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Nothing spells “summertime adventures” quite like a set of abandoned train tracks. Add some cuffed jeans and simple sneakers, and you’ve got the makings of a classic coming-of-age story… or perhaps a reshoot of some of our favorite socks for summer!
It was an overcast morning in early September when we set out for a photoshoot featuring A Chevrons down by the river. The first crisp hints of autumn hung in the air, betraying no hint of the afternoon heat which was to follow. As we came upon some abandoned tracks, the nostalgia was almost tangible, calling out to us to follow those tracks. “Here be adventures!” they called.
Not being ones to flirt with danger, we were pretty cautious in how we approached our adventure, staying well off to the side of the active tracks. We managed to find a fully abandoned part of the line, as evidenced by the vegetative growth obscuring some of the ties, and we ventured onto the rails for a moment there. We found a lovely old can and had some fun kicking it around. When was the last time you played kick-the can?
As with every good adventure, we found some pretty cool stuff on ours! We came upon a pile of unused railroad ties and stopped for a rest as we posed for close-ups. We all paused there for a bit and contemplated nature, the human condition, really good socks, and possibly lunch. The abandoned portion of track led us to an old train car which somebody appears to be renovating, using a lovely shade of blue reminiscent of our own indigo headquarters building.
Much like the summer itself, our adventure sadly had to come to an end. We may never reach the terminus point of those tracks, or find out what awaits beyond the next bend, but at least we all made it back from our hike without sore feet.
One of the really cool things about the sock business is that we have a slow season, and although it’s rather less slow these days than it used to be, it does give us time to take field trips to some more exciting photo locations! We recently showed you the new Gelato cart behind our shop, and now we’d like to share another great reason to come visit Sellwood: Oaks Park!
A lot of Portlanders don’t even realize that we have our own wee amusement park down in Oaks Bottom. If you live in Sellwood, though, there’s no mistaking the sound of children screaming (with joy!) that fills the summer air. What’s really special about the park is that many of its buildings have been there since it opened in 1905, advertised as “Portland’s Coney Island on the Willamette”. The oldest remaining ride was built just a few years later, in 1911. In fact, that’s just the ride we chose for this photoshoot – the Carousel!
We were lucky enough to be let in before hours by their lovely and highly knowledgeable manager, Mary Beth, who told us a little bit about the carousel. It’s called a menagerie carousel, because it is comprised of various animals, including a few that are quite unusual! An all-horse carousel is called a Merry-Go-Round, but the hand-carved creatures on this one go above and beyond!
We had so much fun with this shoot that we’re going to have to go back! If you ever find yourself visiting our shop in Sellwood, be sure to check out Oaks Park. It’s a place of wonder and nostalgia for all kids, even if you’re only a kid at heart!
Last year we looked at footies and openwork as a way to keep rocking socks as the weather grows warmer. But sometimes even less coverage isn’t enough for overwarm feet. With summer officially starting tomorrow, I thought I’d share some styles that are particularly kind to too toasty toes.
First, let’s be honest. We’re talking about foot sweat. There’s a lot of fancy ways to say it, like “moisture”, or there’s the emphasis on “keeping dry.” But sweat is sweat and we all drip it at our warmest moments. The plague of summer is foot sweat pooling in shoes and somehow making your feet clammy, yet still too warm. That is pretty gross, so let’s reset your brain with this snuggly picture of Ferous from our Instagram.
Back to the matter at hand. There’s only so much you can do to prevent your feet from sweating. Less sock is a part of that, and we know folks who go straight to sandals and no socks as soon as the weather heats up. But, not everyone gets to rock sandals (closed-toe shoe policies, personal taste, etc), so: folks who keep en-socked through summer, this is for you.
For all of the fabulous lightness of cotton, it transforms into a soggy sock when it gets wet and it takes its time to dry. But you combine cotton with a fiber like bamboo and you get a breezy sock that practically feels cool against the skin, lets your toes breathe and doesn’t get bogged down by “moisture.” The bamboo multi-pack styles from Foot Traffic are a great example of this. And! They’ve got lightly vented tops to maximize breathability.
Wicking. What exactly does that entail, when it comes to a sock? Well, that can mean a couple of things: they channel sweat off to where it can evaporate, they’re more absorbent and better at getting sweat off of you, they dry faster. A bonus is that a lot of them are super durable fibers that can take quite a beating and are less likely to aromatically convey just how hard a day your feet had.
Sounds fab, right? What if I said wool was one of the best fibers for just all that? It sounds madly counter-intuitive, but most technical (read: science-y) socks employ wool in styles you’ll be sweating up precisely because it’s a great fiber for wicking and insulation. Remember! You can insulate things to keep them warm AND to keep them cool. That’s the principle behind these four fabulous footies:
Another wicking wool blend shortie are the Wool Lightweight Running No Show Toe Socks. This style even has a ventilated top (that waffle-y pattern) to help manage the heat.
Toe socks in general can be a boon in warm weather. The idea of separately wrapping each toe in fabric when it’s warm is probably making you sweat just thinking about it, but that extra fabric goes a long way in dealing with excess moisture and helps prevent blisters and general discomfort caused by sweaty toes all rubbing up against each other.
If the concept of wool toe socks is too much, how about Coolmax®? A synthetic fiber designed to really amp up the whole wicking of sweat process (we go into a better explanation in this post), it’s a fabulous summer combo with toe socks.
The ultra best lightweight summer fiber is going to be silk, though. A particular favourite as a liner in the winter, the whisper-thin touch of silk in the summer is cooling to just think about. One of our Dreamers with particularly overwarm feet personally recommends silk toe sock styles as her ideal during warm months.
There are other styles that different kinds of feet love in hot weather as well (every foot is unique, after all), but these are our top favourites for really beating the heat. Of course, we always encourage folks to drop us a line with their measurements and needs, ‘cause nobody deserves the sweaty foot of summer!
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 »
While May might not be what you think of as harvest season, we think that with all of June’s Pride celebrations right around the corner this is the perfect time to expand on one of our most popular lines of socks: Harvest Rainbows!
These colorful thigh highs flew solo for the first few years of their reign, but with the recent addition of junior and youth sizes it’s looking like we might just have dynasty on our hands (or feet, if you will)!
Well a simple dynasty is not enough for us. Nope! That’s why we’ve added two more unisex, adult-sized options: Knee Highs and Crews! You see, while we adore thigh highs and hope you do too, we also don’t think that should be a requirement of rocking awesome, muted rainbows. Besides, they’re so perfect for the Pride festivals that take place during the rather warm month of June, it just made sense to make them in more Summery lengths!
With three foot sizes and multiple lengths, these rainbow socks are getting to be just as diverse as the people that they represent!
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