Last night, I was leaving my apartment to go meet a friend for drinks. We have been trying to get together for the past two months, and it’s completely my fault that we haven’t — I have canceled on him every time I’ve made a plan with him (indication of the fact that we’re not really friends). So last night, I was determined to face the cold and walk the 15 blocks to a “nearby” bar in Brooklyn (where I am, anything within a 20 minute walk is considered to be “just down the street”). But of course, my apartment is a walk-up. And just to paint a picture of what led to my great revalation, I’ll start by saying that I was walking down the stairs with a giant coat, huge scarf, a beenie that I’m not even that comfortable wearing, and my most prized yet somewhat uncomfortable Alexander Wang boots, while trying to pick a song from this season’s The Voice to listen to on my phone and also while trying to check my work e-mail on my work blackberry. Not my best moment.
Because then I fell down the stairs. And while I was falling, my first thought was, “not the face, not the face, I have a job interview this week,” and I somehow was able to position myself so that I landed on my belly and slid my way down the flight of stairs. I landed at the bottom. I sat on the floor for a minute, saw that my hand was bruised, felt my legs swelling up, and my next thought was, “I can NOT cancel on this guy again.” After a minute of making weird noises, I got up and walked out of my building. Still sort of in half-shock of the fact that I fell down some stairs and no bones were broken, and in half-awe of the fact that I managed to gracefully penguin-slide out of the fall and down the stairs, my next thought was then, “if I had been wearing sneakers, I bet this wouldn’t have happened” (it probably wasn’t just the sneakers and probably also had to do with the fact that I was not looking where I was going, but I’ve never claimed to have a very rational train of thought). And that was when I came to realize something.
For months I’ve been pinning pictures of women looking effortlessly chic while wearing a coat paired with a pair of sneakers. I knew that this trend was one that I’ve been fascinated with over time (I blogged about wearing sneakers out, not for sport, during my early blogging days), but I have never been able to aptly pinpoint what it was about the sneaker movement that was so appealing to me. And then last night, after that fateful fall, I realized that what I wrote in that blog post over a year ago was only half-true. Back then, I postulated that the sneaker movement was an embodiment of fashion’s celebration of the simple. But my realization last night was that the sneaker movement is really fashion’s celebration of the function of an item. With the rise of a fashionable sneaker, thanks to Nike and Stella McCartney x Adidas, sneakers have become a fashionable alternative to any shoe. But what’s truly keeping this trend alive is people’s need for a shoe that best serves its function. And the sneaker is that shoe; it is easily the most practical for walking, and isn’t that what shoes are for? The sneaker’s dual ability to be both fashionable and functional is what has led to its recent rise as a fashion staple today.
And today, I nurse these bruises, treasuring them for the valuable lesson that I’ve learned. To avoid any more injuries this week, wear a pair of sneakers. To look fashionable while wearing sneakers, pair it with a long coat. That’s how to look good while wearing a shoe that actually does its job.
Black and Blue,
(photos: i want big closet, mademoiselle robot, wit and delight)