Seven Quick Tips For Mixing Patterns

By | April 23, 2015

Every year we see articles about how “X is the hot new way to do Y this season”, well this year we’re claiming one for socks. Over the last few years socks have become a bigger and bigger way to express one’s fashion tastes. Everything from novelty socks to show off a fun and quirky side or patterned socks for work to show that you’re not just all business. With the growing variety of options out there when it comes to mixing patterns we want to help people be able to put their best foot forwards. So we’re going to give a guide to how to properly mix and match patterns without looking like you got dressed in the dark.

monochromemixingHere’s one of the bigger, overarching guidelines when it comes to mixing patterns. Focus on the colors, rather than the patterns. Generally speaking if all the colors look good together, so will the patterns. There are clearly some obvious exceptions to this, a bold houndstooth and paisley are never going to have a color combo that lets them work together. A quick sidenote on focusing on colors, when it comes to solids you can often get away with using contrasting colors, but when it comes to patterns which are already somewhat contrasting, we highly recommend avoiding contrasting colors as well.



tswizzleThe more basic and graphic the print is, the easier they are to mix together. That thing we just said about avoiding contrasting colors when it comes to patterns? Like most rules in life, there’s an exception to it and that’s black and white patterns. Black and white patterns like stripes, houndstooth, or dots pretty much go with anything. They act as sort of like the neutral of patterns. Taylor Swift is an example of someone that wears a lot of black and white patterned outfits. In the picture, you can see how the combination of her plaid skirt doesn’t clash with the print on her shirt.





There are some patterns out there that just look better paired up with certain patterns than others. Big contrasting patterns can look cluttered and confusing. That houndstooth and paisley combination we joked about early, for example. Some combinations that come together really well are: thick stripes and florals, leopard print and polka dots, or stripes and polka dots. This makes some sense when we think back to the last paragraph and how basic geometric patterns tend to look good with each other.




This is probably obvious, but don’t go overboard with your patterns. Even if everything matches and looks great together, an outfit that’s patterned from top to bottom can be overwhelming. Throw in a solid to break things up and let patterns really pop and speak for themselves. If you’re trying to be particularly festive for example, if you were take a pair of our orange skull Halloween knee socks and match them with a solid black skirt and your favorite Halloween t-shirt, you’d have a quirky casual outfit for October that shows off some personality without screaming at everyone that you demand to be recognized as the most festive one in the room.


When mixing a pattern with a solid, think about whether or not you’re trying to match that pattern to the solid or if you’re using that solid to break up a busy outfit. If you’re trying to work the solid along with the pattern think about your color options. A contrasting color in a solid works well with a pattern, since you don’t have to worry about the combination being too busy. On the flipside, if you’re using the solid to break up other patterns, use a neutral color to give people’s eyes a second to rest.





Pay attention to the scale of your patterns. By scale we mean how large the individual parts of the pattern are. If you have a pattern with relatively small polka dots try mixing it with a large plaid pattern, the plaid pattern draws the eye and becomes the focus before people also notice the polka dot pattern.





Speakoffsetstripeing of scale and using neutrals to break up an outfit, some some patterns and textures actually work as neutrals by themselves. If you have a pattern with a small scale, like a finely checkered black and white shirt that just looks gray at first glance, that can act as a neutral and be used to work with another pattern. Or pieces that have a very large scale pattern, but only on one part of the piece, like a skirt with a thick stripe at the very bottom. You won’t have any issues pairing that skirt up with a patterned blouse.


What Your Feet Are Telling You

By | March 19, 2015


Lots of things about us can unintentionally say a lot about us. Body language can make you look unconfident, clothes can say any number of things, and the way you speak can often affect how people see you. Those just a few obvious examples, but what about your feet? Your feet may not tell people that you’re a confident, decision maker that loves open toed shoes(well maybe that last one), but they can tell you a lot about your own health.

The most obvious one is probably that your feet smell. Rarely are smelly feet ever a symptom of something all that serious, but there are still some fairly easy ways to treat the problem. A quick explanation of what causes the smell is that when your feet sweat (and they do, because they have the most sweat glands of any part of your body) that moisture is broken down by bacteria on your skin and give off that offensive odor. The treatment for it is pretty simple, depending on the severity of the smell. Make sure to wash your feet and dry them completely before putting on shoes. Always wear a clean and fresh pair of socks, especially if they’re sweat wicking socks.

Cold feet usually aren’t a symptom indicative of anything more serious, but for women over 40 it can be a sign of an underactive thyroid. While a difficult symptom to completely cure, treating cold feet is relatively easily done through the use of thick wool socks and lined footwear.

A more serious foot condition is if you have a lingering sore on your foot that just won’t heal. Wounds that won’t heal on your feet is often a sign of diabetes, which causes nerve damage that often leads to people not realizing there are nicks and cuts on their feet. The easiest home treatment for this is to check your feet daily for any new wounds before getting them checked by a doctor and wearing non-constricting diabetic socks to allow more blood flow into your feet.

Preparing For A Marathon

By | March 16, 2015


All across the country the sun is starting to shine and it’s beginning to warm up. Flowers are starting to bloom, birds are seeing songs, and runners are leaving the fluorescent lights and treadmills of the gym and hitting the pavement again. Some of us might be getting ready to start running in any number of the marathons that happen in spring or the rest of us that aren’t quite that committed to it are remembering we signed up to run 10K back in October and had “plenty of time” to train for it. So because sometimes art imitates life, here’s our quick guide to training for your next running event.

Remember that ultimately training to run any kind of long form event is all about training to be able to maintain your energy levels for anywhere from 3 to 26 miles. With that in mind plan out your schedule of incremental increases each week. No matter how hard you put your mind to it and train, no one can add 20 miles they weren’t capable of before in a week. Like all the good things in life according to my parents, training builds character.

Make sure you that aren’t training too hard or too often. If your body feels a lot more gassed than you think it should after a run, take a break for a bit. It’s better to miss one or two days of training than have to miss an entire race. To go along wit that, make sure you have the right gear. If you have high arches and don’t have shoes with any support, you’re going to hurt yourself before you even get close to the finish line. Moisture wicking socks will help keep your feet in good shape as well. Work hard and all that, but work smart as well.

If you’re training for something especially long and difficult, like a marathon, make sure you do the right things when you’re not in running shoes too. This means making sure you’re eating right while you’re training and especially getting enough rest. Keep things healthy on the mental side too. Theoretically you’re willing to put in all of this work because this is something you enjoy, so have fun with it.

Guide to Exercise Shoes

By | March 9, 2015


I don’t know what the weather is doing wherever you are today, but I can tell you that here at the home of it’s in the mid 60s and becoming sunny. In celebration of seeing the sun for the first time since October, people were out yesterday doing everything from cycling to playing quidditch. Just like how every activity is done in a certain way, every activity requires a slightly different set of footwear to ensure best performance and joint health.

Athletic shoes typically get broken down into three categories: running, walking, and training. Running shoes have a wide variety of options depending on who you ask and what you personally feel is the best option for you. The historical recommendation for running shoes has been to make sure that there’s plenty of cushion to reduce the shock on your knees and having good heel control. Recently though there’s been a shift in the running community towards minimalist shoes that have almost no cushion. Even more recently a move towards maximalism, which is the exact opposite of minimalism and focuses on having as much cushion as possible. So there are a lot of options out there that you’ll have to make a decision about. If you feel completely overwhelmed ask for help at a reputable running store to make sure you have the best knowledge available.

If you’re looking for shoes for walking rather than running you need to focus on different aspects of a shoe. Most importantly you want a lot of cushion under the heel and ball of the foot to cut down on heel pain and tenderness in the balls of your feet. Walking shoes should be as lightweight as possible since they don’t have to deal with the same force as running shoes and more rigid at the front so that you can roll of the toes instead of being able to bend and push like a running or athletic shoe.

The term athletic shoe covers a lot of ground, just because there are a lot of sports out there. Generally speaking athletic shoes should be lightweight, have a lot of cushion under the ball of the foot, and have a sole that provides enough grip to prevent slipping. Breaking it down a little bit further, we can say that court sports like tennis require shoes that provide stability on both the inside and outside of the foot are important for the quick back and forth movements the sport requires. Basketball shoes should have extra thick soles to provide support and a high top cut depending on preference for ankle support. Field sport shoes tend to be stiffer and cleated to provide maximum grip and support for sudden cuts and jukes. For any sport you play more than three times a week you should give thought buying a pair of sport specific shoes.

With all of these shoes you’re going to need a good pair of athletic socks. Athletic socks will get the moisture away from your feet and out of your shoes to prevent premature wearing out of the shoes. Additionally a proper fitting sock will keep your feet from sliding around in your shoes. We’ve got all the athletic socks you’ll need for whatever sport you want to play this summer.


Sneaker Collecting

By | March 8, 2015


It’s officially March now which means it’s one of the best times of the year for sports. That’s right, I’m talking about March Madness and the NCAA Tournament. Supposedly billions of dollars will be lost due to dips in productivity to watch your school lose to a 12 seed on a bad three point foul call, not that anyone here in Richmond is bitter or anything. Since college basketball is on the brain and more and more schools are signing exclusive shoe contracts let’s take a little bit and get into the basics of sneaker collecting.

People that collect shoes, or sneakerheads as the young people would call them, collect them for all sorts of reasons. Some of them do it because they like a particular player, some because they want to expand their wardrobe options, and some because they see them as a way to make some money at a later point. So rule number one is to know why you’re collecting.

Once you’ve got an idea in your head of why you’re doing it, you have to figure out how you’re going to go about buying. This mostly means determining your budget for shoes. Most shoes start at about $100, but some are resold for thousands of dollars to other collectors. You also need to have a strategy for what you are and aren’t going to buy. Some shoe lines like Lebrons or Kobes will have over twenty colorways, or specific color combinations, in a given year. Do you want to plan to buy twenty pairs of shoes or are you okay with just having the colors you like? If you’re trying to have a complete set, are you ok with trading or selling shoes in order to get rare shoes that you missed out on? There are whole communities out there dedicated to sneaker trading. Much like any other collectible hobby, it’s really easy to end up sinking a ton of time into sneaker collecting so keep that in mind before you start.

Once you have your shoes, how are you going to store them? Are you planning on wearing them? Or are they going to live in your closet? Proper care is the most important step in keeping them looking good and retaining any value if that’s your end goal.