the Baby & Kids category). The styles below are some of our favourites:
Toddler socks have feet around 4 inches long, unstretched, they also fit bigger-footed babies, though if somebody isn’t toddling, extra fabric on the end isn’t too much of a problem. When it comes to shoes, they’re around an Infant size 2.5 to about a Toddler size 5. Once folks start walking, what socks fit them (and their hilariously tiny shoes) best starts to really vary! But most folks under three should do okay in these styles. Which styles? Click here to see toddler styles (or search “Toddler” and limit the results to the Baby & Kid’s category). Here are a couple of our favourites:
Now, you may have noticed that Polar Feet’s styles with kid sizes came up in the Toddler search. This is because the smaller size is called “Toddler” and they’re slipper socks, so the extra room in the toes (as modelled by Little Dreamer Izzy, below) isn’t that big a problem.
Bigger toddler feet fit them fabulously, as the smaller end of their fit scale is a Toddler size 6. The same goes for the Hooray Hoopla “V.S.” socks, they’re a great match for bigger toddler feet. But both the Polar Feet and Hooray Hoopla socks are more properly . . .
Little kid socks, which have feet around 5 inches long, unstretched, are generally designed for folks in the 5-8 years old range, they fit at least a Toddler shoe sizes 6 through 8, but their stretch can let them fit up to a Little Kid shoe size 1 to 3, depending on style or brand. The age and shoe range starts to get a bit murky around here, because growth spurts rule the day for this age range. Be sure to look at the Sizing Tips for the styles you’re interested in, to make sure they fit the little kid you’re shopping for.
Overall, little kid socks are too big for pretty much all toddlers (though again, it all depends on the kid) and too small for middle-schooled folks. Sock It To Me calls this size “Youth” and our Dreamer Socks for little feet use the same terminology. Click here to see all the styles in this size (or search “Little Kid” and limit the results to Baby & Kids category). Don’t be confused by the adult feet you see in some thumbnails, those styles just come in three sizes, one of which is for bigger feet! Some favourites:
Big kid socks, which have feet around 6 inches long, unstretched, are generally designed for folks in the 7-12 age range, but because of the stretchiness of socks, there’s a lot of give in this size. They fit at least a Toddler shoe size 8.5 to a little kid size 11, but with their stretch, some sizes fit up to a US women’s shoe size 6!! Holy cow, guys. You can see why we tend to be general in size naming and try to put foot length in the Sizing Tips for children’s socks!
Remember, each brand or style is going to be a bit different, so be sure to look at those Sizing Tips! Sock It To Me calls this size “Junior” and our Dreamer Socks for little feet use the same terminology. Check out all the big kid options by clicking here (or search “Big Kid” and limit your results to Baby & Kids). There are some fun styles in this size range and a lot of overlap with the Little Kid styles, most of which have two sizes:
Special bonus! By clicking here, or searching “Big Kid” and limiting the results by clicking “Small Feet” under Category, you can find all the kid sizes that fit up to a US women’s shoe size 5 or 6 (depending on style and brand). How do we know they fit up that big? Because grown-up Dreamer feet have tried ‘em on! In fact, both of these styles have smaller-sized adult feet modelling them:
We know having a smaller shoe size can make sock shopping frustrating, so drop us a line if you have any questions! There are some sneaky styles that fit far better than you’d think!
And as for those growing kid feet, don’t stress too hard about the sizes. When in doubt, round their size up, because before you know it, they’ll be fitting them.
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?!