19. April 2012–
David Bonney is the style-conscious shoemaker behind the Atheist Shoes startup. Here the dapper chap around town gives you Berlin hipsters five sartorial tips. And how to avoid losing all that you stand for. To begin with, your singles status…
1. Don’t wear wool unless you want to make babies
Wool is so terribly unsexy – it hates the naked skin, and when you’re wearing wool you’re usually as far from naked as it’s possible to be. But there is something about a man in wool that says “ready to procreate” and nothing denotes fecundity like a bobbled hat, ideally in a vanilla ice-cream shade with little shards of colour, like 100s and 1000s. It says responsible, innocently playful, unlikely to cheat AND easily manipulated into having kids. Be careful. They’re baby-maker hats.
2. Hide your chunky proletariat thighs with baggy post-hipster MC hammer pants from Sweden
Women with chunky thighs have always been able to hide these under figure-eschewing flattery. Alas, some of us men are also cursed with less-than-perfectly slender stems… whether it be the legacy of a failed football career or too much time spent on a building site, some guys will just never look right in skinny jeans, the costume of unstrained Berlin hipsters in need of no leg muscles.
But Swedes to the rescue… Uniforms for the Dedicated has created achingly hip baggy pants that leave everyone guessing…. for all Berlin knows, you too might be a skinny-legged hipster twat under the billowing wool.
3. Sneakers with vulcanized or cup soles make you look horridly cheap and classless
In the 20th Century, wide-footed Americana converged with Chinese shoe-production-expediency to create some very cheap and ugly sneaker sole solutions. Out went the tradition of local cobblers re-soling beautifully constructed shoes, and in came cheap, oven-baked junk, designed either to last six months or to surround the foot in such a giant boat of rubber as to keep even the most wobbly of fatsos aloft… “skater shoes” my arse.
But the Japanese with their Onitsuka Tigers and a smattering of small brands like my own are restoring the art of solid shoe making to the world of sneakers and putting soles back where they belong…. under the foot, not around it.
4. Don’t be afraid to wear mismatched socks
Looking through sock drawers in search of matches is a slow death and pointless waste of time. Unless (a) you can miraculously place both your feet over your knees at the same time whilst sitting, (b) you are adrift in some pre-post-hipster hell of short trouser legs, or (c) you have not bought new trousers since your final adolescent growth spurt. I say, just give up on it.
5. Unbuttoning your grandad shirts can save you a gym membership
OK, this may be wishful thinking, but I’ve always thought that if I wear a granddad shirt with a generous button-down opening at the front, or if I leave the top two or three buttons open, that it some how creates the impression of a robust and not-at-all-man-boobish chest. All buttons open on a grandad shirt can save you a gym membership.
All of which should help you avoid the mistakes made by these guys: