I pride myself on maintaining a certain taste level in my day-to-day life — I like to call it elevated merch-wear, accumulated after several Yeezy and Bieber merch splurges. But at the end of the day, there is a polish in silhouette that makes it work for the office. With footwear, in particular, my chosen pair any given day is rarely arbitrary and I’ve accumulated a large working arsenal of Adidas sneakers (mostly white), boots, and slides that satisfy my minimalist tendencies.
So when I first reported the incoming Crocs trend that emerged on Christopher Kane’s stellar spring 2017 runway, I greeted the look with some ill feelings. Talk about clashing with my clean-and-simple outlook! But on the other hand, the seamless way Kane interpreted them paired with his exceptional wears led me to believe incorporating them into my own wardrobe wouldn’t be as difficult as I’d imagined. And let’s face it, I love a good fashion challenge. So, for the sake of research, I decided to test drive the trend for a week at Glamour, where I’m associate fashion writer.
Obviously, I reached for the good old rubber Crocs, as Kane did for his show, along with Birkenstock’s clog-like version that Collina Strada designer Hillary Taymour used for her spring 2017 presentation. The look? Think what Heidi would wear while yodeling on a hill circa athleisure-centric 2017, but on acid. When crafting a week’s worth of outfits, I decided that the only pant shape really complements the shoe is my pair of vintage Levi’s cropped wide-leg jeans (also very 2017). This way, I’d show plenty of ankle and have plenty of volume in the leg to offset the round shape of the shoe. I’d explain further, but what transpired really needs to be seen to be believed. In many ways, I felt more chic than ever — and in others, I felt like a dumpster fire.
As you can imagine, I got a lot of side glances, shady up-downs, snickers. A kid on the street even a pointed and laughed. Those reactions would cause anyone to second guess their decision to pull such an irreverent style move, but it only fueled my (dumpster) fire even further. When it comes to fashion, if people look at you like you’re doing something wrong, you’re probably doing it so right. Just after my face-off with that kid, I passed by a fellow editor friend from Teen Vogue who praised my footwear choice. In my eyes, I was nailing the ugly-pretty trend that Christopher Kane and Hillary from Collina Strada were getting at — the same one Demna Gvsalia has perfected to an artform for Balenciaga and his own streetwear label, Vetements. Come spring, I think I’ll likely swap out my monochromatic slides for some jazzy Crocs as my easy-chic shoe. Some may call it gauche, but I call it grand.
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