When many people think of a meme you’ll usually think of some kind of online trend or joke that becomes adopted by multiple different subcultures and is used in their own way to portray their own joke or message. Overtime with the internet becoming more and more accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds memes today has become somewhat of this watered down joke that dies out within almost a month of its relevance. Memes often go to die in a few places whether it’s the Yodel kid appearing on the Ellen show or your mother or father oversaturating their Facebook page with memes they really don’t understand. Now apparently there is a new category of a meme within the menswear community, this meme just consists of wearing a shoe that is considered by most within the world of fashion as trendy. It doesn’t just consist of shoes through a few garments also fall into this category according to popular menswear subreddits and online blogs. With the use of the word meme to describe certain garments and products it just raises the argument are trends just memes within the world of fashion?
With certain shoes being regarded as memes today for menswear communities it opens the discussion as to how these shoes achieved their meme status. Most of these shoes are just menswear staples that any man should have in their closet as opposed to something of a meme that comes and goes. You have classic men’s shoes like the Adidas Stan Smith being referred to as the ‘Meme’ Smiths and Clark’s Desert Boots being thrust into this category of a meme as if they are loud out there shoes that will not be relevant in a few months. These are shoes that have been around for many years and may have recently become a little more popular than they were maybe 20 years ago but that is no reason to classify the shoes as memes. Sometimes when a shoe or garment isn’t as popular and widespread but it is a quality product that can apply to many different peoples wardrobes all it needs is that reintroduction into the mainstream in order to boost its popularity and make many realize that this is something they need in their closet. Now, this doesn’t mean meme to me even though it has gained popularity because the Stan Smith is something every man needs in their wardrobe which is a white leather sneaker and the Desert Boot falls into the same exact category of something every man can use to sophisticate any outfit without doing too much. This may scream meme too many online menswear communities but these are simply just efforts by the average man to make more fashion conscious decisions when it comes to their footwear and to overall become introduced to fashion as a whole, which is a good thing.
With all this recent change of popular shoes achieving this new found ‘meme-dom’ it raises the argument is there an equivalent within women’s fashion? Women’s fashion is mostly regarded as being centered around developing somewhat of a personal style not relying on a few key items within their closet to achieve their ‘unique’ look. I personally disagree with this and if you are going to talk about menswear having its own memes womenswear definitely has its own memes. From riding boots, the white Converse Chuck Taylor and the ever so hated ‘spartan’ sandal women’s footwear definitely has its own memes just the online discussion isn’t as great, but they are there. That doesn’t mean those are memes either these are just products that a lot of women purchase because they are popular and reliable for them. I don’t think online communities should be describing different shoes as memes but you can’t stop the discussion from happening and you can’t stop more and more men from buying these shoes, so the discussion on what is and is not a meme within menswear will continue.