Our Love for Converse

More than just a pair of beat-up shoes, my Converse have stood the test of time, carrying defining moments of my youth through its simplicity and sense of familiarity that everyone has grown to love.

I was sitting in a parking lot, surrounded by friends, waiting for a concert to start. We were shaking from the cold and from excitement for the show we had purchased tickets for many months ago. My legs were stretched out in front of me, and I took notice of my hot pink Converse that looked perfect with the blues and pinks from the sky. As I stared at my shoes, I saw all the dirt marks on them. Instead of getting upset about my carelessness with my shoes, I thought about the memories these shoes hold, the memories that have defined my youth that are present on my Converse. 

Proud Owner Since Age Five

I have owned a variety of Converse since the age of five; blue, gray, light pink, hot pink, and the classic white. I remember walking through the Converse store contemplating which color suited me best at the time. Part of the reason why I believe Converse is very popular is because of time.

Playing Against and With Time

Converse All Star shoes have been in production since 1917. Being around for approximately 102 years, they have had to play both against and with time. Every brand’s goal is to exist for as long as possible or to become timeless. Converse, originally a shoe for basketball players, had to challenge time when players moved on to more comfortable and durable shoes. The brand experienced some low points after losing its core consumers, but you can go to almost any setting with young people present and see a pair of Chucks. Our generation seems to gravitate towards anything vintage; record players, mom jeans, fanny packs, and Converse. We long to include ourselves in a past that we have not seen. We lace up our Converse and think about how our parents, and even grandparents, laced their Converse up before us during their coming of age. We are attracted to the sentimentality that comes with aging shoes.

Looking for Simplicity

The Breakfast Club, Booksmart, Stand By Me, and The Edge of Seventeen are all movies about young people trying to understand the world around them now that their view from a place of innocence and comfort is shifting. In all of these movies, there is at least one character wearing Converse. I believe that youths are attached to these shoes because they are simple. As young people, we are overwhelmed by figuring out who we are, others telling us who we should be, and complicated decisions. Chucks can be edgy, soft, vibrant, cool, bold, or whatever we want them to be. Through them, we can show who we are at the moment, and no one picks them but us. They match with almost every outfit, making the decision to wear them uncomplicated. 

New Pair

The Converse that I got in high school has marks from skating in the parking lot after school, running around parks with my friends during sunset, and marching in the streets of downtown to protest injustice. Although I love my Converse and my memories with them, now that I’m in college I think it’s time for a new pair that I can make dirty. I think I’ll get bright yellow because right now, I’m feeling hopeful.

Written by: Maya Dixon

90’s Fashion Trends That Are Cool Again

Though 90’s kids are inarguably the best, fashion in that time period was questionable. Crop tops, bermuda shorts, shell necklaces, and platform flip-flops (yes, all in one outfit) were some of the things I remember wearing as a child (thanks, mom).  Here are five 90’s fashion faux pas that have made a comeback, and for your convenience, I have included links if for some reason you feel like buying something on the list. You’re welcome.

1. Jelly Sandals

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I was a huge fan of jellies growing up because they were awesome and cheap enough to convince my parents to buy me one in every color. The original company started to sell them again after the resurrection for about $35, whereas American Apparel charges about $45, which isn’t surprising. In the 90’s, jellies were worn without socks if you wore them to school and with socks to make them fancy enough to wear to church or something. Now, jellies are paired with opaque nylon tights for the most hipster effect. The higher the heel, the cooler you are, apparently.

2. Bucket Hats

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Yes, bucket hats were worn by my favorite boy band members, but this trend faded out for a reason. I blame Justin Bieber for bringing this one back. I’ve seen mostly men wearing bucket hats with a large variety of outfits. Paired with a fancy outfit or not, these hats look ridiculous. In my opinion, bucket hats should only be worn by pale babies or adorable grandpas who are trying to avoid a sunburn.

3. Tattoo Choker Necklaces

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What used to cost a quarter at one of those little bubble gum-looking machines is now being sold for $5.50 at Claires, with the description, “Get an edgy retro look with this double tattoo choker necklace.” Retro? Really? That doesn’t make me feel a million years old at all.

4. Crop Tops

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Clearly crop tops have been popular for a while, but the 90’s style crop tops have been making a comeback. A 90’s style crop top features a high neckline (maybe even a turtleneck), but leaves the midriff visible. It is more “modest” than other crop tops, and is usually paired with high waisted jeans and a flannel for an ultra-grunge look.

5. Birkenstocks

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Birkenstocks were introduced to the US in the 1960’s but according to 90’s 411, they gained the most popularity the company would ever get during the years of 1992 and 1994. I’ve been seeing mostly women wearing Birkenstocks, usually paired with floral dresses or a simple jeans and t-shirt type of outfit. Either way, I’m just going to say it: these are seriously the ugliest sandals I’ve ever seen. I am greatly confused as to why this company has survived since 1774. But hey, maybe they’re comfortable.