Monday, 14 September 2009

Fashionably Hate: The shoe-and-jeans combo

Guest Manfleteer Neil Sanderson lays into the staple wardrobe of the City boy on his day off: the combination of scruffy jeans and posh shoes.

I am not the most fashionable guy, but I found a style I liked back in my late teens and have stuck to it ever since.

My main beef is that the fashion choice for men is dire. And as you get on in age it only gets harder to choose something that doesn’t scream out Velcro shoes and elastic waist trousers you can get from those awful mail order catalogues you get through the post box.

I have a crippling dislike of the shoe-and-jean combo sported by most men aged nineteen and above. They seem to believe it looks smart but I cannot see what could be more uneducated than deciding to wear a pair of polished black or brown leather shoes with a pair of jeans (normally stonewash) that are slightly frayed at the back. You end up looking like a tit. One that has spent most of his money on flash Italian loafers, and was left with only enough to purchase some already shredded jeans to go with them.

The men who commit this fashion faux pas inevitably seem to be self-assured arseholes who are convinced of their flashy looks and swan around pubs and clubs thinking they look just like a bloody Topshop nonce or something. It is almost as if they cannot get away from the uniform of starchy suits they wear to their City jobs and therefore cannot bear the idea of dressing comfortably. Maybe to put on trainers, jeans and a t-shirt is slumming it too much and should only ever be adopted if attending Bestival or any other posh-as-the-hills festival.

Now some of these people would argue that it is a sign of wealth to maintain a pair of shoes with all kinds of attire but should they venture to find a rather fetching pair of trainers, which can cost upward of a hundred pounds if they want something more elaborate. And I don’t mean the faceless hiking-style trainer worn by many a thin-lipped, high-brow intellectual, but a decent pair of sports brand trainers. Nike, Puma, Reebok, Adidas, Vans and many others have all collaborated many times with fashion powerhouses to design one-off trainers that are very expensive and hip to the Nth degree.

Cutting a long rant short I think it is high time men broke out a few more styles of their own and allowed themselves to be different, without advertising/peer pressure confining them to a certain look that projects success. A culture of fashion among men that is entirely without order may well be quite refreshing, and wandering down your nearest high street would open up a whole new avenue of choice.

But saying that, if it all went too far we could end up looking like clowns for hire.

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