Why is This Popular: Converse Shoe T-Shirts

By Steve Mullaney

Style is different everywhere, but nowhere is this more apparent than in Guatemala where the majority of us fashionistas walk around puzzled. We try to bring you explanations behind the most confusing trends with Everson and Juan who are 9th graders at a local school. This month’s topic: Converse shoes found on sweatshirts.

XELAWHO: So, tell me, why are these shoe sweatshirts popular?
Everson: Everyone likes the shoes.
Juan: They’re very popular shoes.

XW: Fine, I suppose. But, it seems that around town I see a lot more Converse shoe sweatshirts than I do actual Converse shoes.
E: That’s because I don’t have Converse shoes.

XW: I don’t understand. If you’re going to purchase something that’s an homage to Converse shoes, wouldn’t it make sense to buy actual shoes instead of shoes that are found only on sweatshirts.
E: Well…(laughs)
J: I have to wear black shoes all day for my uniform. I don’t really get the chance to wear Converse shoes.

XW: Do you own any Converse shoes?
E: No.
J: No, because there really isn’t any opportunity to wear them.

XW: OK. And you have the sweatshirts, though, right?
E: Of course.

XW: So what do your parents think about this fashion statement?
E: They don’t really care.
J: Mine either.

XW: There isn’t any fallout because of being associated with “skaters” or “punks”?
E: Everything that I like is associated with those things. I guess this is the least bad of what I like to wear.
J: I don’t really think that this is associated with that. It’s more of a universal sweatshirt.

XW: Assume that an adult like me comes to school tomorrow and I’m wearing a Converse shoe sweatshirt. What would the other kids say to me?
J: Hello?

XW: So it wouldn’t be anything special or weird?
J: No. Not really

ANALYSIS: It looks like a chicken vs. egg type argument. Did Converse shoe sweatshirts show up first and kids think “Hey, this is just like wearing a Converse shoe, but I can pull it off while staying in school uniform.” Or, was it the other way around? At any rate, they’re more popular than actual Converse shoes.

COULD YOU PULL THIS OFF: It sure looks like it. This may be the rare piece of clothing that establishes credibility in any circle you might run in…well, except Reebok fans of course.

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