I’ve spent a lot of years wearing nothing but Adidas Sambas. They’re the most versatile shoes in the world and they fit with most aspects of my lifestyle (eskrima, baristing, weight lifting, walking around talking to strangers), but there comes a time in every young man’s life when he must step outside of his comfort zone. That time came for me in the middle of 2012, when I started to pay close attention to what I wore and how I was wearing it.
Whether we like it or not, our clothes are an extension of ourselves. They are one of the first things you will find yourself noticing about someone you have just met, and it’s only natural that we use what someone is wearing to make snapshot judgements about who or what that person is.
I don’t like to be pigeonholed. I like to be confusing and mysterious and hard to figure out. If I was going to portray that in my wardrobe I would have to stop looking like a stereotypical Murakami loving barista and start branching out in my attire. One of the first broad strokes I decided to paint on my new image was the shoes that I’d be wearing. Sure, down the line, I’ll probably develop a much more keen eye to the make and style of my loafers but to start out I needed something simple and straightforward. Sharp enough to add gravitas to my appearance but rugged enough that I could get them dirty, wear them with slim grey jeans and a t shirt without looking weird, and not feel bad when I discovered my comrade Cicero sleeping on them in the morning.
I ended up going with a pair I found on asos.com that were made by River Island. I don’t remember exactly what I spent, but probably close to $80. For me that seemed like a lot for shoes, since I typically just replace my beat up Adidas with a new pair of Adidas every couple of years and being the thrifty (and Dutch) man that I am, I always get them at incredible discounts.
Bare in mind, before making any purchases for my new wardrobe I spent a lot of time doing my homework on it. I’m an information junkie anyway and I spend a lot of time reading on subjects that will most likely never benefit me in a real world sense, so if I can dedicate hours a week to learning Filipino martial arts, reading philosophy, studying Latin, and learning about Neanderthal genetics I figured I should be able to dedicate a few hours a week to reading style blogs and learning about what is good and what isn’t so I can improve myself. So far, my favorite site to go to is www.fashionbeans.com. The information they have is all really down to earth and I haven’t felt like they subscribe to any extremist fashion behaviors – which, incidentally, way too many fashion and style blogs do. In fact, as an aside, I’d like to take a moment to laugh condescendingly at the blogs out there that refuse to discuss anything less extreme than Williamsburg hipsters wearing clothes no normal man could ever fathom himself owning. Those blogs bathe in their own irrelevance and towel dry in their self celebratory idiocy. Condescending laugh over. Anyway.
I like these shoes. I wear them just about all the time, except for when I’m working out or fighting. I even wear them when I cook and make badass pour over coffee.