Today I have 2 new things to talk about. First, I am now the proud owner of a brand new pair of black Le Gambi spandex disco pants. Or spandex disco jeans. Or shiny spandex jeans. Whichever name you prefer. And when I say ‘brand new’ I don’t just mean a new old-stock pair. I mean a newly made pair of super high quality spandex pants of the Le Gambi brand. You know I love all things spandex disco pants and I really cherish my vintage pairs from the late 70’s and early 80’s. But these newly made pairs are so awesome! To think that this pair has never been worn and is at the beginning of its life cycle is just so exciting! And they are so shiny!! I have written before that some of my old pairs are not all that shiny and some pale by comparison. But this pair is like a shiny new car–no dullness, no imperfections. I guess over time disco pants can lose some of their luster and I am not the only one who has noticed this. I don’t know if it’s a matter of washing or dry cleaning them too often or perhaps not enough that can do this. Or perhaps the quality of the fabric. All I know for sure is that this new pair shines just like a pair of disco pants should shine. Looking forward to wearing this new pair very, very soon.
The other thing I wanted to mention was a new pair of sneakers I came across. Now, I don’t normally discuss footwear much on this blog, but I have in the past, especially when it entails which types go well with disco pants (and skinny jeans). The first thing I have to say about these sneakers is that they are sold as women’s. This is not the first time I have bought or even worn women’s shoes. In the past I have bought pairs of Nike Cortez and New Balance 574 shoes that were marketed as women’s but mainly due to the lighter or more pastel colors. Other than that the shoes were exactly the same as the men’s versions. Not to mention sizing, of course. You have to do a little figuring out when trying to convert men’s sizes to women’s and vice-versa. A good starting point is Converse Chuck Taylors. Nearly all of these are sold as unisex with both a men’s and a women’s size. For example if you wear size 10 in men’s it would be the same thing as size 12 in women’s. There are no width options with these shoes. So the difference is generally about 1.5 to 2 sizes higher if you want to fit into women’s sneakers. If there is a width option go for a wider width. Women’s ‘normal’ shoe width is B. Men’s is D. Thus if you are a guy who normally wears men’s size 10 normal width, an equal fit in women’s would be 11.5 wide or 12 wide. You guys who wear size men’s size 12 or larger you may be out of luck if you’re looking at any women’s sneakers. I don’t think I’ve seen anything larger than a women’s size 13 in sneakers. Luckily a size 12 wide works perfectly for me.
I have also worn Emu boots which look like the Uggs many girls and women can be seen wearing during colder weather. Even though the Emu boots are sold as unisex I am sure that many people think I am wearing women’s boots just because they do not know. That has not bothered me though. I keep wearing them because they are warm, look great and cost me a lot of money.
But getting back to the sneakers at hand. They are very simple and plain all-white canvas sneakers with very thin soles. In fact, they are probably a kind of plimsole (or plimsoll) shoe. They are comparable to Vans Authentics without that high rubber outsole that wraps around the circumference of the shoe. These are super plain shoes and they even resemble oxfords or dress shoes if you see them not too close up. To me they are a very unisex looking shoe. The only detail that may make them look more like a women’s shoe is some lacing that goes around the mouth of the shoe. But this is also one of the elements that gives this shoe its uniqueness. It’s not at all functional. It’s just decoration. I’ve seen many similar pairs of these shoes without that decorational lacing and it’s just not the same. Feels like something is missing. And while everyone else is out there wearing Vans–no disrepect to Vans because I also have and wear them–I’m wearing these which I don’t see anyone else wearing. Not a soul. I used to see these being worn a lot back when I was in junior high. Pretty much every year of junior high there were multiple girls who had these on their feet with leggings and those scrunched socks. When I got into high school they pretty much all disappeared. But I really liked how they looked and longed for the day when I could get some in a size I could wear. Well, the day has finally come and now I have some and I have been wearing them. I have even wore them already with some of my favorite skinny jeans. By the way, they look pretty great with disco pants, too!
These are very cheap shoes. Very inexpensive–less than $15–and probably not meant to last very long. Also, they’re not the most comfortable of shoes. Not great for doing a lot of walking in unless you weigh about 100 pounds or so. In this regard they are like Converse & Vans. I had to put an extra insole in the ones I wear and they’re still not all that comfortable. But as a consequence of their price I bought multiple pairs and I am thrilled to have them.
As I said I have already been wearing them and for the most part I don’t think anyone has noticed. I saw a young woman who works at one of the stores I frequent looking down around the area of my feet a few days ago so she may have noticed and recognized the shoes as being women’s. But she is relatively young and to be honest I don’t think any young women or girls wear this type of shoe anymore. In fact, they might even be called ‘grandma shoes.’ I’m pretty sure they used to sell this type of shoe at KMart, but even that store in the last several years has gotten rid of the decorative lacing around the mouth of the shoes.
I have a few pics of the ones I have been wearing so you can know what I’m talking about:
Those are the shoes. As you can see they are solid white from top to bottom including the soles. And these are exactly like the ones those girls wore in junior high. And as I wrote, they look great with skinny jeans and disco pants because they are such a low-profile shoe. No bulk here. Just a bare bones type sneaker. I remember Urban Outfitters sold a similar thin-soled unisex shoe some years ago (without the decorative lace detail). It was rather inexpensive–cheap, if you will–plimsole sneaker that I almost bought. I am glad I didn’t because now I have these.
So what do you all think? Do these look unisex enough that a guy can get away with wearing them? Or do they look too ‘feminine’ and would it be too much of a spectacle? I think they’re pretty low-key looking. I have to admit I still have some hesitation when deciding to wear them or even to certain places. For example, I don’t think I would wear them to a place where a lot of people know me. But I have worn them four times already and I’m pretty sure they are here to stay. Only thing is that it’s going to get pretty cold here very soon and I don’t know how much longer I will be able to keep them in my regular rotation of sneakers.
Well, that’s all for now. Feel free to share your thoughts.