Thank goodness for Converse. My mom bought me my first pair, of the low-top black variety, when I was in seventh grade. I still have these, frayed shoelaces, drawn-on soles and all. Since that initial pair, I've added a pair of white low-tops and off-white high-tops. I can't say enough good things about them. I know there are other sneaker options out there, I personally have my beloved neon kicks, and Supergas are having a big moment, Keds have been around forever, Vans, I get it. But there's something so classic and sharp about punctuating an outfit with a Converse sneaker that no other sneaker variety seems to offer. It's like the shoe that's there when no other shoe quite works. And for that they are owed some positive reflection.

When I only had my one pair, Converse were just starting to shed their association with the "goth" crowd in middle school, and my 2003 self felt that I needed to prove my distance from that group's classification, wearing the black low-tops with slightly flared jeans and a velvet blazer ("business" on the top, casual on the bottom). I wore them with shorts and skirts and just about any outfit you wouldn't expect a sneaker to go with. When I went for my white ones, they were meant to be more of a statement. They were intentional. I paired them with white jeans and a white v-neck t-shirt and dresses that called for a much more formal shoe. I stumbled upon the slim-soled high-tops sometime in 2011, and stalked them for a while. I waited too long and they stopped making the off-white kind, so I just went for the original, and I'm so glad I finally gave in. 

My high-tops offer more variety than I could ever expect. From chambray shirts with jorts and sweater/shorts combos to rolled up skinnies with lots of layers to a leather skirt with my new Boom sweatshirt plus swingy dresses, maxi skirts and just plain keeping it casual (on gameday, go Wildcats!), they're shockingly versatile, but in a way I also anticipated (which is why I stalked them for so long, I guess). 

Converse are the best. There's almost nothing they can't go with outfit-wise, and sometimes just the prospect of wearing them with an outfit gets me excited. I thought they deserved a shoutout.

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