Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Casual: Anything but Trainers, Please

Steve Jobs announced the iPad today.  He was wearing Dad Jeans and...sneakers.  Generic "cross-trainer" athletic shoes.  "Trainers," as they call them across the pond.  This image, thanks to Engadget:

Look, I can't stop you from wearing Dad Jeans to the grocery store.  I know you're going to do it no matter what I say here.  I see you do it every time I go to the grocery store.  There are dozens of you.  Sometimes, you don't even wear Dad Jeans with your trainers--you just wear sweatpants.  Fine.  Wear sweatpants.  I'm sure you won't meet your soulmate at the grocery store.  (Definitely not if you're wearing sweatpants.)

But.  Please do not wear trainers anywhere but the gym.  You are so much more thoughtful than that.  I just know it.

You don't have to wear cap-toes.  They can even be $40 Chuck Taylors, which are half the price as your trainers and will last longer.  In fact, I actively endorse white Chuck Taylor low-tops as a go-to knockabout shoe for blue jeans.  They have a nice foot-lengthening effect, and the blues coordinate.

Go to the DSW or the department store or wherever and get you some Steve Madden casual shoes.  They're comfortable.  I promise.  They're stylish.  Take the step.  Don't look back.  And save the trainers for the company softball game.


  1. 1. Steve Jobs can wear whatever he wants. The guy had a freaking liver transplant. Give him a break.

    2. Chuck Taylors are a crime against nature. They are hideously ugly, wretchedly uncomfortable, and frankly why in the world are you going for a "foot-lengthening" effect? That's insane. I am sure your feet are plenty long. Stop worrying about the length of your feet. It's demeaning.

    3. If you're not British, don't use British slang. It makes you sound desperate for rain and shitty food.

  2. If we can agree on nothing else, we can agree that the impression one makes is based largely on one's choices and the care taken in executing those choices. While reasonable people can disagree about liver transplants and Chuck Taylors, reasonable people cannot disagree about the pretension inherent in adopting slang from across the Atlantic.

    Someone as image-conscious as yourself must know that, wonderful as "Lucky Star" and "Vogue" are, there are surely aspects of Madonna's persona we wouldn't want for ourselves. High among them have to be the English accents that crept into her very American tongue.

    Am I your father? I can't rule it out 100%, but it's doubtful. I am all too happy to dispense a touch of fatherly advice in warning you away from the faux-jolly-old. Consider it repayment for the lovely advice you dispense on this blog.

  3. Certainly. I used "trainers" as a stylistic convention for the purpose of the post because in Americanese, Chucks and cross-trainers are both called "sneakers" or "tennis shoes".

    Perhaps we should go ahead and adopt "trainers", goofy as it is (don't you hate when they twee-shorten a word, like "electric" to "leccy"?), because it's efficient and precise.

    Glad you find the advice lovely. Thanks for reading.


Questions, comments, and style ideas welcome, provided they are expressed respectfully.