Why it’s warm inside my boots

I love living in a four-season climate, but I don’t love being cold. This winter I’ve been working on making myself warm in ways that don’t make me look like a marshmallow. Don’t get me wrong, I know there will still be some days I can’t avoid looking like this. But I’m determined to look like the Michelin man as few days as possible this winter. As it gets colder I hope to do a post on how I’m layering to keep warm.

One trick I’ve learned to help keep the cold away from stocking- or tights-clad legs is socks hidden inside boots.

And now, my boots (this pair are Miss L Fire Havanas) hold a warm little secret tucked inside.

Because I knit wool ankle socks. Store bought cotton socks don’t cut it when it’s cold. Wool wicks moisture and retains heat at the same time.

Since no one can see them, why shouldn’t they be pink and black stripes with silver sparkles?

Of course the answer is naturally, they should be.

(the silver sparkles kind of read as white bits in the photos, sorry)

Knitting socks is very satisfying. They’re a great project to take on the go (even small enough to stuff in some vintage purses), they work up relatively quick even on tiny needles, and are good projects for confident beginners. There are tons of free basic sock patterns out there for every weight of yarn, and you’ll even find sock patterns in many vintage knitting booklets.

The yarn I used was self-striping, so no extra ends to weave in to make all those stripes! Look online and you’ll find tons of dyers creating self-striping yarn. For the ribbing, heels and toes I just used plain black, in a nylon/merino/cashmere blend because a) it adds a bit more warmth but mostly because b) that’s what I had in my stash.

Remember if you plan to wear socks inside your boots, look for boots a half or full size larger than you’d normally wear so your feet aren’t cramped. Maybe even bigger if you want extra thick socks.

Don’t knit? Buy washable wool socks. It’s hard to find ones that don’t have a longer cuff, but they do exist, like these by SmartWool. Or simply fold the cuff down. If they tend to sneak back up, use tiny safety pins. If you can’t quite hide them in your boots and are wearing dark opaque tights, try putting them on underneath, it may not be noticeable that way.

Don’t suffer cold toes for the sake of vintage fashion! Frostbite isn’t attractive in any era.

Stay tuned later this week for a free vintage sock pattern so you can quickly knit up your own!

Filed: Knitting, Vintage Wardrobe

Tagged: , ,

Golly, 38 Comments!

  • I am in love with the main pair of boots in this post! Can you share a resource for them? I’m assuming they are not vintage, but I could be wrong :) – regardless, they are presh :)

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  • Loving all of your winter boots. I’d love to get some like that but I’m afraid I would end up getting pavement or falling on my butt. Then my husband would never stop nagging me.
    Since moving to a colder, drier climate I have truly come to appreciate wool. I’ve knitted some wool gloves and love them. Next on my list is boot liners and socks. I’m also working on making a longer length jacket to keep the cold air out.

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  • Aren’t they the best boot, I’ve got them in Green.

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  • Love this socks … and I also have to knit them … because I have the same boots. ;-) What a great idea.

    Hugs Steffi

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  • I hope to be knitting socks some day soon! Yours look great! So warm and fun :) And yes those boots are amazing!!! Can you spill the secret as to where you found them?

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    • Sorry I forgot to mention but they are (sadly sold out) Miss L Fire Havanas! They have the best (though spendy) cold-weather footwear. I am always looking for winter-ish footwear that has a vintage appeal since you can’t have enough around here. Still have to conquer the “it’s so disgusting anything nice will get ruined, only rubber soles will work and anything short isn’t tall enough” department. Um, I doubt that one will happen. lol

      I thought about you when I said confident beginners! :D

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  • Aww those shoes! So adorable!

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  • I tried to get a pair of the Havanas before they sold out but unfortunately I have a huge foot and all they had were tiny sizes at the time. =(

    I wear socks with my boots all the time because if my feet are cold, everything on me gets cold. I even sit at work with a heater underneath my desk. lol

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  • Fab secret sock action! I love the idea of self-striping wool – thanks for the tip.

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  • Oh, how I wish I could knit socks! It’s the only thing I really want to knit! But I am not a confident beginner, I am a hesitant beginner and very slow knitter…

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  • I love sock knitting! Further, I love wearing my handknit socks! Oh, and your boots are CUTE! Headed to check them out now.

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  • Just when I’ve resigned myself to the fact that pretty shoes are reserved for warm weather only – you accomplish the impossible and find a cute and semi (okay maybe slightly) practical pare of winter boots. Here I am stomping around in Uggs like a slob. Just my luck they’re sold out :(

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  • I’m someone else who loves to knit socks. Look forward to the seeing your pattern. Thanks in advance.

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  • I love this! I find it pretty easy to dress in the summer (a sundress and pair of wedges works pretty much every day), but winter throws me for a loop every time. I’m not sure why I never thought of whipping up a pair of little wool socks like these- I pretty much always have a pair or two of socks on my needles! I guess I know what my next project is…

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  • How great! I’ve always been a bit scared of socks but maybe I’ll have to try some of these ankle socks. I hate having cold feet all winter!

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  • Omg I HATE the cold too! Well any extreme weather actually-I dont it too hot either-such an old lady I know hehehe They look sooo cute and glad you have a little secret in your boots heheh pink with sparkles rock! xox

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  • I am in love with Miss-L-Fire shoes, those boots in particular. I’m just not sure they make them big enough for my ginormous feet, (I’m a US 11).

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  • Those boots are SO lovely!!! Love the little socks too :-)

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  • OMG YOUR SHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOES.

    I want all of them like whoa.

    Love those delightful little socks too – so fun and sparkly and a perfect contrast to the grey winter days!

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  • Such cute little socks! :) I have yet to learn how to knit socks but many of the patterns I’ve seen create thick chunky socks. Yours, the knit is so small they look machine made! I haven’t learned to knit in the round yet, maybe 2013 will see it happen.

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  • What my friend calls ‘secret socks’ :)

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  • So cute! Both the socks and the shoes. :)

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  • What a lovely pair you’ve got! Wow. Really beautiful, vintage look and stylish!
    And yes – socks are big helpers in saving the warmness :)

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  • Uggggggh, I love the Havanas! Too bad Miss L Fire doesn’t even go up to my size :-(

    They look darling on you though!

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  • Love the socks, they are supercute! And all your wintershoes are adorable =)
    This would be very good trick for fall/spring around here! During winter only stockings isn’t really an option (cotton thights, thick overknee legwarmers, wool bloomers, and boots that can handle -30 C. Sometimes I kind of wished I lived somewhere a bit warmer…). Bur for fall/spring wool socks could be the trick to wearing finer stockings! Got to try it =)

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  • So lovely! Both the socks and the shoes.

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  • Oh my stars, how I adore these boots – and the other pairs in the last photo, too. I really do believe a similar pair of vintage approprite winter boots is topping my (likely to ever have a snowball’s chance of actually finding) vintage wish list this year. They were there last year as well, to no avail (not being able to buy shoes online very successfully because you have oddly high arches and slightly uneven sized feet does not help much, I’m the first to admit), and will remain in the spot until, come hell or high water, they are found!

    Thank you for sharing your stellar winter boots with us – as well as the sock tip, that’s ones I’ve been doing my whole life up here in snowy Canada, too.

    ♥ Jessica

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  • Woah! I love low cut knittet socks! My granny and mom have made some for me years ago and i keep fixing their holes over and over again, can’t live without them!

    And the colors are awesome!

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  • I am loving the pink sparkles in particular!

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  • Great idea!! I’ll be excited about checking out your pattern. I’ve been wanting to knit myself some socks! But the big story here is THOSE BOOTS! Gah! Super boot envy happening over here. They’re divine.

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  • I often wear hand knit knee socks, cute and warm. I like your socks and boots. Stay warm!

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  • This sounds perfect for my cold piggies! Thank you.
    Glad to have found you, fellow vintage lover,
    Jamie

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  • These are the most darling boots ever! How I wish I had normal sized feet….

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  • those socks are so adorable.and I just love those boots.

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