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Why Converse Shoes Are so Popular

Converse to Keds: An Ode to the Kicks That Have Never Let Us Down

If there's one thing the sneaker-obsessed can agree on, it's that there are some brands that defy fleeting trends and seasonality. To this point, there's no argument that Converse, Keds, PF Flyers, and Superga have stood the test of time without ever compromising a simple rubber-soled, canvas-top silhouette in the process. Perhaps, that's what makes these iconic brands — all synonymous with old-school laid-back style — a favorite for celebrities, sleek style setters, and everyone else you know. But as a devout sneaker classicist myself, I think the appeal of a high-top Chuck or a cherry red low-top Superga is deeply rooted in its history, its functionality, and its easy ability to evoke a nostalgic-meets-sporty vibe simultaneously.

A few of our favorite classic kicks spotted (clockwise from top left): Kristen Stewart, street style, Miley Cyrus, street style, Michelle Williams, street style, Jennifer Aniston, street style

Steeped in a rich Americana culture — save for Superga's Italian-bred beginnings — these household names have been around since the early 1900s. That is to say, it's entirely possible your grandparents were rocking the same kicks you are today. Maybe it's my memory of The Sandlot and the film's emphasis on PF Flyers — "guaranteed to make a kid run faster and jump higher." Maybe it's the fact that Keds can complete a plethora of looks, from girlie 1950s poodle skirts to Grease-inspired all-leather getups. Or maybe it's because when we think of Converse, we instantly are transported to the innocence of our playground days. Whatever it is that strikes a chord first, it's pretty evident that, like our striped t-shirt fixation, there's a real practicality that comes with wearing these classic sneakers. You can style them with something as casual as denim or as ladylike as a tea-length dress — either way, it's a no-fail look with an effortless feel.

Inspired by the stylish stars (picture above) that wear them, read on for updated classic kick styling tips.

  • While you may not be able to wear your kicks to the office — dress code willing, we're pretty sure you can sneak them in from time to time. The trick? Take the attention away from your feet with sleek separates. Pair a tailored blazer with formfitting trousers that hit at the ankle or wear them with a long, semisheer maxi skirt and silk blouse, or even a Summer denim-infused short suit will work.
  • Feeling like you want to diversify without deviating from your Chucks loyalty? Try on a printed canvas design or one of the season's brightest hues. Superga offers fun neon blues and greens, which certainly will add a pop of vibrancy to any look. Keds regularly injects artsy patterns and cheeky messages onto its canvas tops — in that oh-so-classic Champion silhouette, no less. Meanwhile, Converse is currently producing a washed-out chambray style that would increase your old-school outlook tenfold.
  • Punch up the casual vibe of your sneakers with an ultrafeminine dress á la Miley Cyrus. Floral prints, a voluminous skirt detail, a flirty halter-style neckline, and a nipped-waist shape add a much more glamorous feel to the shoes.
  • Don't feel like you have to stick to just one style MO. Maybe you usually wear your white-and-green PF Flyers with easy denim-and-tee basics? Well, this time around, opt for a minimalist's take on easy — a crisp white short and jersey black tank will provide a sophisticated, albeit totally simple, spin on sneaker style.
  • While Kristen Stewart proves that Converse and Keds can edge up almost any attire, we think it's important to remember that sneakers can be essential to a chic and polished outfit, too. An all-white Superga or a heather gray Jack Purcell is all you need to top off a preppy blazer-and-jean look, just like Jennifer Aniston did above.

Photos courtesy of Getty, FameFlynet, Phil Oh, and Adam Katz Sinding

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