Saturday, October 17, 2015

Keep it up

Since I decided that over-the-knee socks are cool, I've acquired 4 pairs and worn most of them a few times. I still like the look, but I have a major problem with them: they're always falling down!

Once upon a time, I read about a potential solution: body adhesive, which is basically just a glue you apply directly to your skin that helps clothing stay put. I found some "It-Stays" body adhesive on Amazon and put it in my cart, but the prices kept going up and up and up, and I just wasn't excited about spending 9-ish dollars on 2 ounces of product that may not even work.

Five months after originally adding it to my wishlist, I still hadn't made the purchase, and I started thinking about alternative methods of sock fixation. I've had some luck with safety-pinning rubber bands to the insides of my fabric thigh-high boots, but they tend to leave painful indentations around my legs. 

So when I stumbled across a can of all-purpose spray adhesive in my craft supplies (the one I've been using ever since for all sorts of fashion DIYs), I wondered if it might just do the trick.

Now the first caveat is the can of spray adhesive is covered with warnings, including "May cause eye, skin and upper respiratory irritation." and "Avoid skin or eye contact." That might be enough to scare off anyone with a little sense, but I've failed to avoid skin contact with plenty of chemicals, and none of them have killed me or even irritated my skin, so I decided to give it a shot anyway. I started with a little patch test around my ankle. I sprayed the glue on and left it all day, and did not see any sign of irritation.

So the next time I wore thigh-high socks, I sprayed a little ring of adhesive right above my knee, waited for it to get tacky, and then pulled on my sock. I didn't wear any adhesive on the other leg, and sure enough, by the time I got to the bus stop, the unglued sock had slipped below my knee, but the glued one was still riding high! So while at the office, I sprayed up the other leg in a similar fashion.

At the end of the day, here's how my socks looked. Pretty pristine, eh?

The downside (in addition to the inherent health risks which I've already shrugged off) of using spray adhesive to hold up my socks was that it just kept on holding. Long after the socks were removed, I still had patches of glue on my legs. The body adhesive is said to wash off with soap and water, but soap did nothing for the spray adhesive I tried. Even rubbing it with nail polish remover proved ineffective. Eventually I discovered that Oops!, a stronger removal product, had a much better effect, and that WD-40, while it didn't remove all the adhesive, at least removed some and left my skin somewhat slippery to cancel out the effects of the remaining goop.

So, you can get whole household-sized bottles of all of these products for under 4 dollars, or you can pay 9 and up for 2 ounces of the official stuff. The choice is yours.

I actually conducted this experiment early last spring, but waited to post it because I wanted to try other strategies. I'm thinking of looking around at the craft shops for maybe a slightly more washable glue, and also of trying a simple sugar-water mixture, since that stuff washes off easily, but we all know how sticky it is when dry! I haven't gotten around to that, but since sock season is here again, I expect the time will be soon. I'll be sure to share any solutions that work!

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