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  1. #1

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    When fashion conflicts with your lifestyle

    Hello FBers! In the past few months I've run across a new situation. What does one do when the fashion one likes conflicts with the lifestyle one has?

    I'm not talking about money here. I'm a big fan of looks centered around nice shoes and jackets. My problem is that I'm a walker, by nature. If I spend a day in the city, I end up walking 3-4 hours. I walk at least an hour each day (30 minutes to work and back, up a trail through the woods...there is no other possible way to walk there). This means that my most common shoes are..hiking boots. Not the most stylish, by any means.

    So what have other people done when faced with this problem? I bought a pair of leather penny-loafers last year that I have hardly worn, even though I love the look. Do I give up and start dressing like an outdoorsman (maybe British countryside/heritage/American western wear)? Or are there stylish shoes somewhere that are also really comfortable (and can handle mud)?

    Maybe I should just keep the loafers at work and change when I get there. That still doesn't leave me with a good option for long days in the city, though.

  2. #2

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    Vibram sole my friend. It's designed for walking and hiking; plus you can get the sole on brogues, loafers, desert boots, you name it.

  3. #3

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    Really? Vibram comes on loafers and desert boots? That I'll have to look for! I have a pair of brogue boots from Clarks that are my city shoe at the moment. They have a sturdy rubber sole so I can walk a lot in them, though I don't know if it's Vibram.

    I'll be making a trip to the shops this weekend. Here's hoping I find something.

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    I don't see anything wrong with keeping the loafers at work, and changing there.

    But I don't understand quite what the problem is. Is it the amount of walking, the distance that makes it uncomfortable wearing anything else but hiking boots? Or is it that the trail is muddy and would ruin a less suitable pair of shoes?

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    I took the loafers to work today and switched out of my hiking boots. It seemed to work, so I'll probably keep doing that.

    Walking during the week (to work), it's mostly the mud. Thinking about it, I could wear my brogue boots and just wipe them down to keep the mud off, I guess. It takes anything suede out of the equation, though, since I can't imagine that cleans off easily. Canvas might be okay. On the weekends in the city, it's mostly the distance. Trainers and good boots seem to be the only thing that I know will be comfortable with all that walking. I've tried on desert boots before, but they felt a bit flimsy. Are they flimsy? I don't know, but at the time I wasn't willing to gamble the money like that. If people tell me they actually have great support and are really good for walking, I might give them a go. I've found non-rubber soles are not comfortable for me to walk in for long distances, but I don't know if that has to do with the sole or the style (my non-rubber soled shoes are usually low-tops and more formal dress shoes).

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    MarcLager's Avatar

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    Ah, if it's the mud I see the problem, though a good pair of leather shoes can handle it - albeit with constant cleaning and polishing. Wouldn't recommend anything with leather soles for muddy trails though.

    A good leather soled shoe will, in my experience, be as good as a rubber sole for walking in the city. However, you can get good rubber soles cheaper than good leather soles, and while there's a special feel and charm in walking with leather soles, they really can't beat the practical side of rubber. Now we're dabbling in religion though, and I don't want to stir up tensions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    I've tried on desert boots before, but they felt a bit flimsy. Are they flimsy? I don't know, but at the time I wasn't willing to gamble the money like that.
    I've only ever owned Clark's Originals, but they were good to walk in in my opinion. They don't have the support of a good hiking boot, so they're not great for the wilderness. For city walks on the other hand, they're as good as trainers.

    With all this said, I have very forgiving feet. I can easily walk for hours in Converse All-stars. And no one else but you can really say what works for your feet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcLager View Post
    With all this said, I have very forgiving feet. I can easily walk for hours in Converse All-stars. And no one else but you can really say what works for your feet.
    My feet are somewhat less forgiving, though I do have a pair of inserts that seem to work well. I put them in my Chuck Taylors and I can also walk for hours. So I'm going to see what I can find today with a rubber sole, and not just limit myself to trainers and hiking boots. Thanks!

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    Hello,

    I am totally new here, so nice to find you all. I have a question that it could use the same title, so instead of creating a new thread for an already posted one I hope if i mention my little problem in this thread!

    My lifestyle also isn't really suited to wear good shirts, fancy shiny shoes, a nice blazer. I work as a dance teacher and as a dance student, which means I teach dance to people half the day and the other half people teach me. I dance latin and ballet, it really makes you sweat and trully there is no way someone can dance in good clothes. I always wear casual clothes (as fashionable as I can), but still sometimes it seems too good of an outfit to sweat into.
    I know it is work but want to hear an opinion, If i could change at the dance school before and after the classes, or what could make me look nice for my work in and out of the classroom.
    The city I live in to be really honest, nobody really looks about their style and I also am afraid if I want a nice evening out with my girl or friend I would look silly dressed nice and smart while 99% percent of the people would be wearing flip flop in summer V neck t-shirt.

    Any kind of reply would be helpful since i feel really weird of trying to look good. I feel I will get mocked, and in the job I still don't know how to pull a nice look.

    Thanks for your time.

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    Ah yes, also a feeling I can relate to! I come from a town that is certainly not the fashion capital of...anywhere. Blue jeans, flannel shirts, and boots are the normal, and certainly not anything with a slim cut.

    I've found the best recourse to be simplicity. Don't go all-out on colors and patterns, or even materials. Take some inspiration from the American workwear and British heritage trends, without copying the look completely. Build up a small collection of neutral-colored pieces in decent quality (not 150 euro for a shirt, but not 20, either, unless it's something really cool you found at a vintage store or in a really good sale): block colors, for the most part, and don't worry about patterns for the moment. Maybe a single accessory (I choose a hat, but a bracelet or a necklace could also work, so long as you only wear one of the three). Keep an eye on seasonal materials and color. Look at what others wear, and go for something similar, but really nail the fit and try to find it in a more refined cut (a slim-cut flannel shirt, for example). Eventually, you'll start to feel more comfortable around others and they'll slowly start to notice that your clothes always seem to look good. It's not an overnight process, but that's fine, since it means you don't have to rush out and replace your whole wardrobe today!

    As for work, I'd recommend changing before and afterwards (showering if possible after!). The solution to my problem seems to be take a pair of loafers to work and leave them there. I don't change shoes every day, since I don't always want to be wearing the same ones. I can't say I see any other solution to your problem.

    Good luck!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richert Francesco View Post
    The city I live in to be really honest, nobody really looks about their style and I also am afraid if I want a nice evening out with my girl or friend I would look silly dressed nice and smart while 99% percent of the people would be wearing flip flop in summer V neck t-shirt.
    I know that feeling, but you can overcome that. If you don't have a special style you want to stick to or like to draw attention to yourself with your clothes, you should try to dress along the same lines as your company, but that doesn't mean you have to dress exactly the same. If they wear flip-flops, get a pair of light trainers or plimsolls. If they wear v-neck t-shirts, get printed t-shirts or some nice short sleeve shirts.

    Matt gave some good advice. Stick to neutral colours, go easy on the patterns, make sure everything has got the right fit.

    Once you've started to find what you like, your confidence will grow, and with confidence everything looks natural. When I first started caring more about what I wear, I too felt I was constantly overdressing compared to everyone else at work. Until I realized it was all of them who were underdressed. Jeans that has been washed so many times they've lost all fit and colour. Loose t-shirts and hoodies. At best an unironed shirt. Horrible polos, that look like they slept in them, where the collar points in all directions. C'mon!

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