Last month, we looked at Purple as the start of some monthly colour focus fun. This month we’re looking at red, because I thought this short month would be a great time to focus on a sorely under-represented colour. Sure, the colour most absent from socks is probably yellow, but bear with me here, it’s seasonally appropriate! And really, with all the winter gloom we’ve been having, I needed the colour punch only red can give!



There aren’t a whole lot of solid red socks out there, they tend to shade into “dark red” (and “burgundy” and “wine” or “Bordeaux” or some other name for fermented grapes) or “rust” (also known as “spice”). This time, we’re just looking at red-reds. A 1940’s lipstick red!


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!


First, let’s look at the difference between red with black elastic behind it and red with white elastic behind it. In the Cotton Inklined on the left, the hue is a little darker (think “cinnamon candy”). In the Spiral Cotton OTK on the right, the hue is a little brighter (think “cherry candy”).


How much of the elastic colour you see also makes a difference. The O Basics have a slightly thicker yarn than the Extraordinarily Longer Thigh Highs, making their stitches a little wider and showing more of the black underneath. So even though the yarns are the same colour, the red yarn in the O Basics “pops” a little more because of the more visible, contrasting black.


Now let’s look at representative and key reds across some different brands! I’m focusing mostly on solids and only the most basic stripes, just to keep things simple. A word of warning: pure reds are total monsters to edit, because it’s such a vibrant colour. I’ve done the best I can to properly represent these shades. And I apologise if I blow out your monitor.


Dream Stockings and Dreamer Socks

Crayon-clearness of hue, with cotton yarn nearly as pure and bright as the nylon.

From left to right: Cotton Inklined, Spiral Cotton OTK, Super Stripes, O Basics, Fast Lane Knee Highs, Extraordinarily Longer Thigh High



Almost always a rich, darker red that sometimes strays a little more blue, but has the decency to be called Bordeaux if it dabbles too darkly.

From left to right: Floral Texture Over the Knee, Ribbed Wool OTK


EG Smith

A very true blue, lipstick-y red, with the heavier gauged yarn of the Bootsocks almost glowing in person.

From left to right: Solid Over the Knee Stockings, Bobby Socklings, EG Smith Original Bootsocks


Leg Avenue

No variation in this nylon colour. It is red and it is so red.

From left to right: Spandex Fishnet Pantyhose, Striped Tights, Opaque Thigh Highs with Bow



From the borderline bluer-dark red of the tights to the yellow-cast hue in the legwarmers, there isn’t a regularity but there is a range!

From left to right: Color Tights, Harajuku Arm Warmers, Harajuku Leg Warmers

Okay, give yourself some time to blink it out and join me after the jump for some fiber hue comparisons across brands!

I’m particularly in love with our house brand nylon red. It glows, it burns, it looks utterly fabulous with black.

• Fast Lane Knee Highs •


That’s the beauty of nylon and man-made fibers in general, though. It delivers very pure, vibrant hues. In the case of red, the nylon styles we currently carry all trend towards a slightly yellower hue.

From left to right: Opaque Tights, N40s, Opaque Thigh Highs with Bow, Spandex Fishnet Pantyhose


Of course, there is always variation and exceptions to the rule, as you can see below. Even through their plastic packaging, the polyester Sriracha Leggings on the left definitely pale to orange in the presence of the Opaque Tights’ vibrating red, which also dims the already darker (but still true red) shade of the Color Tights.



Wool and wool blends are sort of the opposite, making the colours it encounters richer and deeper (though not losing the vibrancy).

From left to right: Wooly Knit Mitts, Gregorio Wool Bootsocks, Alpaca Cable Knit Arm Warmers, Ribbed Wool OTK, Harajuku Arm Warmers


And cotton? That easy-dyeable fiber is all over the place. Warmer, cooler, brighter, dimmer.

From left to right: Extraordinarily Long Thigh Highs, Solid Over the Knee Stockings, Harajuku Leg Warmers, Classic ToeToe Socks, EG Smith Original Bootsocks


There isn’t a lot of cross-supplier matching fun with a pure hue like red. But please do drop us a line if you need to know if a red falls a little bluer or a little yellower or if it really is that fabulously vibrant in real life. Colour is fun and awesomely aggressive colours like red are the best!