Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Trainers are back 'in'. Why were they ever out?

The weekend's Sunday Times Style Guide proudly announced that "trainers are back - and they're big, brash, loud and fat".

Well, yes, I keep hearing they are hot but I ask you this. Why did they ever go out of fashion? Hmmm?

It wasn't long ago that they were banned from most clubs, frowned upon by fashionistas and Natasha Beddingfield wouldn't be seen dead in them. And she wore this. Trainers were as welcome as a paedophile in Toys R Us. And yet inspite of this, my love for them never faltered. I sang "Near, far, wherever you areeeee, I believe that the heart does go on, Once more you open the door, And you're here in my heart, And my heart will go on and onnnnnnnnnnnnnn" at the top of my voice in a moving serenade to a rather cute adidas pair once. (I now wear them with mini-skirts and coloured tights, rolled up jeans and frilly ankle socks. They are simply marvellous.)

Aside from the cool japanese kitsch style angle they can bring to an outfit though, they are also wonderfully practical. Now, I do realise as someone who loves fashion I should never EVER compliment an item of clothing, footwear or an accessory for its useful qualities; but they are perfect for those days in-between shoes that cripple your feet (and make you walk like a fat duck that has poo'd itself). In fact, this is the real reason trainers are hot again. Because we all need a break from wearing the "it Shoe", non?

Now that we have established that trainers really are cool and that they can look chic and that they are socially acceptable; lets talk about where to get some without risking looking like a thief or a geek. I won't insult you by telling you exactly what pairs to buy (how can I know what will compliment your wardrobe?), I'll just point you in the general direction. Puma, surprisingly have a great selection of lifestyle shoes, bear in mind that they look better in-store than on-line. (I once chased a woman down the street to ask her where her footwear was from, only then to be embarrassed that I didn't notice the HUGE gold cat logo emblazoned on the side of them). Adidas always have a cute "superstar sleek" range that comes in at around the £65 mark. If you want to hug the world then Terra Plana is definitely the brand for you, they make the worn again range of sustainable footwear. Their trainers are constructed almost entirely (99%) out of recycled materials and therefore every pair is unique. If you are near one, Selfridges is worth a look. They have a great wide range, something to suit everyone (from the little known to the household brand). Finally, TK Maxx is the place to go if you are looking for something cheap as chips and a little bit different. I am told by a real life trainer enthusiast that his fellow kind roam free here, looking for special pieces to add to their collections.


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