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As I sit here in the Sock Dreams HQ making an order for this weekend’s event (Gear Con, which takes place at the Portland DoubleTree Hotel, July 5th-7th), I ponder this question: what is a Steampunk?
The simple answer is that Steampunk is a sub genre of Science Fiction that is heavily inspired by the Victorian age of England and the Industrial Revolution. Think Jules Verne, Robert Lewis Stevenson, H.G. Wells, H.P. Lovecraft and a pinch of Sir Aurthur Conan Doyle. A more complicated answer is that it’s an idea of an alternative time period that is based on science playing a larger role in the Victorian age; a fantastical world where men and women walk around in the lovely clothes of the period, with wondrous devices made of brass, that work with intricate gears and other moving parts.
The fashion is an enormous part of this culture: corsets, bustles, hats, boots, large skirts, ascots, waist coats, and of course socks, stockings, and garters. We will be attending Gear Con this weekend with another Sellwood neighborhood shop, Wells and Verne. While they’re decking folks out with custom suits and dresses, we will be adorning feet with all the classiest bits and bobs!
We have an entire category on our website called Victoriana, just for your Steampunk needs! This category is filled with lovely lacy things, dapper socks, and sturdy garters. We will be bringing many of these items to Gear Con, along with a selection of our appropriately-hued Dream Stockings and Dreamer Socks at our discounted event prices.
Here’s to a Steamy weekend!!!
We clearly love socks here, but some socks (and accessories!) we love more than others. “Dreamers Recommend” highlights the current favorite style of our Sock Dreamers.
Dreamer names: Jess & Rosalind
Current favourite style: Double Grip Clips (they both love these and rock them in different ways and have even made a gallery of Double Grip Clip uses on our Facebook!)
Did you like this item when we first started carrying it, or did you hate it and grow to love it?
Jess: I was intrigued by a garter style that had no waistband and no leg-pinching tightness, but wasn’t quite sure how to use them. I noted the product description’s caveat about “skirt lifters,” though, and tucked it away in the back of my mind until the day I wore a floor-length skirt to work. The skirt kept getting caught in the wheels of my chair all morning, until finally I broke down and bought two pairs of black clips from our warehouse stock to serve as skirt lifters out of sheer necessity. The effect was instantly AWESOME, both for convenience and style, and I’ve been using them on all of my longer skirts since then!
Rosalind: I was immediately intrigued by the open-ended nature of their design, but after I got a pair it took me a while to figure out the best way to use them.
What is the best thing about this particular style?
Jess: They’re so versatile! They add a visual lure to even the plainest of black skirts, and you can mix and match clip colors, adjust the length of the clips, or layer several lifts at once for volume. I especially love just lifting the front of my skirts (so I can show off my socks!) and letting them fall naturally in the back. I’ve also used these clips as regular garters to hold up my Super Long Ribbed Leg Warmers, and a single clip will stylishly hold a cardigan closed (thanks for the tip, Laurel!). They’re handy to have around!
Rosalind: They’re clever, and possibly a little bit sneaky. When worn with a short skirt or shorts, they peek out to lend that old fashioned garter belt look, but they’re much more simple, versatile, and hot weather friendly than a real garter belt.
How’s the fit?
Jess: These aren’t technically “fitted,” but the adjustable length is really useful. If I’m wearing a longer top, I’ll lengthen the clips’ elastic fully so they’ll still show; if I want a higher skirt lift, I shorten the clips up a couple inches. The elastic is stretchy enough to have a bit of give (so they won’t tear your skirts if they get caught on something), but won’t stretch out unnecessarily.
Rosalind: They don’t need to go around any part of you, so they can fit anyone. Their length is adjustable for different sock heights. Sometimes if I wear them with really tall socks they’re a little long, even at their shortest, but I just fold the sock over at the top to get the right height.
Who would you recommend this style for?
Jess: Everyone! They’re great for costumes (Victorian, steampunk, Ren Faire, etc.), but they’ve already become a staple to my everyday aesthetic, as the Dreamers can attest. They’d be especially useful to anyone who’s looking to avoid the possible pinch of a garter belt, or someone who’d rather have their garter clips on the sides instead of the backs of their legs—you can clip these anywhere, so they’re a perfect starter-garter!
Rosalind: Anyone who is looking for a good anti-gravity wwwice for stockings, or whatever else you can think of holding up or together with them.
Jess: If you’re looking to add some texture, volume, and flair to your wardrobe, or if you want to show off your socks even in your longest skirt, pick up a pair or two of Double Grip Clips! You won’t regret it.
Rosalind: My favourite use of them is with pocketed skirts/shorts/dresses. That way you can clip them to the pocket underneath. Of course, if you have a very loose or stretchy waistband, you might want to try this out at home before you risk losing your pants in public. More secure waistbands, such as on jean skirts or shorts are best.
Dearest Sweet Marcel,
I love your socks so very much!
I love them over my knees while I dream of tea in the conservatory at dawn
and I love them over my friends knees while we giggle with the dogs at noon…
All my friends love you for being so easy to get along with, in fact, I think my larger friends love you the most because your socks stay up so well on them, I often need to pull them back up now & again or use garters, not that I mind, I find it adds to the charm that is Sweet Marcel. I think we’re going to very good friends.
Love & warm toes…
For the first time in years I ventured out to see a concert…
it was my third time seeing Tori Amos, and thanks to the splendor of the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall it was the best. I took along two of my dearest friends, Sock Dreams CFO Kori and Sock Dreams web designer Olivia, we had an amazing view from our balcony seats and had a fabulous time.
I wore a dress I found on Etsy ( wearydrearies.etsy.com) and layered the Pyramid Nets over the sheer & opaque vertical stripes (both are fully thigh high on me at 31″). The effect was pretty stunning and they stayed up perfectly without garters. I highly recommend that combination.
WAYFARERS OF THE GYPSY MANSION – a musical bazaar of sorts
with HUMANWINE, THE BLACKBIRD ORCHESTRA, NATHANIEL JOHNSTONE,
TOY BOX TRIO, MEISCE, FINN VON CLARET, and DJ Q.
Sunday, May 10, 2009 3 pm to 10 pm
The Little Red Studio
750 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA
ALL-AGES, $15 donation
We’ll be there with plenty of socks and such including some new stuff that isn’t on our site yet along with some of our favorite items. Everything will have a Neo-victorian/Steampunk flair. This should be really fun!
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