by Lamont Swittenberg
Anyone who knows me, knows I hate cold weather. I’ve never understood why people get excited about fall just because they get to wear sweaters. Doesn’t that mean it’s gotten too cold to go out without covering up? How could that be a good thing? No, I prefer warm weather and its associated apparel: tee shirts, cargo shorts and my all time favorite…boat shoes.
That’s right, nothing beats a pair of well-worn boat shoes. They’re the height of summer chic as far as I’m concerned. Timeless, yet effortlessly of-the-moment. Rock them with shorts or a suit to improve your look and your mood. No one is happier than me that they’ve made a massive resurgence over the past few years. I’ve seen them all over the streets of NYC this summer, being worn by everyone from celebrities, to hipsters to slackers. And yeah, rich prep school boys still wear them as well. Even the hip hop crowd has gotten into the act, with Jay-Z name dropping boat shoes in his rhymes, while Kanye sports them on his frequent appearances on the Ellen Degeneres show. I never thought I’d say it, but boat shoes are on fire.
Alas, one of my biggest disappointments about winter is that it forces me to put away my rather impressive collection of Sperry Topsiders. No matter how tempting, I just can’t bring myself to throw on a pair of socks with my Sperry’s while traipsing off to work on a brisk October day. Socks with boat shoes is a look that even the most badass hipsters can’t pull off, no matter how ironic their facial hair. So, from October to April, boat shoes are generally relegated to the bench.
That is, until now. This season designers have finally figured out that boat shoes are far too cool to spend 6 months of the year languishing in the back of the closet. They’ve come up with boat shoes that actually work year-round. John Varvatos, always the innovator, is leading the pack with a killer pair of suede ones in a color called “Night Sky” (i.e., black) that he describes as “a unique concept of a high-top boat shoe”. Whatever, they’re smokin’. Timberland has also joined the parade, bringing to the forefront their Classic Handsewn Boat Shoe (the one with the lug sole that we all sported back in the 80’s). In an ambitious attempt to jump on two trends at once, they’ve even added a new wrinkle; the classic is now customizable at Timberland’s DIY store on its website.
For its part, Sperry Topsider is not sitting idly by, waiting for spring. They’re hyping their own high-tops (the Original Authentic Chukka Boot) on their site. They’ve also formed a partnership with J-Crew, offering an exclusive pair of “Sperry Chukka’s” on J-Crew.com. My favorite offering however, is a line they’ve come up with that is designed by hipster legends, Band Of Outsiders. These kicks offer a subversive and thoroughly modern take on the Topsider aesthetic. A broad range of colors is available, from a sublime blue/red suede pair to a slick black leather offering. In any form, they’re swell and they make me long for fall more than any cardigan ever could.
Friday, October 09, 2009
Our Favorite Little Luxuries: Finally Boat Shoes For Fall « Luminosity Marketing
Posted by Lamont at 12:14 PM