As you get older, if you're a Shoreditch tech geek, two things start to spoil your fashion life. Firstly, your waist gets bigger so those slinky jeans start biting your beer gut. Secondly, your chunky DC Shoe Company trainers start to get a bit fruity and the smart, clean smelling people in offices who you work with can smell them. There. I've said it. I guess I never noticed when I spent most of my life in a studio full of skinny people with stinky old trainers, or because I was smoking a ten deck of Marlborough lights every day between lunch and dinner so I mostly smelled of fags which covered a multitude of sins.
Then one day you find yourself trying to squeeze into a pair of slacks that say 36 inch waist but you suspect it's more likely centimetres. Enter Carhartt. For the last ten years I've never worn anything else. I walk a lot, they don't wear out where my thighs rub together. They say 36 and feel like a 38, meaning you feel thinner than you obviously are. You feel good, and you know they'll last forever. I've got Carhartts that are five years old, they're still going stung. I've taken to walking between meetings. I might walk from Shoreditch to Covent Garden, Victoria, wherever a few times a week. I got some Gap Khakis in their half price promo offer six months ago and they're letting fresh air in round my nether regions. I've stopped shopping for trousers now. I get 36 inch Carhartts in various shades of black, grey, blue, green, brown and that's it. For the rest of my life. Job done.
With shoes, I've always shied away from GEOX because they look like uncool Euro shoes and not a proper brand. Then I had a child and GEOX market themselves hard to them. Every day between Bob the Builder and Rory the Racing Car I got kids dancing around in GEOX. Shoes that breathe eh? They are awesome. Two years back I was covering all three political party conferences (in my Carhartts) back to back running a live social media news feed. That's working from breakfast until 2 am, tweeting, interviewing, blogging. You're on your feet all day. I did it in 2009 and by the end of conference two (Labour in Brighton) my shoes smelled like dead badgers. Disasterous when you're trying to do a live interview in the press room with Ed Milliband, fortunately he had a stinking cold and didn't notice, but I did. It was shameful. 2010 was different. By the end of it my first pair of GEOX shoes smelled slightly less fresh than they did when I bought them, but no more than say a jacket or a pair of gloves. I've never gone back. Now I wear brightly coloured Euro trainers everywhere. They also keep your feet cooler so you sweat less. It's win:win.
So if you see a fortysomething Shoreditch tech geek in baggy Carhartts and acid yellow Euro trainers, you will know two things. Firstly, he's never going to buy a pair of Levis or Nikes. Secondly, his shoes smell great and he's got room under his belt for a big lunch and a lot a lager without any danger of feeling like he's going to burst the button off his waistband. For everything below my waist (that you can see) shopping is over.