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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!
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.