“I’m a young associate (24) at an investment firm. Most of my colleagues are “Suits” — all day, all night. However, I don’t want to age myself before my time, and I don’t want to completely conform to the environment I’m in. What kinds of options do I have as far as leisure footwear are concerned?” – Wally Streetwear, NYC (Harlem)
Not to stress big homie. With Jay having convinced everyone that 30’s the new 20 over a year ago, I’m pretty sure the whole “aging” thing has halted to a stand still. None the less, I can empathize with the fear of letting Corporate America stifle your God-given right to self expression through fashion. They say the clothes don’t make the man, but they sure as hell make the man believable. Now when it comes to “leisure footwear”, one must beware the relativity of the word “leisure”. Are you headed to a Super Bowl party, reuniting with some college friends post grad, or escorting a lovely young lady on a promising first hurrah? Form must always fit the function (unless your swag’s on a hundred thousand trillion) and less is always more. Aim for a core comprised of business casual, casual, and what I call, urban chic.
- Business casual = $dressy enough to wear to the office; versatile enough to be dressed down. Think: Johnston & Murphy, Cole Haan, Kenneth Cole.
- Casual = lace ups; fly enough to wear out; not dressy enough to wear to work. Think: Sperry, Rockport, Cole Haan.
- Urban Chic = sneakers too fly to do anything but rock while you’re out just trying to be seen. Think: Creative Recs, ALIFE, Nike SB.
Remember this is by no means dogma nor are the brands etched in stone as your only options. Think of this as something similar to a template in Microsoft Word; you wouldn’t submit a template to your boss as your finished project….and neither should you head to your nearest hipster outlet (PEDX for me here in Canton) and ask for the latest pair of SBs. Use this to establish a firm base, then apply your own distinctive creativity. What ever you do, make it believably yours.
~ The CS