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Valentine’s Day is a surprisingly big holiday for us – or maybe it’s not that surprising, if you consider that every pair of socks consists of two perfectly matched sole mates….. or do they?? Today we’ll be taking a look at our socks that don’t match, but still go together perfectly. Somehow we find them even more romantic than pairs that are carbon copies of each other… after all, they say that opposites attract.
The first supplier of mismatched socks that jumps to mind is the aptly named Solmate. Featuring fair isle patterns and eye catching colorways, each US-made pair includes two (or in the case of the children’s crews, three) mismatched socks that go together perfectly. As their motto says, “life’s too short for matching socks!”
As some of us know all too well, being soulmates or best friends won’t always keep us from butting heads. Don’t worry – the socks of Hooray Hoopla understand. Versus socks pair two traditional “enemies,” but they still end up being perfectly matched. Just don’t let your next argument be over who’s the dragon and who’s the unicorn – take a hint from the socks, and learn to coexist!
While there are only a few companies specializing in mismatched socks, there are several others who have dipped their toes into the concept. Stance has several styles of not-quite-matching socks, while K. Bell only has one….. but that one comes with four different socks, so it probably deserves some sort of prize.
Mismatching socks is so fun that we’ve had to try it ourselves! Our Spiral OTKs in the peppermint colorway are only available seasonally, and feature one red with white sock, and one white with red! We also recently introduced a mismatched version of our M Sleeves in four different colorways – while these sleeves are the same colors on both arms, one side has wider stripes, for a subtly quirky look.
But the best thing about mismatched socks is how wonderfully giftable they are! They’re kind of like the friendship necklace of socks – buy the same set for yourself and a loved one, then the two of you can decide if you want to mismatch together, or trade one of the socks for symmetrical, yet complimentary looks. However you decide to wear them, they’re sure to be a match made in heaven!
When we focused on red last year I stuck with that true, mid-century lipstick hue. Unlike some colours (purple is a good example) that have a strong and steady gradient of types, things that are red tend to be either RED or a fancily named dark red like “Bordeaux”, “Merlot” or “Burgundy”.
These delicious dark hues sometimes dip their toe into purple, but they’re always red in the shadows. Dark reds can be particularly picky about how they look, depending on who they’re by, as you can see in this shot of the O Chevrons in Dark Red/Black (left) and Dark Red/White (right).
Disclaimer time! I’m not trying to define red. If you want some poem-like lists of names for shades of red, both 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. That said, let’s get down to it!
Dream Stockings & Dreamer Socks
We say “Dark Red” for our house brand styles, ‘cause that’s what it is! The nylon yarn’s “Maroon”, however, has plummy undertones that make it deliciously deep.
A long time ago, B.Ella’s “Burgundy” used to be very berry, but since then, their dye batches have deepened and desaturated into this very sedate shade that is more Merlot.
They do love their “Burgundy”, making it a standard with Black, a brown and a grey for a lot of their styles. In cotton, the burgundy has a yellow base, while polyester and nylon-heavy blends make it more blue. The Ribbed Knit Leg Warmers are an outlier, with their fuzzy off-white marl.
Real talk: when does Tabbisocks ever not do a colour beautifully? Their Merlot is deep and delightful, with just the right amount of berry tones even in the comparatively darker versions.
“Port” is a dark red word used pretty much only by Sockwell and Stance, who (at least on the dark end) interpret it pretty similarly. EG Smith and Una go brighter in their dark reds, with a more vibrant burgundy than most folks turn out.
How a dark red shakes out is pretty straightforward: darker shades with tones of purple, lightening up to some pure berry!
You may be familiar with folks using flowers to secretly say what their heart truly means. If you’re thinking of getting yourself or someone else a bouquet of socks, we have quite the garden of floral styles for you to pick from.
When it comes to simply depicting flowers, there is a lot of artistic interpretation that happens, which means the majority of our styles are more of a “floral motif”, with lots of indeterminate blooms and flower-like patterns that evoke a garden without being specific.
But! If you’re looking for a little something more, we’ve also made sure you can search for common flower types to better convey your feelings.
These are loose interpretations of pretty petals, so if you see a bloom we’ve overlooked or mis-identified, let us know! We did our best, but are not botanists (though the folks who design floral patterns aren’t often, either) and many of these flower designs could be representing one kind or another. That said, let’s have some floral fun!
The Anemone is a simple, multi-petal flower with a burst of colour in the center. It can mean a lot of things, but it particularly represents anticipation.
A Carnation is a deeply layered bloom and its distinctly saw-tooth profile is often used as a complement to traditional rose patterns. Meaning everything from deep love to good luck, depending on colour, in general a carnation expresses love, fascination and distinction.
An emblem of good fortune, the Cherry Blossom signals love and affection, while their short span before falling also hints at the fleeting nature of feeling and time.
What defines the Chrysanthemum has often been contentious. A flower of variables, the one constant is many little florets working together to make a spectacular flower that stands for optimism and joy.
Though a bold flower, the Hibiscus means “delicate beauty”. It’s one of those designs that, when rendered in sock form, could be a geranium or even a lily, if you’re just looking at shapes. It’s the tropical colours that help them stand out from the crowd.
The Lily is another classic bouquet flower that holds a different meaning for each colour it blooms in. From “modesty” to “passion”, or “gaiety” to “refined beauty”, the lily can represent practically as many things as the individual breeds of both true and named lilies (though the BlueQ socks below are pretty clear in their meaning)!
Even more bedecked with meaning, the Rose could say “hey, you’re a rad friend” (yellow) to “love at first sight” (purple).
There’re lots more meanings to flowers and colours. And with a search through our Floral styles you can wear your heart on your toes, if not on your sleeve!
However you spend Valentine’s day, and whoever you spend it with (including yourself!) we’ve got some sweet treats for the day. Our Valentine’s Sweeties section is a great place to start. There’s your classic reds and hearts:
And traditional Valentine themes and colours with a little more edge:
And of course you can always paint the town (or your toes) red with our colour search.
Or pink to match your blush (which, I’m sure is totally because of the cold and not infatuation!).
Your best valentine should always be yourself, because (to paraphrase what a great person once said), if you can’t love yourself, how are you gonna love anybody else?! So indulge yourself, or get something warm to cozy up in, or get a little treat that’s on sale.
Of course, with the weather everywhere is having, even if you upgrade to Priority or Express (check our Shipping FAQ for more info) you might not get your Valentine treat in time. But we came prepared! Three of us Dreamers indulged our pun and doodle sides, putting together a bunch of little valentines for you all, like these:
Like the cartoon and toy themed valentines you might have got in grade school to give to all your classmates, we’ve made a PDF you can download and print to share with your friends and loved ones! Just click and save this link right here!
Of course, our favourite valentine is you, our wonderful customers! We love you lots and love that we can help your feet find their true love in socks!
Hearts, red, pink, candy and kisses are all common Valentine’s day themes. We’ve got a category full of sweet styles for your sweetie (luckily socks won’t give you a toothache) and we’ve already seen some super thoughtful sock gifts pass though our hands. We’ve offered a couple different takes and styles on the holiday here on the Sock Journal over the years and our site’s theme is even in the mood for love.
This year, we’ve got a Valentine’s gift for you. No, not a sale or a code, but something much sillier. May I present four covers for (pretend) romance novels featuring our favourite stars, socks! If any style tugs at your heart strings, I’ve given the names links straight to the colour shown.
Her love held him, but would their fibers keep them apart?
Shirley was a gorgeous cotton sock and heiress to a fortune. When she finally meets Michael, the one sock who seems to love her for more than her money, Shirley knows in her deepest heart that he’s too good to be true. When he turns out to be a wool blend she works even harder to bind him with love, hoping he’ll stay and that their different washing techniques won’t keep them apart. But will Shirley go too far and actually felt his cashmere-blended heart?
A baby can test your patience, but can it test your love?
Bea and her baby Dottie give Sabina the family she always wanted. Sabina has never hesitated about jumping into a situation with both feet, but she’s also never jumped into something quite like this. Is sharing the duties of mother too much for the Bea and Sabina’s growing love?
Branded “L” for Love
A sheriff bootsock romance.
Sheriff Gregorio was never easily swayed by a steady life or a pretty sock, until he met April. The flirty knee high was as sweet as could be, but it was her streak of bull-headedness that roped him in. When he finds out that April has been running her family’s ranch by herself, Sheriff Gregorio pitches in and finds that he and his trusty steed might be ready to settle down.
Tides of Desire
They never expected to be swept away . . . by love.
The beach cottage was playboy Greyson’s getaway, a place to escape to. Just like he’d escape to the arms of whoever he could find, leaving both love and cottage when the city called him. This time he chose Franco and, as the sun-warmed days wore on, Greyson began to doubt he could leave his soft embrace—but could Franco fit in with Greyson’s city life?
I am not ashamed to admit I maybe spent a lot of time thinking of the stories for these. I mean, I love socks, why couldn’t they love each other?
Have a lovely Valentine’s day and remember to treat yourself too! Because, if I can paraphrase one of my favourite quotes, “if you can’t love yourself, how are you gonna love someone else?”
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