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I haven’t been in school in a long time, but I can still feel the edge of the school year drawing ever closer. Sure, we’re not in summer yet, but you can taste the promise of what summer might be (and I have to admit, almost-summer is one of my favourite seasons, more full of possibility than true spring). Schedules start to shift after US Memorial day, there’s more half days, summer plans get cemented, there are more perfect days to have cookouts.
And, of course, we have a sock (well, several) for that.
Camping isn’t for everyone, but it’s a big part of a lot of folks’ summers. Whether your camping means tent, RV, car or going off to a structured sleep-away camp, having socks that are sturdy and more forgiving about how often they’re washed lets you focus on other things. Like having fun, making memories, battling werewolves…
Wool blends and bamboo are not only a little better than other fibers at not getting ultra-foot-gross after a day, wool can air dry quickly so you can give them a wash or rinse and they’ll be dry and often ready to go the next day. Using our Advanced Search to limit Sports Socks to those that have wool brings up some favourite sturdy options. The separated toes of the Wool Lightweight Running No Show Toe Socks helps keep your feet happy and healthy on long treks, and the Extraordinary Wool Socks are nice and tall to protect your legs from mean bushes and brambles.
Combining wool and bamboo makes for what are my personal favourite camping socks: Sockwell’s crews and midcalves. Any time I pack for camping, they go in my bag and on my feet! For all their cuteness, they’re sturdy as heck, comfortable to wear for a long time and wash up easy.
Late spring and early summer also brings the start of backyard barbecue, picnics and other ways of celebrating that the weather is being sunny enough to be outside, but not so hot the idea of eating outside is gross.
Fun, novelty, crews are like the perfect condiment complement to outdoor eats.
And this may just be something specific to where I’ve always lived, but what starts as a sunny cookout often grows surprisingly cold as the sun sets and the yard lights go on. It isn’t really summer yet, after all! Arm warmers and knee socks that play equally well scrunched down or pulled up will keep you warm enough to keep on chilling (without being chilly) outside.
Now, if your travel plans are a bit more involved and take you far from home, styles that are comfortable and useful in lots of occasions are key. Packing for the plane is an art! Plus, if you’re going to be doing a lot of sitting, either during a car trip or in an airplane, you want to keep your toes in best health.
A style that fulfils all those requirements are the Sockwell compression knee highs. They look good while keeping you comfortable as you stand and sit for long periods at a go. Graduated compression helps keep blood from pooling in your poor feet while cute and classic patterns go with a lot of different looks.
What are your favourite travel socks? My go-tos are always Sockwell (as mentioned earlier) and a couple Dreamer Socks like the Dreamer Jacquard Ripple OTK and the Acrylic Slouches. If I’m camping or travelling, all other socks go by the wayside! As we inch into true summer, I hope your plans live up to your dreams and that this is the best summer ever!
Pastels are pretty straightforward. The fancy words for them are “high value and low to intermediate saturation”, which just means “bright, but not, like, vivid.” They’re all your basic colours, but tinted with a heavy dose of white.
What’s interesting about pastel tints are that some things, like beige, are technically pastels of something else (brown, in this case), but we don’t always consider them that. Pastels can be terribly contextual, but we know ‘em when we see ‘em. Some of the colours we’re going to look at have been touched on in other colour posts, but they all qualify (for us, anyway) as a pastel.
Disclaimer time! I’m not trying to define pastels. If you want to go down the learning rabbit-hole, Wikipedia is a good source. The Color Sorting Wiki actually barely touches on pastels, saying only “Think pastel when you think spring. Although not all spring colors are pastels and not all pastels are spring colors, the frequency of spring colors matching pastel colors is quite large.”
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. Since it’s sorta a subjective colour, to some degree, we’re just going to look at the pastel-iest of what we’ve got classed as “Pastel” in our colour search. That said, let’s get down to it!
Did you know, back in The Day, the O Basics were split up, with “O Pastels” on their own product page? As yarns changed over the years, we lost some of our favourite pastels for a while and, along with site changes, it just made sense to consolidate them.
And, of course, the O Lovelies are the prima donnas of the pastel, soft little shades that are whispers of colour. I tried my darndest to show that Lichen O Rayons are a soft colour, but they look so dark next to the other pastel Dream Stocking yarns!
Always more of a “winter”, in colours as well as fibers, B.Ella doesn’t have that many true pastels. But what they do have are classics. The cotton Bastia best exemplifies pastels for this brand. Though the Kimi, Erin and Sophia all have colours that we’ve classed as pastel, when you put them next to these Pima cotton pretties, they glower with tone (which is when you mix a colour with grey) rather than shine with tint.
Their soft heather styles give EG Smith an advantage in the pastel game, though really only their heather pink qualifies. Other than that, EG only represents pastel via the classics.
Though denim heathers and soft browns and beiges could be considered pastels (and we have Foot Traffic’s versions classed as such) for pastel purists only two colours really fit—their singular Mint and their thigh high in Pink.
As usual, Tabbisocks brings colour to the table, with a perfect pastel offering in several tints.
Here in Portland, spring has only officially just started, but the cherry blossoms that were perfectly timed last year are so over it and already drifiting down in the only snow we saw this year. But a few weeks earlier, we were sure we’d be seeing one last icy slap for us to remember the winter by.
These transitional seasons are tricky, man. You’ve gotta sock smart when you’re unsure if the afternoon will greet you with a foot of snow or the sneaking tendrils of summer. I mention transitional seasons a lot, but heck, Autumn and Spring are half the year!
Because spring is different everywhere, with the only constant being its inconsistency, I thought it might be good to round up all the various posts and categories beyond just our “Spring” section that can help you lock down your transitional season trajectory!
It’s kinda just a list, but it’s a good one to keep bookmarked and I’ve put pictures in there for you, don’t worry. 😉
Layering & Warmth
How we layer is as individual as ourselves and our environments! But there are some basic tips to ride the freezing-too warm-chilly arc of Spring days.
A recent newsletter has some great layering tips and tricks and we have some info on Polar Fleece and fleece-lined styles, which are a great layer for confirming coziness.
We also have tips on finding warm sock options, most of which are shorter and pair great with leggings (and footless tights)! Great transitional season layers, you can always drop the warmer sock in the afternoon for something shorter/lighter and they also let you start rocking the warmer weather wardrobe early.
Easy to bundle up in a bag when they get too warm to wear and just as easy to rock during chilly moments in addition to the day’s outfit, arm and leg warmers are a vital part of settling into Spring. Our Arm Warmer and Leg Warmer categories have lots to peruse, but here’s some good starting points of reference!
Arm warmers basically come in “mitt”, “sleeve” and “fingerless glove” and we go over the differences here. For your other half, our two most popular leg warmers are the Ribbed Knit and our Cuffable Scrunchables, they’re similar but also very different, which this post explains.
They may be a temporary layer but if you want to match your warmers to your socks or tights with minimal hassle, we’ve got some tips and favourite combos as a guide.
While I’ve got some lightweight faves for springtime layering, there are a couple of different categories of ours that are good starts for folks who live in places where it’s already heating up!
Crochet Look and Openwork styles let a little breeze through, and tend to “breathe” better, which is great when the day started out needing tights and ends up laughing at those foolish enough to be clad toe to waist.
A nice fiber for spring is Bamboo, which has good breathability and performs well under pressure, wicking away sweat. Another good option that is able to be folded down to warm afternoon-friendly knee highs, Over The Knee styles keep those patella sitting pretty until it’s time for them to bask in springtime sun.
And the Lightweight category combines all sorts of the warmer weather variables above, and more!
Spring is sneaky, but outwit its weather tricks with layers, warmers and lots of lightweight options!
Even with the advent of mustard as a popular shade, yellow socks and stockings are as rare as sunshine in the Pacific Northwest winter. Like a lot of hues that aren’t widely represented, where yellow does show up it shows up in every version it can, from crayon to Dijon.
As usual, I’m not trying to define yellow. If you want some poem-like lists of names for shades of yellow, 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.
There aren’t that many yellows to look at, so let’s dive in! You’ll see as we go along that yellow tends to fall into crayon, gold, mustard and not quite mustard.
Surprisingly, these yellows were more of a pain to edit than the Teal/Turquoise last month, and I think the shots of each colour type in the second half of this post is the most accurate to what they look like in person. You know the little kid game where you hold a dandelion or buttercup under your chin and if it reflects yellow on your face you like butter? According to how much yellow reflects, everything likes butter.
Dream Stockings & Dreamer Socks
From the pastel of Banana to rich Marigold, our house brand styles touch almost every type of yellow except crayon-pure.
Sticking to crayon yellows for their nylon styles, they only dip into golden tones when using cotton, like in the Smiley Faced Crews.
No surprise, Tabbisocks rocks this under-represented colour, focusing mostly on mustards of varying shades. They call the Dijon delight of their Harajuku Arm Warmers “Yellow”, but it’s more spread than sunshine in shade.
I’m splitting up the assorted single representatives of brands into two subgroups! First, our crayon shades:
Now the mustardy-dijon:
After the jump, we’ll take in all this sunshine and break down the hues! Read more »
May and early June may sometimes act like summer, but late spring is still a far cry from the practiced heat of July and August. We know some of you live where it is hot sun-up to sun-down and you’re scoffing right now, but even on 70-80°F afternoons the mornings around here can hover around a comparatively chilly 50°F. That’s a big jump!
If you’re going in to work, you can put together something with layers to get you from the chilly outside morning to the warm after-work afternoon. But what about days at home? If you haven’t got central air, you’re probably like me, all windows open to the cold morning, collecting a bit of chill so the house doesn’t heat up quite so much in the sun.
That’s why we didn’t feel that goofy introducing the fleece knee highs from Polar Feet. They’re perfect for paring with shorts on chilly, pre-summer mornings.
One of our Dreamers is particularly stoked, as they plan on getting a pair to wear camping. Their feet will be warm on cool woodsy mornings and in those surprisingly chilly evenings around the campfire. Plus, they fit great into boots!
What we particularly love about these fleece knee highs is the range of fit! Fleece doesn’t have as much give as knit materials, so we did some testing to figure out calf sizing. If a 19 inch cuff stretch isn’t enough, check out our versions in a wider calf, with about 23 inches of comfy, cozy stretch! What our smaller-footed folks loved was that, even on the larger calf size, the ankle wasn’t too baggy, tapering just the right amount but still offering about 12 inches of stretch at the narrowest part.
And bigger-footed folks were pleased too. Right now, the large foot size is only available in the Lumberjack style, but we tried it on our resident US men’s shoe size 11.5 EEEE (that’s 4x wide, plus he’s got a high instep!) and they fit beautifully.
If it’s already too hot where you live to even think of fleece, do future you a favour and pick up a pair to stash away until winter. Polar Feet is a tiny, wonderful company, and sometimes they have trouble keeping up with your demand for their delightful socks! When winter rolls around (even though it seems a million years away right now), your toes will thank you as they stay toasty.
And, of course, these fleece knee highs are perfect for our pals in the Southern Hemisphere, where they’ll be enjoying the start of winter any week now!
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