Friday, January 21, 2011

Do My Clothes Define Me?

I was confronted last week by a weird exchange that led me to start questioning what I kind of already surmised. That being, we are judged everyday by the items we choose to put on our backs.

In this case, it was what I put on my feet.

I love Converse shoes. I guess they are called Chuck Taylors now or All Stars. However, back in the day, they were just Converse. I like them for the way they look, primarily. I've liked them since I was in high school, and have owned pairs since then in various colours. Yes, they are comfy too and easy to slip on and off. They look hip and funky to me, though. That's the draw. They just aesthetically appeal.

However, the other day, someone commented, "Hey, nice kicks!" I just nodded a thanks. They then went on to ask me what music I was into and what bands, being in a band themselves.

Umm?? Top 40?

Guess that's not the answer most Converse wearing chicks give? I am pretty sure dude was highly disappointed. Do only edgy, alternative loving people wear Converse? I mean, I'm an almost 40 year old Mom, too. Am I not cool enough, in general, to wear these sneakers?

That led me to thinking that to the outside world, concepts and opinions about our persons are formed by the image we present by our clothing. As I primarily wear jeans, hoodies and Converse, the image must be of cougar trying to be hip? Ex-hipster? I'm not really either of those things. When I was growing up, I was more a "prep" (the label of the day) wearing Tretorns, tapered Levi's cords and jeans and anything Benetton or Esprit I could get my hands on. Well, or my Mom's wallet on. I just like my Converse. The same way as others just like their Doc Marten's, to this day. What does that say about THEM?

It must really trip people out to see me with my Converse and my Coach purse. I wonder what they think about that dichotomy!


  1. When I was in high school I obsessed over brand names - we didn't have the money to be outfitted in the latest hot trends, and you just weren't cool unless you had a swoosh plastered across your ass.
    It's a shame that brands somehow identify our personalities - I'm almost swooshless to this day, and I don't feel that I'm missing anything.

  2. I agree! I choose things that I like, simply because I like them. I find it strange when a certain article invokes a response that I hadn't even considered-like the music/bands one.
    I think if we all stay true to what makes us feel comfortable and like our "true selves" the name on the tag doesn't, and shouldn't, matter.