ladies timberland nellie boots How old is too old to wear Converse
There are certain sartorial mainstays that, as we age, slip by the wardrobe wayside. Not because they necessarily questionable in their style panache, but what was passable as a student no longer quite cuts it as a thirtysomething professional. Ripped jeans, wrist bracelets and festival neons were merry and joyful down the union bar; less so on a Clapham dad who looks like he searching for a later life gap year.
So it was with a dawning sense of horror that I recently found myself being given a serious dressing down by my teenage niece and nephew for daring to wear the same Converse as them, as if they had discovered that they had the same wardrobe staples as the Crypt Keeper. Perhaps the most democratic casual shoes ever invented, I long regarding my trusty Converse as timeless style wingmen; minimalist, seamlessly blending with everything, trusty fail safes. Apparently not. Apparently an ever more prevalent, snowy thicket of grey hair, pension plan and inability to care who or what a Biffy Clyro is marks me as thoroughly past it.
While I not sure if I fully concede with the Doig juniors view that Converse are for the young, is there an age at which a man needs to rethink his off duty footwear? It a question that perhaps raises its head (or heel) more in summer, when a cavalcade of curious half breed shoes appears; trainer esque casual shoes with Velcro straps, orthopaedic sandals and rancid flip flops that should have been left on Koh Samui back in 1999.
As a chap notches up the decades, how should his casual shoes adapt?
I not quite ready to wave the white flag over my trusty Converse just yet, but perhaps the type of Converse calls for a rethink. Standard issue white Chuck Taylors might be a no brainer, but as they age and weather the appeal is slightly lost. Dirty, yellowing, cracked and frayed might hold a certain insouciant charm for the young buck who freewheels between festivals and slam poetry pop ups (or whatever it is teenagers do these days) when not working on weekends at Urban Outfitters,
but on a man past thirty it looks a tad ramshackle.
The Jack Purcell (cleaner, more minimalist than Chuck Taylor) in sleek black or blue are a smarter, more sophisticated bet.
Victim x Converse Jack Purcell trainers
2. Avoid extraneous detailing
Trainer connoisseurs will point you to specialist Nike Air Zooms and one off adidas Originals, but tread carefully. A sleek pair of adidas Originals in a solid block of colour are neat and preppy, but don be seduced by brands that riddle trainers in mesh, perforation holes and tri colour go faster stripes. Leave lavish bells and whistles for the folly of youth.
3. Be wary of the It Trainer
Fashion brands have cottoned on to the trainer phenomenon, with the irony being that the men who can afford to spend 400 upwards on a pair of shoes are unlikely to opt for a youth centric trainer in high vis day glo. But there we are. Cult fashion trainers from Valentino and Lanvin are handsome and thoroughly elegant the latter comes in butter soft, richly coloured suede and patent leather, the former in painterly patterns but scuffs, mud splashes and puddles will turn a five minute walk into a daredevil gauntlet if you concerned about sullying a luxe pair of trainers.
4. Give it the slip
Slip on shoes garner a questionable reputation. First the comfortable slip on shoes, then comes the day slippers, then before you know it the commode is your best friend. But certain brands are prising the slip on out of grandfatherly hands and reinventing them into sleek, cool footwear options; Bottega Veneta, Lanvin and Marc Jacobs if you in a particularly luxurious mood, or neat, classic Vans if you somewhat more price conscious.
Classic black Vans
5. Warm weather solutions
As any chap who attempted casual footwear as the mercury rises can attest, summer is a tricky time; trainers feel claustrophobic, but are you ready to unleash the full horror of your gnarled, hairy trotters in flip flops on an unsuspecting public? Opt for easy espadrilles instead; classic solid colour numbers from Toms hint at Riviera dash and are brilliantly breathable,
while covering up your carbuncles and greying toenails.