Most would associate the word with objects and lifestyles that are overly expensive and out of reach. But, can luxury be affordable? At first it seems like a bit of an oxymoron. In dictionary terms, extravagant expense is not even mentioned; it’s boiled down to “a condition of abundance or great ease and comfort”. Over time, luxury has evolved to become more accessible in our everyday lives: whether it’s from a really well-made latte, a new pair of shoes or socks, or just an extra couple of hours of sleep! In any case, luxury becomes a welcomed break from what’s typical, tailored to our taste, and affordable within our reach.
When we shell out hard-earned cash for something in any luxury category, we want to know that we are getting the best quality possible for what we spend. You’re spending a bit more than usual on something, so there must be some sort of justification. Knowing where what we buy comes from, and that it is made well, is of great importance: a story to come along with the product itself. Whether the raw materials are cotton fibers or coffee beans, we care that the story behind them aligns with our values.
Returning to our dictionary example, the idea of luxury is defined by “great ease and comfort.” Along with being well-made, we expect that luxury products will improve our lives and make things more convenient. What could be more convenient changes from person to person: Splurging on an Uber every once in a while saves us the anxiety of a long or crowded commute. Buying angora wool above the knee socks over polyester ones will keep your feet far cozier and warmer. In any category, convenience makes luxury worth its cost.
Separate from what we purchase is the sentiment that comes along with it. You’ve just gotten yourself the most comfy new pair of well-made dress socks, but half of the luxury experience comes from how they make us feel. A funky design helps to reflect the wearer’s personality, and signifies creativity and style to others that notice it. In this way, luxury becomes a reflection of how we want to feel, and paired with quality and convenience can bring an abundance of comfort at a cost that won’t break the bank.
Elemental Herbology’s mission is to provide the ultimate skin nutrition, combining innovative technology with the age-old benefit of natural botanicals. Their practice is based in the Five Element Theory of traditional Chinese medicine: that everything in life needs to work in harmony to achieve perfect equilibrium. Each product corresponds to one of the five elements - water, fire, earth, metal and wood - and, like the food you eat or clothes you wear, rotates throughout the year based on seasonal needs.
Like us, Elemental Herbology believes that the best quality products must be made with the best quality materials, and are committed to sourcing only premium-grade ingredients from across the globe. Using an abundance of natural actives, their indulgent and high-performing products are 100% free of synthetic fragrance, color, SLS, paraben preservatives and mineral oils. With the most authentic ingredients, you’ll be looking and feeling like your most authentic self.
Elemental Herbology has been lauded in major publications such as Vogue, Cosmo, Elle, the Independent and the Guardian, receiving rave reviews and landing in several style guides. Treat yourself to this special package - it’s like a mini spa day in a box, so you can rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit from head to toe.
Traditionally thought of as the color of dominance and authority, black is often seen in corporate environments, fancy events (think black tie) and higher management. However, this dominance can also be seen as intimidating, and seems to be in decline as the main choice for men as bolder and more eccentric colors become more accepted.
There’s a reason they say blue is the warmest color. Those who wear it are seen as strong and dependable, a common choice for teachers, doctors, and others looking to foster an image of warmth and safety.
A sense of emotional passion and mystery is conveyed through red, often leading to a split in interpretation. Excitement and focus are portrayed with red, shown especially by the amount of leaders and speakers who wear it. Others think of it as a sign of rebellion, so be careful where you wear it!
Another selection for portraying passion and self-assurance, but with a much softer edge and sense of calmness than red. Pink is very effective for men, given that as a traditionally “feminine” color, one is driven to think that a man choosing to wear it must possess a high level of confidence.
An earthy color with a down-to-earth vibe. Growth and good health are two of its most telling traits (think of all the outdoor and health food companies with green logos), giving a general sense of a calm, yet confident attitude for those who wear it. Often seen on those who negotiate in business or deal with conflict management.
One of the most attention-grabbing colors, yellow socks give off a sense of fun and light-heartedness. It’s not the best choice for more traditional functions, but one of the best colors for casual events or for those who want to show off a sense of innovation and creativity.
It’s just about to be June, which means that summer is just around the corner! Late spring and early summer florals are starting to come into bloom, and all of us at Ozone have already donned a pair or two of floral socks to celebrate the season. One of our favorite collections is the Ozone Apothecary, showcasing plants known for their medicinal properties. We loved highlighting the visual beauty of these flowers on our socks and learning about their fascinating homeopathic histories. How many of these did you know about?
Perhaps the most recognizable instance of these beauties in pop culture is an endless field of them magically putting Dorothy and Toto to sleep. Yes, poppies’ function as a sedative and relaxant is well-documented -- but kind of cliché. In fact, they have much more to offer: you may have used their seeds in baking, but they can also be pressed into an oil for cooking. Dried petals are useful for herbal teas to calm respiratory ailments and can even serve as an ingredient in a homemade cough syrup.
Otherwise known as the purple Coneflower, echinacea grows wild in much of the United States in fields, forests and on roadsides. It’s one of the most common (and effective) herbal medicinals today, but it has a long history: several indigenous tribes have used the plant for the treatment and prevention of cold and flu symptoms for hundreds of years. These lovely little flowers are super easy to grow and thrive in dry conditions. Making your own tincture for cold season is just as simple!
One of today’s most popular garden flowers was an essential tool for medics in the American Civil War...who knew? Its' petals were mashed and moistened into a paste, and applied directly onto wounds to prevent infection, still a useful folk remedy today. A tea infusion made with marigold petals can also be ingested, useful for improving circulation and cleansing the body of common toxins.
Here’s one you may have seen popping up in health food stores in recent years: evening primrose seeds are frequently pressed into oils because of the high amount of GLAs (Gramm-linolenic acids) they contain, useful for hormonal imbalances and high blood pressure. Lesser known is the nutritional bounty of their root: the Cherokee tribe pulverizes it for a weight controlling tea, while others boil it like a potato, bringing out a sweet and earthy flavor.
The star-shaped blooms of the gentian are a marvelous sight, but it’s actually the root of this plant that provides its medicinal power. Sold mainly in capsules today, gentian root was historically made into a tincture and ingested as a digestive tonic, useful to calm stomach discomfort and gastrointestinal disorders. It has even been said that gentian was used in the Middle Ages as an antidote for poison! But...you might be better off just going to the ER today.
Do you have any of these flowers growing in your garden this year? Let us know in the comments!
Activities By The Water When It's Still Too Cold To Swim
It's been quite a rainy and cold spring here in New England, so the news that actual seasonable pre-summer weather will finally be arriving this week has got me raring for a visit to the beach. Admittedly, I'm far too cold blooded to take the plunge into the ocean just yet! However, spring activities abound at beaches, bays, lakes, ponds, and the coastal towns that surround them. The past few opportunities I’ve had, I grabbed my pullover and rocked Birkenstocks with my favorite aquatic socks (yes, I’m that guy) and headed out to the ocean. Here are a few things I’ve loved doing on the water this early in the season that don’t involve getting your hair wet:
(Taking a break on the docks at the bay…)
Thanks to the qualities of our own special Northeastern variety of clams, the quahog (yes, that's where the name of the town in Family Guy comes from), is plentiful year round. Hunting can be done in shallow water, so no wetsuit or full immersion is necessary. Ask a local where a good spot is (habitats can vary by beach, town, etc) and get to stomping around on the ocean floor! It's an interesting sensory experience to search for something not with your eyes, but using only your sense of touch - your feet will tell you when you've found something, as strange as that might sound. Harvest your own food is very rewarding, and the possibilities are endless with what to do with your bounty. Bake, steam, cook in a chowder, or raw on the half shell are just a few.
Having A Peak Beach Spot To Yourself
There is really nothing like zoning out to the sounds of the water. It's my preferred (and most productive) locale for reading and writing, without the typical household distractions I face at home. I'll most likely be doing this well into the summer, but at this time of year when the beaches are still fairly deserted (especially on weekdays) it provides an especially calming and rejuvenating ambience. Spaces that are often the most crowded in July and August stay wide open this early in the season. Best of all, I can fall asleep and not worry about a sunburned face when I wake up!
Hikes And Trail Runs Abound
Check your state’s DEM (Department of Environmental Management) website for coastal, lakeside or pondside trails. The first time I did, I was shocked at how many different ones there were! Oftentimes a small, quiet beach or rocky cliff area with a beautiful view awaits you at the end or along the way. Birdwatchers also revel at the impressive glimpses that the more isolated trails can provide this time of year: along the coastlines of Long Island, Connecticut and Rhode Island, the loon can can be seen mid-migration as it journeys north to New Hampshire and Maine. What can your local coastal trail offer you? In any case, make sure you've got some good bug spray or mosquito repelling socks!
What activities have you been up to as you prepare for summer? Let us know in the comments!
3 Stories That Will Make You Change The Way You Think About Socks
Like any other garment or accessory, socks follow (and set) trends. From show-stopping pairs worn by celebrities walking red carpets worldwide to which combinations are in or out, we’ve got our hands full talking about what’s on our feet. Here are a few of the biggest stories in socks this season.
“A Gentleman’s Accessory”
Whether it was industry-driven or that men just came around and learned the joy of accessorizing, men’s socks have experienced a new renaissance in popularity over the past few years. What started as using a great novelty pair to lighten the workplace mood has evolved into full-blown research suggesting that a splash of color in the wardrobe can lead to a change in others’ perception of the wearer.
This was reported in December by British luxury magazine Country Life, citing studies conducted as early as 2015, though even more relevant today as far more sock drawers are filled colorful pairs. Despite their initial hesitation, the publication admits that colorful socks can land job applicants better positions and higher pay, even going so far to argue that different colors can signify varying personality traits. Moving from scoffing to dubbing the perfect pair a “gentleman’s accessory”, such recognition proves that what you put on your feet can matter much more than you might think.
Whose Sparkle Shines Brightest?
Perhaps the biggest news in celebrity socks this season amounts to an epic “Who Wore It Better?”. Just weeks after Rihanna debuted a crystal-embellished pair from Gucci on Instagram, Jennifer Lopez posted her own portrait wearing exactly the same ones. Both women wear them well, and point to a larger implication that sparkly socks best round out an ensemble when they’re front and center, completely visible. Kendall Jenner first gained recognition last year on the Cannes red carpet wearing sheers and sandals, and the sparkle trend shines on our feet and in the market.
We Still Can’t Agree About Socks And Sandals
It’s as controversial a fashion choice as the fanny pack: You love it or you hate it, and there’s hardly any space in between. We even wrote our own piece on it last year! Vogue just published a new article confirming that the debate lives on as lively as ever, highlighting polarizing takes in the fashion world ranging from “do it, but do it well” to “don’t ever do it.” The latter seems impossible at this point; red carpets are flooded with the look (see the photos in Vogue), and it seems like models have taken after the former opinion and learned to move the trend from embarrassing dad to chic acquired taste.
Can a simple change like wearing cooler socks change the way you think about somebody? Which celebrity wore sparkles the best? Should socks and sandals be widespread or banned forever? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Foundation of Superior Quality For Each and Every Style
There are plenty of great-looking socks on the market, but not all great looking socks are created equal. We pride ourselves on the attention to detail we put into each of our designs, but put just as much emphasis on using cottons that will make for the best looking - and feeling - sock. The production process for our cotton socks follows three guidelines: prioritizing long fibers, using specialized stitching for a cleaner looking product, and a commitment to ethics.
Length Is Strength
It’s a simple connection: in order to create the best quality socks, we need to source the best quality materials. When it comes to the cottons that are used for our products, we don’t give you the short end of the stick: we choose long fiber, as opposed to shorter, less durable counterparts. Several cultivars of cotton exist, but those with longer fibers fade and wrinkle less, and make a more seamless garment that will continue to feel comfortable for years to come. Most of our socks utilize a blend of high-quality long fiber cottons, while our basics collection is made completely from Pima cotton. Pima holds the record for the longest thread available in fashion textiles - akin to the luxurious comfort of Egyptian fiber sheets.
Not Just What They’re Made Of, But How They’re Made
The mills that Ozone partners with use precision technology in their stitching, showing an attention to detail in the production process that is often eschewed by other companies to cut costs or put quantity over quality. Most notably, a technique known as the pointed toe is applied to make the garment appear and feel more seamless, which also minimizes the potential for frays and tears over time. Our mills’ choice to use long fiber cottons, paired with this seamless stitch, makes for a garment that emphasizes the textile’s best attributes of comfort and durability.
Fair Trade: A Commitment To Ethics
At Ozone, we believe that doing good is just as important as looking good. That’s why we make sure to partner with production facilities which operate under Fair Trade practices in sourcing their textiles. Not sure what that means? In short, it ensures that farmers continue to receive a fair, and more importantly, stable price for their cotton in an unstable economy. The Fair Trade Foundation reports that “the price of cotton has slumped in the past 30 years, even though the cost of producing it has risen,” meaning that small farmers across the world are struggling to survive despite working the same amount, if not more.
So maybe you've just been gifted a whole bunch of new socks for the holidays. Perhaps you gifted yourself some new socks. Or it's just about time you added reorganizing your drawers to your growing list of New Years resolutions. But how to begin such an undertaking? There are so many socks...will there ever be order? Here are a few ways we've come up with to help you tackle this task.
Think of your sock drawer like an artist’s palette, with colors neatly laid out for you to choose from. Besides being perhaps the most visually pleasing way to keep everything organized, it's also the best way to quickly find the perfect match for the rest of your outfit. The possibilities for this one are endless: lay them out in the order of a rainbow, darks versus lights, primary and secondary colors...okay, you get the idea.
For those with an extensive shoe collection, this way of organizing could be your saving grace. Know that all your knee-highs are together to match your favorite boots, and your no-shows will show right up when you need them. Separating by size never fails to keep you covered - figuratively and literally.
You separate your work shirts from your t-shirts, so why not your socks? Keep your warmest styles close together for the coldest days, hold a hidden collection of dazzling favorites for special occasions, and pick the pairs that have everyone at the office doing a double take.
How do you keep your sock drawer organized? Let us know below!
It’s one of those bad laundry days: you open up the dryer and your clothes look crinkled and shrunken. You feel betrayed by the ad you saw for your fancy detergent. A few white socks you accidentally tossed in have turned a strange brown. Worst of all, you can only find the left side of your favorite pair.
The experience of wearing shrunken socks isn’t too comfortable, bunched up in places and too loose in others, a far cry from the glorious first time you wore them. We’ve all encountered this situation, but lucky for you, we’ve got some handy tips to keep your Ozone Socks from shrinking.
Nylon is one of the more damage-susceptible textiles when it comes to machine laundering, so handwashing our sheer socks (and even some of our more delicate men’s dress socks) can ensure maximum longevity. Use a delicate soap or detergent and treat them with care. Pressure is only really needed when removing stains or blemishes.
A wool sweater can shrink several sizes in one mistaken washing, and beware: socks can do the same! Use the gentlest setting on your washing machine, making sure to use only cold water and a detergent suitable for wool. Also take note that unless they are getting noticeably dirty or smelly, you can go through several times wearing your wool pairs before they need to be laundered.
Not Too Hot For Cotton, Either
Our cotton socks can easily tolerate machines, but washing and drying them on a lower setting is preferable to prevent both shriveling and fading of colors. Use warm or cool water (a delicate detergent is great, though not necessary), a low tumble dry, and they’ll be good as new every time.
Hang Dry If You Can!
The high heat of dryers will keep the socks from retaining their elasticity, those with a higher nylon content. Small drying racks are cheap and readily available online, even ones that slip over your door for easy storage!
Keep Socks Neatly Folded
...and put away in their own drawer! Keeping your socks neatly folded allows the textiles to breathe, and gives a noticeably more smooth and comfortable feeling when you first slip them on, opposed to grabbing a pair from a pile. The Konmari technique of folding is worth adapting, which allows socks to easily stand up straight in the drawer. You’ll thank yourself later - how nice will to know exactly where the match for your favorite pairs are?
‘Tis the season for socks! We all know that it feels just as good to give a gift that somebody really loves as to receive one, and nothing makes a better stocking stuffer than actual stockings. But with the holidays so close, who has time for endless searching? Lucky for you, we’ve done some of the heavy lifting and put together this handy gifting guide to direct you to the perfect pair for everybody on your nice list.
For your most fashion-forward friends, we recommend our sheer socks as an elegant gift they will never forget. Keep it classic with a simple stripe for adding elegance to any occasion, or give them something to dazzle a crowd - try electrifying Sheer Circuitry or blooming Sheer Rose.
The Outdoor Adventurer
Consider Ozone’s Anti-Mosquito socks as a fun and functional offering to hikers, bikers, backpackers, fishermen and more. Not only will they look great, but you’ll also be giving the gift of a bite-free outdoor experience due to the hypoallergenic repellent woven into the fibers of each pair. Best of all, they’re guaranteed for 50 washes (so they should last at least until next holiday season!).
The Dapper Dude
When it comes to the men in your life who dress to impress, our Japanese-made dress socks will create a new sock drawer staple. They’ll be his go-to for work, events and more, with unbeatable comfort and quality from silky soft nylon and cotton. The constellations of Sky Signs will make him look like a true star, and the shocking Circuit Break will give the power-up that he’s been missing.
If your artsy friends and family are anything like the design team here at Ozone, then bold colors and daring design are the way to go. Help them to blossom forth in their creativity with a bouquet of Apothecary florals, shine bright with sparkly Lurex, or rock a Cubist Composition that would make Picasso proud.
The One Who Already Has Everything
We all have a few of these people on our lists: what to get for somebody who seems to already have it all? Our versatile Pima cotton basics are a great choice for men and women alike, a simple luxury so comfortable, they’ll never want to take their socks off. Or, try one of our best-selling novelty designs: make Boot Knife or Autobug their new secret weapon, map out new style with the Transit collection, or harness one of the Four Elements.
~Ben LoPiccolo - Content Creator for Ozone Design
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