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Page 2 in the conversation "Cons vs Stans : Rockers/Artists vs Preps/Jocks" by
Another Cons/Docs girl, almost stereotypically. Have been a theatre and lit person since forever, actor, slam poet, ended up majoring in Political Science as I did a lot of community organizing and activism in college, then grew up and became an English teacher. Wearing mismatched Chucks (two different colors) was a signature for me for a long time.
Tried Stans earlier this year -- they look ridiculous on me. The last time I wore Adidas was elementary school, when the Samba was really popular, but I ended up being more into Vans and skater shoes for most of my childhood (I've always loved a slip-on sneaker, was just thinking of writing a post about that!). I secretly liked the idea of brightly colored Pumas in high school, but never took the plunge. I do know some hipster-musician types now who wear Gazelles really well. The only people I know who wear Stans are very sporty and into the gym and wear a lot more make-up than I do -- so I think your theory bears out, Lisap.
Now I mostly wear Blundstones and barefoot sneakers. So I don't know what that makes me.
Minimalist: These sneakers were big signals in high school, for sure, but not so much any more as an adult. (Maybe?)
There is also the aspect of not wanting to relive high school. I wore docs all the time in high school but they feel SO wrong because they have a powerful symbol of teenage hood (for me).
I did not actually wear cons or SS's in high school so despite the associations I have with them (they're the same as lisap': rocker/arty vs. Sporty) they aren't teenage associations.
A very interesting thread.
I must admit that I'm in the third group: choosing between Stan Smiths and Convers sneakers is easy for me, because I would choose neither. I wonder what that says about me. I did have a pair of red Gazelle Adidas sneakers in high school, but they weren't my favourites.
I would, however, have a difficult time choosing between art, science, languages and certain sports. I love them all and have too many interests.
People who met me when I was wearing my most casual and comfortable "free time, leisure, don't care what others think" clothes were sometimes surprised by mu profession. Apparently I dress like someone with a bit more artsy job, but yet again not too artsy (lack of Convers sneakers gives me away, no doubt), so they thought I was an architect. I have no idea what to think about that, either.
Jenn - love your story about converse meet-cute! I spent much of my youth disappointed that nobody ever fell in love with me because of my shoes
I was always pretty bad at 'signalling' and fitting into the subcultures actually.
Lisap, interesting what you say about docs and the 'scary' kids in HS. I was supremely unathletic and unpopular and tried out various subcultures. Docs were one of the few things that always felt authentic for me - always in a non-black colour or with the fleuvog angel stitching though. I was always just a bit 'off'. Anyway, I digress. What I came to say is that I think your current style is definitely edgier than mine. I'd put you in docs before myself. Weird huh? The cons I choose today usually reflect my current more feminine softer take on style than I had when I was younger - ie/ rose gold snakeskin.
While I wouldn't be surprised by a formative school/sneaker preference that lasts a lifetime it wasn't clear enough to me which group I was in for me to bond with such a specific uniform component.Choosing either at this point is very trend aware already so they're more alike than they are different and they're both popular because they can be really really cute and classic.I don't wear either and never have because I feel like they call attention to the size of my feet!
Very well said Isabel. The cons I choose have trendy finishes and are, I suspect, a bit 'cool middle-aged mom''. I do have one classic pair but I swapped out the laces to be tonal rather than white.
@Lisa yes, it's obvious that Cons are Converse sneakers. The point is no one calls them that except on YLF as far as I can tell. They were always all stars or chucks growing up.
Lol, Lisa! Ah, the good ol' days!
Yeah, I called them all stars, and then my college friends called them chucks. But I like our YLF name for them too.
I think I wore cons in high school. I definitely wore Docs. I am not scary. I am as far from being a jock as you can get. I don't know a thing about football, baseball, basketball, or any other ball. I do know a tiny bit about hockey because I am Canadian.
Total rocker chick here. I've pretty much always had a black pair of cons in rotation. Generally other colors and finishes in the mix but black is a constant.
I wore my solid black rubber chucks to a rock show last night. I wore classic black ones to jam with a bunch of other rocker chicks at a rehearsal studio last week where I played drum and guitar. I wore the rubber ones the week before that to play drums at a local venue for a showcase. First time playing drums out!!! I also wore red canvas chucks to band practice before the show.
So yes, I fit that stereotype.
Blue suede Adidas Gazelle's for sneaks in high school, though I wore SL's for running X-country and track, until our coach ordered a batch of the first Nike Waffle trainers! I don't recall sneaks being a big deal, but FRYE boots sure were! I never owned a pair, though. When I met DH in uni, he was a hardcore All Stars wearer for b-ball, but called them Connie's! I bought him a leather pair (for b-ball) our first Christmas as young marrieds.
I'm wearing my first Converse this spring, and loving them. FWIW, I majored in English/Sociology!
When I was in middle school and high-school in Mexico, Nike's were the cool sneakers to wear. I didn't like them. I wasn't sporty at all, although I loved and still do love to to watch sports, any sport, but I am a big soccer fan, like Tanya. That said, I was a nerdy type, I barely wore any sneakers at all, and when I did, I wore adidas. Never wore docs either. Now, I am more into sneakers than I was in high-school (I am also more active), and I love both types.
Very interesting & weird enough. Been a sporty european girl and wore Adidas and Puma while in college (engineering science)-but never felt OK in Cons! Now I know why:-).
Hmm, another third groupie here - not a big sneaker wearer, more of a clog girl. I did have some Converse in 6th grade and spent class coloring on the rubber soles in different color inks. I consider myself the arty group but am a CPA so have always been a bit of both. When I think about it though, my two older kids are more the Adidas/Puma types and they are science/sport minded and my youngest wears Converse and is more the artist. So you may just have something there Lisa.
I used to wear Cons - I had a pair of purple ones about 10 year sago that I loved. Always low tops, all the way. I'm a humanities girl, and I was in grad school at the time. I wasn't really a big sneaker person otherwise, until this year. In HS I wore dress shoes with my uniform or combat boots, or whatever sneakers someone got me from Payless or KMart.
Now I occasionally covet some more Cons, but they don't give me the support I need for all the walking I do. I like the look of the Stan Smiths, but since they're so ubiquitous here in NYC I may not bother.
A pair of PF Flyer/Kate Spade Saturday sneakers in a black and white check (comfy but I have trouble pairing them up despite the neutrals).A pair of mint green New Blance with kelly green accentsHot pink & purple Sketchers memory foam walking shoes - purchased for an upcoming amusement par trip in the hopes of keeping my feet happySperry turquoise sneakers - new purchase and so comfy (I also have canvas boat shoes from them in a kind of silver animal print)
Merrell running shoes, strictly for working out
ETA: I forgot I have two pairs of Keds slip ons! One is blue and perforated canvas, the other black in a shiny woven fabric.
Fun thread. Both sneaker looks are ICONIC.
Psychology & Fashion Majors here. Almost majored in Fine Art. I'm not a Science gal.
I'm a Converse gal, but like Tanya, it's a Euro thing more than anything else. We grew up wearing Chucks - my brother too. But for sports - we wore Adidas. I have a soft spot for Adidas because it's a very nostalgic brand for me. THE '70s brand. But I can't wear the sneaker as a fashion look today. Too wide and too sporty. So I have the Fryes look-alike, which I am WEARING TO DEATH. Less sporty, prettier and narrower. Just ordered them in pink.
Aesthetically, I LOVE the way Converse look. Those white soles are magical. Modern Retro.
Fascinating the associations we have with these shoes. I'm totally off course here because I've always associated those black Chuck Taylor All-Stars with my sixties BASKETBALL playing years. I loved basketball and played on teams in high school and university--and went on to coach both girls' and boys' teams in junior high when I first started teaching. Always the hightops, though, for the ankle support. To this day, the lowcuts just look weird to me.
My non-basketball shoe in university was the Adida Gazelle--the original OG, not the Gazelle 2. I loved the sleeker look, and, in my undergraduate years, a pair in dark blue or black suede was a essential part of my English/Drama major style. The Stan Smith's had too much of a tennis, preppie vibe and were reserved for the sorority/fraternity group. Pumas were the choice of the PhysEd majors with Nike just on the horizon as a track and field shoe.
I found it amusing when my students started wearing my former basketball shoes as part of their "edgy" look. To me, those high-top, black canvas Cons will forever be associated with smell of a basketball court.
Puma girl here. Meow.
Fun topic and discussion! Thanks for starting this, Lisa.
I'm in Group Three -- the "no sneakers in school" camp. I was singularly unathletic. (Which is hilarious when you consider that I grew up-- eventually -- to work for a fitness company for a while and became something of an expert on different types of exercise and exercise nutrition!)
I was similarly incapable (or uninterested) in math and I was scared of the artsy types (even though I secretly longed to be one). That left me on the fringes of everything, pretty much. What did I wear? Mostly platforms of some kind or another.
I did wear Docs in my college years, but the more refined monk-strap kind. Loved them at the time...
I do admit to have tried Converse on a few times, but they did not fit me or feel right -- I was never good in a completely flat unpadded shoe. The first ones I owned were my beloved Hi-Ness (with the little wedge) and I adored those and felt perfectly happy in them until they died.
Now I love my Eccos, which are basically comfort shoes, but that is okay with me. I am seriously considering adding a pair of the high tops this fall...or a red pair of the Soft 7s or 8s....
JAileen - how anyone plays/played basketball in Converse is beyond me. I die when I see it. I LOVE basketball shoes, and sometimes wish i played . I'd have the wildest collection around
I prefer Cons, but I like Stan Smiths too. But while I'm never without a pair of Cons, I've never owned any Stan Smiths. (However, in high school, I used to borrow my younger brother's occasionally!). I think I'd feel at home in both. I'm also good at both science and art (now with a bachelor's degree in both, haha!). So maybe my experience supports your stereotype. Or maybe not! I was already a "true Cons girl" in my youth, when I was more of a scientist than I am now. I liked badminton and tennis back then, and yet was convinced that preppy golf shirts and flippy skirts were deeply uncool. (I am less opposed to them now).
I agree that Converse have zero arch support, though.
I just read what Jules wrote about Doc Martens -- have to add that my experience wasn't at all that Docs were for the "scary" kids. They were nearly ubiquitous in my neck of the woods, if not in high school, then certainly in university. I wore pretty much Docs, Birks or hiking boots for most of the early 90s. But I live in the Pacific Northwest, so maybe that's why.
Lisa, if you had posed the question, "are you a sneakers woman or a Docs woman", I'd have identified more with the latter.
I'm also surprised at how many people are either arts/liberal arts OR science. I don't see them as being all that different. I see it more as art/literature/science as being kind of the opposite of business/accounting.
Hey, Lisa, those Chucks were considered top-line basketball shoes in the 60s! Their big advantage over other athletic shoes of that period were the non-skid soles, ample toe room, and ankle support. Those rubber side disks were designed to be tightly laced over the ankle to prevent it from turning over when your foot hit the floor after a jump. The rubber toe box was also easier on the toes when you came to a quick stop and pivot. Very high tech in those days and the sign you weren't just a casual player on the courts.
That's why it cracked me up when the artsy group grabbed onto those Chucks. I had to hide my Chucks at the bottom of my shoe pile in my university days so my Liberal Arts and Drama friends wouldn't realize they had been infiltrated.
I can still smell that distinctive mix of sweat and leather basketballs when I see this picture.
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Aziraphale, I have an accounting degree, but I'm probably not typical, because I also have a geography degree. I know, very odd.
@JAileen -- yup, yours is definitely a weirder combination than a BSc/BFA!
Actually, back in the sixties, Arts and Science were usually in the same division and, as an Honors English major, I took both chemistry and physics courses as part of my program. The big division was not between the liberal arts and science but between us and the "Schools" of Business/Management and Engineering. Computing science courses were options for both Arts and Science majors, as well as Engineering students, but not for Business/Accounting majors. I wrote my first program on punch cards in my undergraduate years as an English major; at that time, I figured computers might be handy if I decided to go into Library Science.
Gaylene -- YES! That's what I just said too. The arts and sciences are flip sides of the same coin; business isn't even the same currency.
AZ - the Docs issue has never been on my radar. I knew no-one who wore them in my high school years (75-79). And certainly not in university (unless you were in Art School). I'm not sure if it was a regional thing, or maybe a time period where they weren't ubiquitous, but again, the only Docs wearers I saw were the goth kids who also wore long black trench coats.
Hmm, when I was in high school everyone wore Ked's. Maybe the guys wore chucks though - I can't remember. I've never been much for wearing sneakers. I wore black flat boots in college - not Docs though. I couldn't afford Docs - I made it through college without any loans, but I was flat broke most of the time.
I majored in engineering. I'm not sure how that fits into your categories. I don't think I fit either one.
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