Written in May 2009
Recently – probably because I made my usual annual mistake of buying a fashion magazine – I thought I should start weaning myself off wearing trainers and start dressing like a grown-up. So I bought some very lovely shoes, which are now sitting in the cupboard at home while my feet are lightly steaming under my desk in my old shell-toe trainers recovering from an assortment of blisters. The new shoes are lovely but I live in a city where the streets are bumpy, slippy and covered in crap – literally! Trainers are the most comfortable and appropriate thing to wear, so why do I feel I ought to wear something different? It’s not like I’m the only person in my age group wearing trainers.
This dilemma has been bugging me for a few weeks now but finally I realised what the problem is. It’s not that I’m dressing like a teenager, it’s that teenagers are dressing like old people.
Occasionally I see the odd punk but they’re just a bit sad – and they’re usually Italians just hanging on to the past because there’s no modern ‘cults’ for them to follow. I want to see something new. I want to see absurdly bad taste. I want to see something so bad, so laughable that I’d never dream of dressing like that myself. I want the equivalent of punk for the noughties. Instead all I see is matching ironed hair and ballet pumps on women from eight to eighty and blokes who just look… dull.
The most alarming look around is the ‘jeans hanging well below the bum crack’ look that some boys like to sport. And it’s only shocking because whenever I see it, I’m either fighting the urge to run up to them and yank their jeans down around their ankles or looking around in the hope that someone else will do it. I’m waiting for a shock that never happens.
I feel I’m now at the age where I should be looking at young people and being a bit disturbed by what they’re wearing – or at least surprised enough to have my eyebrow twitch. When I was young pissing off your parents was half the fun of shopping. Now it seems there’s no such thing as rebellion. Looking as ordinary as possible seems to be the look ‘the kids’ are going for these days.
So on Saturday, figuring if the kids won’t rebel maybe the adults ought to, I bought myself a new pair of Adidas Superstars. Gold ones.