Outfit Post: 11/11/14

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Top and earrings: Target — Skirt: Thrifted (Maurices) — Jacket: Thrifted (F21) — OTKs: Sock Dreams (Heather Over the Knee Stockings in Graphite) — Flats: Thrifted (Born) 

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These OTKs are basically a longer version of Socklings (and an extra-longer version of Bobby Socklings), so when I learned of their existence I snapped up four pairs like you wouldn’t believe.

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They’re amazingly comfortable, you guys. The band is nice and wide, they’re stretchy enough for my 16.5″ calves, and they’re a good middle-weight for late fall California weather.

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did have trouble getting the right stocking to stay glued to my leg, but I’m pretty sure that was just my general incompetence and not something to be blamed on the stockings (or on the sock glue).

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I’ve been strongly considering an anti-tights stance this winter, so these are a perfect addition to my arsenal of longer socks. Come at me, cold weather!

[Disclosure: I was not contacted by any company to review the products mentioned here, and I did not receive any compensation for reviewing them. All opinions stated are my own. I just want to help other thick-legged folks find socks that work for them!]

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Product Review: Paintbox Soapworks

HEY! D’ya like soap?

Personally, I didn’t really care what sudsed my loofah until a couple of years ago, when my stepsister gifted me with some of her homemade goat-milk hot-press soap, and I realized how pretty it smelled and how nice it felt. It made showers feel a little bit fancier, you know? After several months of using it, I was disappointed to learn that she’d lost interest in the hobby and stopped making her own soap. Booooo. Well, I didn’t want to go back to store-bought stuff, so I turned to my friends for recommendations, and one pal pointed me in the direction of Paintbox Soapworks.

And that’s the story of how I found my One True Soap Love.

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This is my very own jar of Gingermilk Sorbetto, an awesome scrub that makes my face smell crazy delicious every time I use it. The 11oz size is pretty generous–I’ve had mine since the end of November and I’m just now running low. Note that the store recommends you use the scrub within 3 months of purchase for best quality. I haven’t personally noticed any degradation in the product, but maybe you can follow the directions better than I can!

The sorbetto hasn’t prevented the usual intermittent breakout of acne since I started using it, but mostly my face feels nice and smooth, and my skin is less dry than it was before. Since I’m almost out of my current scrub, it’s time for me to decide what I want next; I think I’ll order the Heima scent. Mint, eucalyptus, and spruce sounds so refreshing and might help me wake up in the mornings now that I’m on earlier hours at work.

I’m not going to show you my bar of Paintbox’s seasonal Hearthside glycerin soap bar. It’s an embarrassing, well-loved little sliver in the shower caddy, and the scent (hot chocolate+woodsmoke) isn’t in stock right now anyway, being a wintertime thing. But the fact that the dregs of it are still sticking around is a selling point, since I bought the Hearthside bar at the same time as my tub of Gingermilk Sorbetto and it’s not quite gone yet. The glycerin bars are $6 each, so $1/month is not at all unreasonable, and I love coming out of the shower all relaxed and smelling like cocoa. It’s the little luxuries!

Other scents I like that are currently in stock are Sweet Cheeks and Big in Japan. Obviously I’m a fan of sweet and fruity scents, but there are also floral and spicy options, and even unscented if you’re sensitive to perfumes and such. I’ll say, though, that Mike is usually pretty averse to products with heavy scents, and he’s loved all the varieties that we’ve tried, especially Big in Japan–he asked me when we were going to get it again!

(Paintbox products I haven’t tried include the lotions, scent balms, coconut-free hot-process soaps, bath streusels, and shaving soaps, so I can’t tell you how those particular items perform, but they do generally get positive reviews from the other customers.)

The store’s summer update just went live, so there are all sorts of fun seasonal scents available right now, like Pink Sand and Little Paper Umbrellas. I find the fun names and combinations totally charming, and I haven’t yet tried a scent that I didn’t like. Go check Paintbox Soapworks out and see what you think!

[Disclosure: I am Twitter friends with Hayley, who works hard to make Paintbox possible, but I was not asked to review these products and I did not receive any compensation for reviewing them. I only became friends with her after I started buying and loving her products, and I think you might love them too. All opinions stated are my own.]

Outfit Post: 11/5/13

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Dress and belt: Thrifted — Sandals: Dansko — Knee-highs: Sock Dreams (Heather Socklings in Plum) — Earrings: Target — Bracelet: DIY

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I know I’ve praised EG Smith’s Bobby Socklings before, but this was my first time wearing the full-length Socklings, and they’re also awesome.

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They’re wonderful knee-highs for a bigger calf, because the upper band is wide and soft and stretchy. They’re so comfortable and don’t cut into my leg like most regular knee-highs do. My calves are roughly 16.5″ and the socks definitely feel like they could stretch further, although I can’t precisely say what the outlying measurements would be. I didn’t even use sock glue with them–I had to pull them up a little bit occasionally, but they never once fell all the way down, even when I was riding my bike.

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I’m just, you know, having a lot of sock-based feelings right now.

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Having earring-based feelings too, but that’s pretty typical. You know me, always creating emotional connections with inanimate objects.

Outfit Post: 7/11/13

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Top: Goodwill — Skirt: Gift — Sandals: Dansko — Belt: Thrifted — Earrings: Target — Bracelet: Gift

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Just a little mostly-neutrals look to round out the week! I like this shirt in part because I can get away with not wearing a bra with it, which is pretty friggin’ nice.

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Not to flaunt my bralessness or anything, I know it’s not a comfortable/doable situation for all. But really, if society hadn’t brainwashed me into being extremely self-conscious of my nipples, I would honestly probably go braless all the time, everywhere.

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I know that nipples are thought to be distracting or whatever, especially in “professional” situations like the workplace, but men don’t have to wear bras, and last time I checked, men have nipples too! And man-nipples even get hard sometimes and show through their shirts! It’s a crock, I tells ya, down with the nipple double-standard, etc. etc.

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In some non-nipple-related news, I have had the opportunity recently to use some earlobe-support patches sent to me by the thoughtful Miz Jaunty–the idea is that they’re a sticky piece of something-or-other that you adhere to the back of your earlobe to help support the weight of heavy earrings, which it has been established I have a fondness for.

I imagine that the target market is actually older folks whose lobes have been stretched out a bit already, but they seem to work pretty well as a preventative measure, too. They can’t prevent earlobe pain that comes from heavy earrings swinging around and generally being a nuisance, but I have found that my lobes hurt less at the end of the day with the patches than they did before, without the patches. So that’s something!

For the patch prices I’m looking at, I think it comes out to something like 10 cents a patch, which isn’t so bad, especially since they’re semi-reusable (presumably until the adhesive stops…adhering). It’s worth noting that they do hurt a bit on removal; those little earlobe hairs are sensitive! They’re not a bad idea, though, and I’ll probably continue to use them until I run out, and then reassess my earlobe-care strategy at that time. Thanks, Miz Jaunty! You’re a peach.

Outfit Post: 6/24/13 (Plus Sock Glue Review)

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Button-front: Goodwill — Skirt: Gift — OTKs: Target — Boots: Macy’s — Earrings: Hand-me-down

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I had to race outside and take these pictures just as it started to rain yesterday, so please, if you would, forgive the goofiness and weird angle (protecting the camera, donchaknow).

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During Sock Dreams’ recent summer solstice sale, I bought a bottle of their body adhesive to see whether sock glue would be a better fit for me a garter belt was. Verdict: I love it! It’s quite sticky and held my socks up all day–it was a fairly laid-back workday, but I squatted, walked, sat, and fidgeted, and had no problems.

I’m looking forward to trying it on thigh-highs to see whether my thighs rubbing together causes any issues, but that’ll have to wait until cooler weather commences. (I only happened to try it yesterday because we’ve had a couple rainy days, unusual for June around here, and the temperature dropped enough that long sleeves and socks didn’t sound like torture.)

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This is actually gonna turn my winter sock game around substantially, I think; I won’t have to worry about socks sagging, and while there was the occasional itch I mostly forgot all about the socks and the glue and was quite comfortable. I just muddled through applying it based on the bottle directions, but Sock Dreams has a tutorial with pictures if you’re curious. I probably won’t ever use the glue on calf-height socks unless I start shaving my legs again, but the hair that grows above my knees and on my thighs is apparently fine enough that I didn’t experience any pain when removing the OTKs after work.

All in all, I like it. $10 might be a little pricy for a 2oz bottle, but I imagine it’ll last me a long time, and I’m happy with my purchase. Now summer just has to hurry up and end so I can get back to wearing socks!

Outfit Post: 4/24/13 (Plus Bobby Socklings Review)

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Top and heels: Swapped — Camisole: Goodwill — Skirt: Blacklist Vintage — Socks: Sock Dreams (Bobby Socklings in Moss) — Ring: Target — Earrings: Vendor on campus

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Did I hear someone say it’s been a while since we had a product review here on Reading in Skirts? Well no, I probably didn’t, but let’s pretend I did for the sake of the segue.

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So, you guys might have noticed that Tia and I like socks. It’s true! During the cooler months I’ve been learning to let my sock wings fly with thigh-highs and OTKs, but I also love-love-love how cute ankle and midcalf socks can be when worn intentionally. Socks and heels, socks and flats, socks and heels again. I love it.

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But the main problem with me trying to do this is that all my socks bite! I have thicker ankles and calves (I don’t have an ankle measurement at the moment, but the thickest part of my calves is around 16″), and the cuff of most normal crew socks will dig-dig-dig into my ankle, and it looks weird and feels worse. Sometimes I fold the elastic cuff under, which fixes the weird look but not the discomfort. Recently, I turned to Sock Dreams and got a couple pairs of socks with a wider cuff and a more relaxed fit to see if I, too, could properly know the joy of intentional sock usage.

And lo! It turns out I love them. “Them” being Bobby Socklings, a shorter version of the regular midcalf Sockling. They’re soft and bright, and the cuff is just about everything I could hope for. They do slouch a little when I walk because they’re not clamped aggressively to my leg, but I’m 100% a-okay with that, especially since it’s just a minor, gentle slouch.

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Also, a cool thing? I emailed Sock Dreams to ask if they had any other comfortable-cuff socks, and they totally wrote back! With suggestions and everything! B. gave a few recommendations like the B.ella Bastia Comfort Top Crew (which I want in Wisteria, like, yesterday) and any of EG Smith’s ECO brand socks, such as the Scalloped Top Crew, which are a bit of a chunkier texture. She also recommended the B.ella Meg Unconstricted Top Crew–I actually got a pair in pink along with my Bobby Socklings, but I haven’t had a chance to wear them yet.

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She also suggested some plush, fuzzy socks in the form of the B.ella Alpine Merino Mousse Crew and Nouvella Space Dyed Terry Shorties, if you like something cushy. On the pricier side of things, we have the Easy Does It Relaxed Fit Striped Midcalf and Plush Relaxed Fit Midcalf, both from Sockwell. I don’t know if my budget is quite ready for $20+ midcalf socks, but they’re probably a decent investment if you can manage it!

And, I mean, even $8 per pair seems like kind of a lot when you’re used to $9 for a three-pack at Target, but I’m honestly pretty happy to work $8 socks into my budget if it means I’m not coming home with a cuff ring around my poor ankles at the end of the day. When the weather starts to cool down again, you better believe I’m going to be ordering myself most (if not all) of the Bobby Sockling colors in both regular and heather.

[I was not contacted by any company to review the products mentioned here, and I did not receive any compensation for reviewing them. All opinions stated are my own. I just want to help other thick-legged folks find socks that work for them!]

Outfit Post: 2/27/13

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Top: Thrifted — Skirt: Anthropologie — Thigh-Highs [worn as OTKs]: Sock Dreams (N40s) — Heels: Thrifted (Nine West) — Headband: The Faerie Market — Bracelet: Hand-me-down

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I dressed pretty simply last Wednesday because I wanted my new favorite purchase to really shine:

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Yup, I got a GORGEOUS fern-leaf headband, handmade by Betsie Withey and sold in The Faerie Market, her Etsy shop for crazy-awesome fiber art. (You may recognize it from one of my previous Things I Did Not Buy entries–guess I can scratch this one off the list.)

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Seriously, though. So pretty. And it  arrived lovingly tucked into an equally-pretty decorated package, along with detailed care instructions and a sweet written note from its creator. It made me feel so special, and was a super-nice pick-me-up on a tired Tuesday afternoon. It’s also really comfortable–the wire band doesn’t dig into the sides of my head like most plastic ones do–and, as I said on Twitter, it makes me feel like a forest princess.

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Oh yeah, and I wore some shoes or whatever. But the headband! THE HEADBAND. Tia may be getting one of Betsie’s creations for her birthday this year whether she likes it or not.