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Holiday-tastic styles are parked in the top three rows of the What’s New page, so you might have missed the return of two old favourites.
Somewhere in the tail end of 2011, we stopped carrying EG Smith’s “Leg Therapy” tights, along with their thigh highs and OTKs. Why? Well, I dug into my dusty email archives for what we were telling folks back then and unearthed this ancient scroll form letter:
And so we waited and tested, and tested some more. EG Smith made sure to send us lots of samples so we could give them thorough wears and washes to make sure the old problems (dye bleeding, surprise holes) were fixed. Once we were satisfied, we then had to wait for EG Smith to have enough stock to send us, because we knew there were a LOT of you waiting for their triumphant return.
But the wait is over! We’re being cautious, because as much as we tested them, there are only so many of us Dreamers. So we’ve started out with just the Solid Cotton Tights and the Heather Footless Cotton Tights.
Now, they are different from your old pairs of EG Smith Leg Therapy styles, so let’s take a look.
It’s cold outside, and a lot of us Dreamers have given up our razors for the winter (those of us who use them, anyway). Conveniently, this month is also the start of No-Shave-November “Noshember”, a fun challenge of setting down that razor and seeing what happens. Noshember is about folks “[uniting] in the height of laziness agreeing to not shave their beards or legs.”
And it’s not just about making things easier during one of the busiest times of year! The various No-Shave-November groups are also involved with charities, which is a great incentive for getting past those first painfully stubbly days.
If you’re focusing on the face and want to coordinate your socks with your new look (or if you can’t grow good face hair but want to have ‘stache solidarity), then we have some marvellous moustache options for you!
And larger feet can fit into the Mustache Tights too! Our be-stached knee high options (with and without argyle) only fit up to a US women’s shoe size 11 and men’s size 9, though (but they’re pretty perfect for smaller feet, perfectly fitting down to a US women’s size 6!).
Okay top halves covered, but what about options that won’t clash with incoming leg hair? Socks, especially our thick and cozy house brands, pretty much always do a great job covering leg hair, but what about if you want something dressier or nylon?
Our Opaque section offers styles in varying levels of opacity that all do a pretty solid job of hiding leg hair (though, from experience, any lighter colour over darker leg hair will never be perfect!). Bonus: most opaque styles are going to be warmer, which is perfect for all that incoming winter weather!
Probably everyone’s favourite legginga (and remember one of the differences between Leggings and Footless Tights is opacity) are the Thermo Fleece Lined Footless Tight (so cozy!), the Black Velvet Legging (so fancy!) and Nouvella’s Cotton Legging or Capri (the best basic!).
But what about tights—and something fancier, or more office-y? In solids, both the Color Tights and Opaque Tights are awesome and come in a million colours and the Erika Microfiber Tights are magic, because they’re the only microfiber cotton we’ve encountered. Seriously, they are the best.
And don’t think you’re stuck without stockings if you don’t want to shave, because there are plenty of thigh high options! The Lycra Cuban Heeled Two-Tone Stockings are a wonderful winter option to the traditional sheer Cuban heel, and the Solid Thigh High Stockings are just a great basic all around.
So do you stop shaving this time of year, for a cause or for yourself?
By “topless” socks and stockings, we just mean socks with no cuffs. Sometimes the description “raw-topped” is also used (raw meaning unfinished). We currently carry four styles of this kind of sock. They’ve got to have garters to hold them up, since they have no elastic band or cuff at the top, but that’s kind of the point.
They’re also great way to deal with tights that are too short or worn at the tops (as in this old Sock Journal DIY), just chop off the part that doesn’t cover your legs! Making raw-topped stockings is probably the best entry-level DIY.
But what kinds of knit can you cut without creating a disaster? The worst thing is to see your creation unravelling before your eyes. You can always drop us a line to double check the snip-worthiness of a style, but we’ve got a couple tips for what to look for after the jump!
Putting on socks and stockings with vertical stripes can be kind of a hassle. You want the stripes to be straight, but it’s hard to keep them that way. It’s a special kind of frustrating to pull on a pair of tights with a vertical design and realise once you look in a mirror that they’re zigging AND zagging, instead of staying on the straight and narrow.
With our helpful assistant, Mrs. Half-Mannequin (“Half” is her maiden name) and a pair of Sheer Vertical Striped Pantyhose, I’ll share a couple tricks to help you guide those stripes. The wonderful Dreamer Zaf of our Tumblr took most of these pictures, since I only have so many hands.
In trying to keep those stripes straight, particularly with tights, sometimes the legs get twisted and that makes it awful up in areas that you really don’t want bunching. So here’s the key: keep the pattern straight from the start.
As you gather up the stocking or tights to slide them on, make sure you’re gathering everything evenly. Keep those stripes in line as you gather, starting from the top of the sock or leg of the tights. If you’re dealing with panels or designs, pay attention to what part is made to go in the front or back. What you’re doing is making sure your tights don’t get twisted.
Okay, now you’re ready to get fancy. Ease your little toes in and carefully put the stockings or tights on. It should be a lot easier now that you’ve essentially “prepped” them to keep their stripes straight. You may need to do a bit of adjusting as you go, but it should be pretty minimal.
Now they’re on! You may find that the toes are a little wonky. This is fine! You were focusing on getting things straight. Just adjust the toe seam to your comfort and pickiness—it’s a lot easier to get tights on straight then adjust the toe than make the toes perfect and try to keep the designs straight.
There, you look fabulous! For a twist you can do just that with socks and stockings (as opposed to tights), purposefully twisting them as you put them on for a new spin on vertical stripes. I think the Fast Lane Knee Highs are particularly well-suited to this.
Do you have any tips or tricks for putting on difficult patterns just right?
Though we do have a rather wide selection, sometimes we just don’t have exactly that stripe or pattern that you need. But a steady hand and a little patience can take you a long way. I’ve got two quickie guides on adding your own drawn details to socks and there’s a bonus DIY at the end too!
Drawing on nylon
Drawing on nylon is the easiest, so let’s start there. Say your costume needs some sort of specific pattern on the legs. A good example would be Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas. Her stitched-together legs are a huge part of costume accuracy (which maybe I’m a big nerd about). Here’s what you’ll need:
• A good reference picture (I like this one of assorted Sally parts) •
• A permanent marker—they make Sharpies in about every colour now, which is awesome! •
• white or off white tights, like the Opaque Tights •
Always test in an inconspicuous place, to make sure that what you’re using and what you’re using it on don’t hate each other. The Opaque Tights and Sharpies get along pretty well!
It is way easier to do this with the tights on, so suit up. Keep in mind there will be a little bleed through from the marker.
Now, keeping an eye on your reference image, start drawing! Try to go as smoothly as you can. Sometimes I found that the felt marker tip wanted to catch on the nylon.
Ooh, the detail really makes it. I wasn’t trying to get too-too accurate with the stitches, just going for the overall feel.
And, done! So easy! If you wanted to earn extra points, just add a blue-grey shade to ‘em with the skills you learned in DIY: Dyeing Nylon.
That’s tights, but what about socks? Join us after the jump for more tips and tricks! Read more »
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