Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Across the Converse

So yesterday I bought my first Chucks. (Converse's canvas Chuck Taylors, for those of you not in the know.) I've been contemplating buying them for a while because a) my Sketchers have for some reason decided to detach themselves from their soles, and b) they have proven to be the best shoes for running away from scary alien baddies.

The ones I really wanted are these blue high-top ones with the Union Jack on the back, but, as I hadn't seen them the last time I was at the mall, I had pretty much already counted on having to settle for just the plain kind, preferably in dark purple or navy. Alas, Journeys only had the solid color high-tops in red, white, and black--the former two screaming "I'm dressing like Doctor Who!" a little too loudly for my taste. But I fell in love with and eventually had to bring home a pair of brown and pink plaid low-tops. It was a hard decision because the black high-tops looked pretty snazzy. In fact, I may have to go back for them. High-tops are perfect for Iowa winters, right?

Now, I'm not exactly on the cutting edge of cool, so it surprised me that Chucks seem to be everywhere. Four other stores had them, and this is Coralville we're talking about here, so imagine how ubiquitous they must be at a real mall. And I don't think this is just a case of me not noticing them before. (Rather like the time I went all over the place looking for a pair of Doc Marten boots when they were right in the window of the Woodfield Journeys.) For one thing, the high school girl who sold me my low-tops assured me that she wears hers all the time, and that her little sister has, like, five pairs. And second, there were several pairs wedged between all the Harry Potter and Twilight merch at Hot Topic, a sure sign the kids are down with the Chucks.

But why so popular? And why now? The first thing that came to my mind is that David Tennant has become a fashion icon. But surely that can't be. After all, as a nerd who stars as a bit of a nerd on what is arguably the nerdiest of all nerd shows, Tennant is King of the Nerds. (Speaking of Tennant and nerds, I never realized just how accurate those action figures can be. They even got the two stripes on the white Chucks right!) There must be another explanation. Or are we suddenly taking our fashion inspiration from science fiction? What's next? Leia buns? Unitards?

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