Thursday, December 22, 2011

Blue Jeans and White Trainers: A How-To

Big! Christmas is the perfect time of year for rewatching old favourite films, guffawing not because they're hilarious but because they were when you were younger and your belly laughs have grown loyal to the memory of previous viewings. Who hasn't at some point wished they lived in an loft apartment decked with trampolines, drinks machines and enough floor space to simultaneously skateboard like Farrah Fawcett and slurp milkshake through a straw? Pretty jammy then for Tom Hanks's Josh Baskin who spends his days doing exactly that, just, you know, in a man's body. He is also a stellar rapper and pulls off his teenage-boy-dopeyness in a loveable way. Most importantly (though he is technically still 13 years old) he is ripe for enrollment into what I like to call 'The American Dad' brigade, a member of the 'Blue Jean and White Trainer Club', if you will.

It's a look that is very precise and I shall be your tongue-in-cheek tour guide in all things American Dad. Firstly, the jeans. It all comes down to a particular shade of blue and a perfectly proportioned leg. The jeans should be the same shade all the way throughout the fabric, no stonewashing or fades, and certainly no dark indigo-these should be a 'light to medium' blue. (The exception to this rule being these jeans from Cos because what they lack in 'Medium blue' they make up for in 'Relaxed Fit') And in terms of the shape they should be snug not skinny, straight at the ankle and not too baggy around the bum. 

Look to the cinema of the 1980s for referencing purposes. Coming of age films, buddy movies, and family comedies should be your port of call. Look also to the Kings of the brigade-Steve Jobs was of course an original leader. And Steve Martin's George Banks in 'Father of The Bride' who is so dedicated to the look that he owns his very own sports trainers factory and manufactures his daughter a shiny white pair of 'bridal' trainers to wear down the aisle at her wedding. Commitment. Vinyl baseball bombers and baseball caps are acceptable accessories to this look, or sports kits-an old college hoodie with your alma mater emblazoned across the front implies to daughter's boyfriends that yes, while you may currently be 'chilling' in relaxed clothes, you have the intellectual capacity to destroy them in a game of Scrabble. Some white shorts for 'shooting hoops' with family members (extra points if the shorts err on the side of inappropriate shortness) are also a useful go-to for the American Dad. The key to the American Dad look is that something should be 'off' but in a subtle way with a serving of thoughtlessness. Outdated without being garishly 80s. Socks can help here-a wedge of thick white sports sock between the trainer and the bottom of the jean which should be about half an inch away from ankle grazing is perfectly 'off.'

When it comes to the trainers, brands and models actually aren't of significance, as long as the shoe is at least a Size 10 (if you're not buy bigfoot anyway, it's off the utmost importance) and you're going for a Nike or a New Balance or any old running trainer that looks similar, you're good to go. Equally, though I have indeed classified this the 'blue jean and white trainer' look, there is plenty of space for light greys, off whites and blues that perfectly echo the shade of the jeans. Remember, thoughtlessness is key! These trainers should look like they were chosen by a 50 something Dad who is called Henry and mostly grey and who scratches the insides of his ears with the end of his car keys and just wants a pair of trainers that will protect his feet and 'do the trick' when he goes for his weekly Sunday run. 

I'll leave you with a couple of those 'guffaw' scenes, because they are silly and good. And also the 'Shimmy Shimmy Cocoa Pop' rap because deep down, I'd still love to learn the words.

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