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One of the things we love to do is help folks find which socks will work best for them. That’s why we put as much information as we can into the Sizing Tips on each product page and try to give as much real-life testing as we can into the styles we carry. Sometimes you’ve got to scroll a little to see it, depending on your monitor size, but it’s there!
And if it isn’t, or you’ve had a different experience, let us know via email and we’ll make sure things are up to date! So many products we carry are wrapped up in packaging and sometimes things sneakily change in a way we don’t notice until you let us know.
So okay, the information is there, but you’re still unsure—or, you’ve got a particular fit issue or need and our Advanced Search isn’t helping? Then it’s time for our handy-dandy contact form! Select “Sizing Query” from the topic drop-down and make sure your email address is correct so we can get back to you.
Now for your question itself! Something we tell folks a lot is that “large”, “skinny”, “plus” or really most adjectives and dress sizes don’t mean much without context. Who knows what clothing sizes mean anymore (besides, they’re based on everything but the measurements we need)! If you write us saying you’ve got “tiny calves” and nothing stays up or you’ve got “curvy thighs” and stockings always roll, we can only give you the vaguest help. But we want to give you specific help! So here’s what you’ve gotta do for ultimate sock searching assistance: measure!
Even if you don’t sew, a tailors tape (or fabric measuring tape) is the best $2 tool to have. I use mine to measure weird spaces furniture needs to go as much as I do when sewing! But, if you don’t have one, don’t worry. The same ability to measure around stuff is just as easy to obtain with some yarn or string and a regular ol’ ruler.
You just wrap the yarn around what you’re measuring, then lay it out next to a ruler and BAM! Measurements.
In general, a good reference for where you need to measure for what coverage of sock is the image on the Measurements & Sizes page (shown below with common coverage highlighted for easy reference). We also like to know your shoe size, too, particularly if you have smaller or larger feet than the average sock you encounter.
But more information is always useful, so after the jump we’ve got some slightly more in-depth tips for measurements to send with your sizing question.
This has been a month of nylons, hasn’t it? There’s something really fantastic about them and how they visually smooth out your skin, making your legs look even more fabulous. Of course, that illusion works best if your stockings are a similar tone as your skin. People come in a lot of different shades, so it is rather frustrating that most companies that make the nylons we sell only offer lighter shades of beige. And some even call the colour “nude”! Which makes no sense and is why we use the word “beige” for those colours. We are constantly telling our suppliers that we want more shades and though we’re seeing a teeny bit of forward progress, we just don’t know when more than beige will be a regular option.
The Dance Theatre of Harlem dyes their dancers’ tights and shoes to match their skin, which creates that classic ballet visual of uninterrupted line. You can see some samples of their work in the picture for this LA Times article. To create the classic visual of nylon stockings that perfectly match and melt into your skin, we can do the same thing. I’ve gone over some basic dyeing techniques here before, so I know you know how to do it. But which colours? What dye?
For these examples and as a general suggestion, I recommend RIT dye. If you live near a craft store, they’ve got it, in all the colours. Supermarkets and Wal-Marts also often carry RIT dye and, more often than not, offer all the colours. It’s easy to use and not that expensive, plus their site is a great resource, with a Colour Formula Guide to reference once you feel comfortable enough to mix up some magic (and it is magic, there’s a warm brown there that is made of their Sunshine Orange and Navy, somehow, so cool!).
Like I said earlier, people come in a lot of different shades and, if you’re going to dye-to-match then you’ll want to get it just how you want it. I suggest picking up some of the pantyhose that come in an egg and experimenting with those, so mistakes can be made cheaply before you customise stockings you love. For the experiments below I used the Sheer Backseams with Lace Top, though, because hey, we’re fancy.
Those gorgeous shades are all straight-from-the-box, no mixing! I’ll give you the vitals and some tips after the jump.
We’re almost through the first month of the year! And I thought February was supposed to be the short month. But January is always full and busy as we sort out what we’re doing over the next year. In the sock world, that means saying goodbye to some styles to make room for new favourites. You might have seen Jess’ post in Latest News about a bunch of Leg Avenue we’ll be seeing the last of, but I thought it might be good to show you more ways to work the Zap! category. And it’s kind of fun to be able to look back on posts like this (like this one from 2010) and see styles we’ve forgotten about, like a sad time machine.
If you’re not familiar with our Zap! category, it’s sort of like a train station platform where we can wave goodbye to styles as they go away. This time of year our Zap! category swells as we find out what styles are being discontinued, what newer or better styles are coming out in the spring and just from general housecleaning. At this moment there are over 100 styles in Zap! I feel like I should add an extra exclamation mark, since the category name already has one. Heck, let’s do three!!!
But because we’re saying goodbye to these socks means you get to say hello. So here are a few styles that you might want to grab a pair of before they’re gone for good. Now, I’m trying to pick styles there are still plenty of, but be aware that some might be gone before you get there!
Almost a quarter of the styles in Zap! are knee highs, and a lot are super fun. I think almost every closet needs one pair of knee highs that make you smile or feel fancy.
Moving on up the leg, here are some over the knee and higher treats that we won’t have around much longer.
Some favourite tights are going away and I know several Dreamers have stocked up on their favourite pairs!
Of course, there is a sweet silver lining to styles going away and that’s when they go on sale! There are a lot of luscious choices with marked down prices that mean you get a pair before they disappear and feel smart for waiting because now you’re paying less.
There are a lot of reasons (most of them being whether or not we can still get a style) that a sock might go away and as sad as it is, it does mean that we’re busy picking out new things to take its place. So dig into the Zap! category or use our advanced search to pick through all these styles that are just waiting for a home—you’re helping us make room for some new favourite styles.
I’ve written before about sock dreams coming true when a style we wish for happens or when a favourite sock comes back to us—but this may just be the dreamiest dream to come true yet!
Of course, I’ve got to tease a little.
and a little over three since they were available in an OTK and a thigh high.
But it’s been almost two years since we’ve had them in stock. The yarn for these socks was discontinued and we’ve been on a hunt for a replacement ever since.
But a secret stash of the yarn has been found—enough to make a limited run of both OTK and thigh highs. We won’t have them forever and we’re still looking for a long-term supply of this yarn, but for a short time, this sock dream has come true.
Have you guessed what they are? Join us after the jump for the answer! Read more »
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.
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