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Comfortable in Camouflage

 photoCamo fashion from head to toe….

Camo fashion never seems to go out of style. Whether influenced by the military or the popularity of hunting and fishing, camouflage has worked its way into many designers collection for fall 2013. As a pattern, camouflage was originally  intended to  “disguise or hide” but today with camo fashion being such a fun fashion trend, you will certainly be noticed.  The influence of camoflauge can be as simple as a t-shirt from a discount store or high end fashion.To understand the history of camouflage, I came across this interesting article about the first camouflage military attire in France.

“It is a wonderful opportunity, this game of hokus-pokus,” the New York Times mused in a 1917 Op-Ed about the newfangled concept of “camouflage,” borrowed from the French word camoufler,”to disguise.” Just two years earlier, France had established the world’s first military team dedicated to stealth attire, after a crushing defeat at the hands of German troops convinced French generals that their armed forces should forgo their stylish white gloves and pantalons rouges for a more muted look.”

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1906083,00.html#ixzz2apGk1Uio

We all know that camouflage attire is a very serious matter for our troops in various parts of the world where the proper camo design is adjusted to disguise the troops based on the regional terrain.
In the early 70’s, camo was brought to the sport of hunting as various patterns were created to hide the hunters from the prey. Today, sporting stores such as Dick’s, Cabela’s, and Bass Pro sell thousands of dollars of camouflage outfits and accessories.

One of the most popular reality TV shows is DUCK DYNASTY and their influence on the camo trend cannot be ignored. This camo-clad outdoor family premiered on A&E television in spring 2012 and their third season finale drew 9.6 million viewers. They are a fun-loving, close-knit family that has made a fortune that started with hand-crafted duck calls.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAcamoAlthough the fashion trend for fall/winter 2013 is not to sport a head to toe camo outfit, there is room for a touch of camouflage from t-shirts, jackets, and pants to accessories such as purses, hats and legwear such as tights, socks, toe socks  and leggings.

And, the good news is that this trend includes both men’s and women’s fashion.
As seen on the fall runway, there is camo fashion for everyone!

 

18th Street Fashion shows off Foot Traffic Legwear

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In early June 2013, the West 18th Street Fashion one again attracted visitors to the Crossroads Arts District as this year’s theme, Gilded Summer, set the stage for 18 talented young designers to showcase their fashion collections to a sellout crowd of over 2000.
Not to be disappointed, each collection was fun and full of texture, color and surprises. As one of the sponsors of the show, Foot Traffic offered the designers the opportunity to choose from our fashion tights, leggings, and socks to accessorize their collection.
We met with one of the delightful young designers, Quinn Mahler, of the Brockstar and Quinness collection, who talked about the collection she designed with Bryan Brock.  

“At our final critique before our collection was to the hit the runway at the West 18th Street Fashion show our producer posed this question to me and my partner:

How were we going to create a greater sense of unity between each of the five looks in the collection?

The answer would come down to style and we found ourselves searching for the missing piece that would complement each look while adding consistency to the collection. Our designs referenced the historical elegance of garments in the early 1900’s and the societal decay of the Gilded Age. Deconstructed materials accompanied polished construction.

After assessing the collection formally and conceptually we realized we had failed to address one critical style element: legwear.

Our producer recommended we visit Foot Traffic and with just a week to go we made an appointment to check out what they had to offer. We needed something edgy to complement the deconstructed and distressed materials while retaining an element of femininity and elegance. When we arrived at Foot Traffic the next day, we were relieved to see an incredible selection legwear lovers dream would about and even more relieved when we found exactly what our collection was missing. Each girl would wear a pair of faux garter thigh highs accented with pink ruffled socks which would be pulled over their heels.

After the fact, we wondered why we hadn’t thought of it sooner. Our looks were complete and finally runway ready. Legwear is so easy to underestimate but it can be a powerful tool in completing a look. The thigh highs added an edgy sense of sophistication and the pink socks created one consistent style that acted as a solution for our five models that each had drastically different shoes. As designers, I think it’s easy to concentrate solely on the garment to tell the story of the collection. My experience during the West 18th street fashion show reminded me that whether you’re on the runway or running errands, legwear is an opportunity to complete a look in a unique and memorable way.”

A DASH OF SASS FOR MEN

Getting crazy with men’s socks

mensskullsocksWhen do men ever get to dress “sassy”?  It used to be a man could have fun with ties in order to make a fashion statement or create conversation at the water cooler.  Even boxer shorts can be sassy but what fun is that if no one sees them?!  Today many offices are allowing men to shed the suit and tie for more casual attire so there goes the opportunity to show off your style or sassy personality with a tie.

 

 

So what now?  Whether you wear a suit and tie or not, you still need to wear socks.

lapel-herringbone-blazer-men-styleNever before have we seen so many men having fun with their socks, sharing a “slice of crazy” between their pant cuff and their shoes. As a man crosses his legs, there they are!—the fun slice of color and fun. With so many choices, men can now rival women for fun fashion accessories. The good news is that novelty socks are a fun way to add color, attitude, and function for a small price. Most socks today are under $10 so compare that to the price of a tie or pocket square!
You can afford several pairs of fun socks for the same price as one fun tie.

A favorite fun fashion combination is wearing fun socks to match a guy’s tie. This is done with a little color coordination between the two. Voila!
So go ahead GUYS, show your sassy side and go crazy with your socks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IT’S CHERRY FESTIVAL TIME!

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This week is National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Michigan. Over 500,000 people are expected to attend this popular event to experience the pie eating contest, the pit-spitting competition as well as tasting the many  creative recipes made with these favorite tart cherries. The festival has been part of the culture of this popular vacation destination since 1924. Traverse City is located at the southern end of Grand Traverse Bay 250 miles northwest of Detroit, and is known for its beautiful trails, cherry orchards, growing art scene, and culinary farm-to-market restaurants. Today, Michigan produces 70-75 percent of the cherries grown in the United States, most of the cherries grown around the Traverse City region.
In 1852, Peter Dougherty, a missionary and the first European settler in the area, planted the first cherry trees on the Old Mission Peninsula. To everyone’s surprise, the cherry trees thrived.  Apparently, the sandy soil as well as the nearby Lake Michigan tempering the Arctic wind in the winter and cooling the hot air in the summer provided the perfect growing environment for the trees.

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These beautiful cherry  photos were taken by Amy Barickman, an entrepreneur, cherry enthusiast and annual attendee of the festival. She and her family vacation in the area for the month of July, enjoying the lake and all of the amenities.

You may not be able to attend the National Cherry Festival but you can enjoy the delicious cherries from this popular region.

Don’t forget to pick a pair of our cherry socks!

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TENNIS ANYONE?

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Grand Slam Style

Watching the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments is so much fun, especially now that we are into the finals at Wimbledon, the third Grand Slam of the year.  I stay close to the television, watching the action packed matches of talented athletes, both men and women.   I must admit that I also enjoy not just the matches, but the fashion on and off the court. These lovely ladies are joyfully dressed for the Australian Open earlier this year.

Perhaps you are not the tennis enthusiast that I am but do you know the four major professional tennis tournaments?

The Australian Open is the first of the four. The event occurs the second half of January.
The French Open is the second of the four and is played late May through the first of  June.

Wimbleton is  the third Grand Slam and occurs late June through early July.

The US Open is the final Grand Slam and occurs late August through the first half of September.

Whether you are an armchair tennis enthusiast or prefer to be in action on the court, Foot Traffic has tennis socks just for you. Try our fun tennis novelty socks or our newest no-shows for your next tennis match. You may not make it to the Grand Slams but you will be in Grand Style!

 

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STACEY and her SOCK DOGS

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Stacey and her Original Sock Dogs

At Foot Traffic we love animals. That is why we are so excited to introduce you to Stacey, an incredible plush designer and dog enthusiast. Stacey has been using our Foot Traffic microfiber socks for several years and we were fortunate to get a call from her and soon discovered how her love of animals gave her the inspiration to make sock dogs,www.sockdogs.com.  Going from hobby to now a full time job, Stacey juggles motherhood (two kids and a houseful of pets) and making sock dogs as a way to support her passion for saving animals.  A percentage of the proceeds of her sales goes to HSGKC and other animal rescue programs. We love Stacey’s mission as well as her adorable plush creations.
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Stacey, how long have you been making sock dogs?

“The first sock dogs I made were for Art Unleashed, an annual pet-themed art auction benefiting the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City, in 2005. I had no idea what I was doing when I made the first sock dogs! My background is in writing, illustration and character design, but I was in no way a seamstress. In fact, at the time, my job was New Media Producer for Hallmark—primarily concepting and directing e-cards along with a team of phenomenal artists. That’s about as far from sewing as you can get!

 I completely winged it, with a little help from the book “Stupid Sock Creatures” by John Murphy—sock monsters were becoming very popular, so I thought I’d give sock pets a try. When they sold at the auction for over $100 each, I was shocked. And I knew I had discovered something potentially great. I continued making dogs and cats of my own design for the next few years, but as word spread, I began getting more and more requests for customs based on actual pets. Now, the customs make up nearly all of my business.”

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What is the most difficult dog you have designed?
“I’m always happy to try anything, and I love a challenge! The long-haired dogs do take longer to make than the short haired pooches. For the fluffy/shaggy/curly dogs, I use a combination of socks and plush (fake) fur. I am currently working on a trio of Newfoundlands, and the fur is flying!”

What kind of socks do you like to use for your animals?
“I take a good look at the pet photos I get from the customer, and try my best to match the pet’s fur texture with the right pair of socks. For dogs with coats like Labs and Pit Bulls , I use cotton/acrylic knee socks, which I hand dye to match the actual dog’s coloring. For terriers and dogs/cats (and last month, a chinchilla), with short, shiny coats the Foot Traffic microfiber fuzzy socks are the best! I also hand dye these and they absorb the colors really well. My customers love how soft they are, too. I have to laugh at myself sometimes—I have a studio stocked with the nicest, softest socks—all brand new and reserved exclusively for the sock dogs. But the socks in my wardrobe? Yawn. I just can’t stand to keep any of the nice ones for myself!”

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What is your most unusual sock dog story?
I was recently asked to make a custom sock dog based on a MWD (Military Working Dog) by the mom of a soldier. Jajo, a German Shepherd, and the soldier had both been injured by an IED in Afghanistan. Both received a purple heart for their service. The soldier’s mom wanted him to have a replica of his best buddy while he recovered from his injuries, as Jajo could not stay with him in the barracks. (Jajo is currently recovering and enjoying the retired life back home with mom.)

Many of the customs I make are for people who recently lost a beloved pet. These are always meaningful to me, because they help dog moms and dads cope with and heal from their loss. I get so many e-mails telling me about the “good cry” someone had after receiving their custom. I’m so happy to be able to help anyone in this way with my art. It’s very humbling.”

Tell me about your mission to save animals

” Two weeks ago, thanks to sales from custom Original Sock Dogs, I was able to donate $500 to sponsor a sweet female Pit Bull with large medical expenses who was running out of time at Animal Control. The donation, along with the efforts of the fantastic volunteers at Animal Control and the rescue group that took her in, literally saved her life. This was a big donation—other weeks, I’ve given $10, $20 to sponsor various animals at Animal Control. Every dollar makes a difference. Knowing that the sales of my artwork actively and directly help these dogs is the best and most rewarding part of what I do. Since beginning Original Sock Dogs, I have donated 10% (and often more) of every sale to various rescue groups, including the Humane Society of Kansas City, Mid-America Bully Breed Rescue  and Angel City Pit Bull Rescue in LA. I also donate many sock dogs to auctions and raffles benefiting animal shelters around the world. I use my Facebook Page (Original Sock Dogs) to share my plush art with others, create awareness and find sponsors and rescues for shelter dogs and cats in need.”

If I want you to make a dog for me, how much will it cost and how long will it take?
“All customs are $95, regardless of complexity. I try to keep my price relatively low and fair, to give people an affordable option when it comes to immortalizing their pet. The amount of time it takes to make a custom varies—it depends on the type of dog (or cat, or any animal), the markings on its coat, the length of the fur. From start to finish, it could be anywhere from 3 hours to 3 days. However, if you placed an order today (June), I would have it ready for you in September due to my extensive waiting list. I received some fantastic, unexpected publicity from the Whole Dog Journal last year and was flooded with orders. I am still working my way through all of them. I take a lot of time and care to capture each pet as best I can, and I truly love what I do. I know it’s hard to wait, but I promise the end result is worth it!”

THE POWER OF TURQUOISE

THE POWER OF TURQUOISE
The psychology of color

photoI am not sure why I love the color turquoise so much. Perhaps it is because it brings to memory the beautiful ocean waters of the Caribbean.  I happen to be an Aquarian and turquoise is the Plantary stone for Aquarius (as well as  Taurus, and Sagittarius). Whether I am wearing turquoise clothing, turquoise jewelry, or looking at the turquoise waters, I always feel calm, inspired, and balanced. The power that this color has on me is difficult to explain so I went to the website to better understand the meaning of turquoise. According to Sherwin –Williams website, 

 “In terms of color psychology, turquoise – because it sits on the color scale between blue and green – radiates the peace, calm and tranquility of blue; the balance and growth of green; and the uplifting energy of yellow. Turquoise is thought to enhance the ability to focus and concentrate, assisting with clear thinking and decision-making, and the development of good organizational skills. It is also thought to have a calming influence, helping to heal the emotions and restore depleted energies.”

The origin of the name “turquoise”

The name “turquoise” comes from the stone, which has been mined around the world in Iran, the Southwestern United States, the Sinai Peninsula, and China. It is most likely derived from the French word, turquoise, which means “Turkish” when French traders first obtained the mineral from Turkish bazaars in the 16th century. The turquoise was brought to Europe from the mines in historical Khorasan Province of Iran.

Considered a sacred stone to North American Indians as well as the Tibetans, it is used in ceremonies and rituals by shamans to promote mental and spiritual clarity and to enhance wisdom, trust, kindness, and understanding.

The color turquoise actually includes a range of colors, from teal to peacock to soft aqua. The range of colors  is due to the various colors of the stone, depending on the origin and the age.

Pantone color of the year

As a popular color in the 50’s, turquoise was often used in diners, home décor objects and interior colors. In 2010, turquoise was named by Pantone as the color of the year. Today, turquoise is experiencing overwhelming popularity once again in both fashion and home décor. This calming yet bright color combines well with other colors and is seen in every fashion and home décor magazine as a primary or secondary color.  A recent book, The Art of Turquoise, by Mary Emmerling, includes beautiful visuals of vintage and new turquoise jewelry, home décor, and artifacts.

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 Turquoise at Foot Traffic

At Foot Traffic, our turquoise microfiber tights, leggings and trouser socks look great with the current fashion trends, such as short skirts, shorts, and dresses.  In the various shades of teal, peacock and turquoise, you will certainly find the perfect color that makes you feel great.  Perhaps this healing, refreshing color is just what you need to add balance and uplifting energy.

We hope to see you wearing turquoise this spring and summer!

FASHION EXPRESSION

 

 

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Fashion Expression…

Although Foot Traffic has been around for over 25 years, it wasn’t until 2006 that we moved into a beautifully renovated historic building.  Most of the floors of the building were empty and evacuated prior to the renovation. When Charlie, the President and founder of Foot Traffic, was going through the building with the architects, he found this note taped to a pillar on one of the empty floors.

“Of all the Things You Wear, Your Expression is the Most Important”

Today at our office we have that piece of paper attached to our wall as a humble reminder that even when you are wearing the most creative, most stunning outfit ( fashionable legwear included of course!), it is your personal expression that matters the most.  So don’t forget to be yourself. Let your personal style and expression be your best accessory.

LOVE IS IN THE AIR!

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WEDDING DAY SURPRISES
What legwear is under your dress?

‘Tis the time of year when the birds are building their nests, geese are laying their eggs and it is clear that love is in the air!  Ah, the time for young men and women to commit to one another in joyful matrimony. The magazines are full of ideas and ways to make each wedding as unique as the two lovebirds involved. 

So not to add to the mayhem, there are ways to make the wedding not only beautiful, but ways to make the bride and groom show their personality. The bride is usually selecting a dress and veil that makes her feel pretty, radiant, feminine and yes, sexy. But what about comfort and fun?  That’s where Foot Traffic can offer some ideas…

What are you wearing under the dress? 

Have some fun with your shoes and legwear! I am talking about the shoes and the tights, socks, or hosiery. Add that special surprise when the groom goes for the garter. We have some ideas that hopefully you will remember while enjoying the beauty of your wedding.

The wedding day is your day– make it a day to remember forever!

What are you wearing under your wedding dress?

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SHORTS and TIGHTS for SUMMER

 

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SHORTS and TIGHTS

a winning combination….
I recently had the opportunity to travel to Asia and managed to do a fair share of people watching. I always find Asian fashion to be as exciting as New York or Paris. Watching the young women and men bustle through the streets in their up-to-date attire is curious, inspiring, and always fun. This time was no different. And one of the hottest trends I saw over and over again was the combination of shorts and tights. I have witnessed this trend on the streets for the last two years but never like this. Shorts varied from torn cut-off jeans to lace, stripes, leather, etc.
This exciting look takes advantage of tights like no other fashion trend.
Women were wearing every style of tights from black to navy, from sheer to textures to opaque. So much variety! The coordinating tights elongate the legs and depending on the shoes or boots, make the wearer look tall and sleek. The shorts and tights were most often topped with a blazer, men’s jacket or large shirt.
(This image was taken from maggsfashion.buzznet.com.)
Are you ready to wear shorts and tights this spring?!

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