Why it’s okay to dress like everyone else

George Metcalf on 9 June 2023
Collage of Adidas, Carhartt, Arcteryx and Nike products

Don’t stress about jumping on trends late, personal style is timeless.

People who are into clothes love to talk about clothes. What’s coming out, what’s cool and crucially, what’s not. It’s the last point that can be problematic at times, because more often than not ‘not cool’ just equates to ‘too popular’. 

In my opinion this is, at best, a pretty myopic way to view fashion and product design and at worst, a key contributor to the throwaway fast fashion culture that’s so persistent these days. 

Take adidas Sambas; the latest trend on the chopping block. Hailed as the shoe of the summer in 2022, writers, meme pages and podcast bros are now claiming that the shoe is dying. But…it’s still the same shoe, so how can it suddenly be uncool? Haters will say it’s this rise in popularity that has contributed to its downfall, but to those same people I say this; you clearly never liked the shoe in the first place. 

Take away the influencers, the collabs and the hype and you’re left with the real reason the Sambas have so much staying power; the design. Good design cuts through to the intended market, but great design is universal, and the Samba is a prime example of great design. The same can be said for other things that have been deemed uncool as well. 

My friend made this. Had to share here.
by u/RylandInTheSun in arcteryx

Take Arc’teryx for example. What was once a niche outdoor brand from Canada is now a mainstay in most trendy cities, not to mention the for you/explore pages of anyone even remotely into clothes. With this popularity came the memes and with the memes came claims that the brand is now “dead”, but that only applies to people who were wearing the brand for clout rather than for nice, functional jackets. 

The same can be said for Nike Dunks, which have, and pardon the pun, been dunked on mercilessly just for being accessible. In the case of Dunks though the source of the hate is a bit clearer. Prior to Dunks being as popular as they are they were an underground skate shoe heavily tied to a subculture that was largely mocked and rejected by normies, so in some respects it’s easy to see where the hate is coming from. 

Can a particular subculture claim ownership over a particular product, though? Not really. As we established earlier, good design speaks to an intended audience but great design speaks to everyone. And all the trends mentioned above are examples of universally accepted, great design. 

As I’m writing this, I realise this whole article could be seen as a long-winded way of trying to justify why clothes I own are still cool. This would be the case were it not for one simple fact; I don’t care what people think and neither should you. Having a personal style that resonates with you will be way better for your self esteem and your wardrobe. 

So don’t listen to the haters; buy those dunks, rock those Sambas and invest in that Arc’teryx, you’re gonna wear them differently to everyone else anyway… 

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George  Metcalf
George Metcalf on 9 June 2023