Plaid is one of the most easily recognizable fabrics in fashion today. It has been around for a long time and continues to be reinvented into different sections of the industry. Before the idea of plaid was limited to just shirts, plaid shirts are as common as they are loved. However, since late 2016 and 2017 plaid has picked up in popularity and has spread to other fashion products categories. You now have plaid winter coats, plaid pants, plaid dresses, plaid skirts, Plaid Sneakers, plaid hats and even plaid phone cases. Of all these, the most popular has been and especially in the kids clothing department and all plaid inspired footwear in general. Because of the uniqueness of the material and it’s an ability to stand out, a pair of plaid sneakers can take a normally plain kids’ outfit to the next level and make it look very fashionable.
They also communicate the personality of your kid. Wearing a statement shoe shows that you are open to taking fashion risks and that you know how to use accessories to your advantage. So all this talk about Plaid ad about shoes. If you do want a plaid shoe how do you go about it? Well the more you know the better so first let’s talk about the history of Plaid and then we’ll discuss what you need to look out for when buying a pair for your kids.
Brief History of Plaid:
The plaid flannel shirt became the unofficial symbol of the grunge movement in the early 1990s. Music bands like Nirvana and The Breeders popularized plaid in the grunge scene and wore it as their signature fashion. At this point, fashion brands started to pick up the print too and add it to their collections. For example, Marc Jacobs in 1993 released a grunge-inspired Spring collection. Empire Records followed soon after, and Liv Tyler’s ultra-mini plaid skirt and fuzzy blue sweater became an iconic countercultural image.
In 1995, couture designer Alexander McQueen took up Jacobs and Westwood’s gauntlet by infusing his collection with tartan, naming the collection “Highland Rape” in reference to Scotland’s mistreatment by the English in the 1800s. And in 1995 in the movie Clueless, Cher popularized the print further by wearing plaid and making it her statement style. Since then plaid has been more mainstream and continues to be so despite different social groups trying to identify with it as their unique counterculture unique fashion statement.
Buying A Plaid Shoe:
Shopping for a toddler can be fun but it does require some attention to detail. This is especially true when you are shopping for kids shoes. Because kids feet grow very rapidly you have to buy them new pairs at most every 6 months and sometimes every 2-3 months. If you can, always take your kids with you when you want to buy them a pair of shoes so they can try it on in the store. If you can’t take them with you then take a tracing of their foot with you. Place any shoe you think you might buy on top of the tracing. If the shoe is narrower or shorter than the tracing, you know it’s not the right size and you shouldn’t buy it.
- If you can take your kid with you for shoe shopping, then do it in the afternoon. As feet naturally expands with use during the day.
- Make sure your kid wears the same type of socks to the store that they intend to wear with the shoes. For example, don’t try on shoes with thick winter socks if you know you won’t wear them daily.
- Have a salesperson measure both of your kid’s feet. You should get your kids feet measured every time you buy new shoes and anytime you have the chance. Feet change with age, often growing larger and wider and for kids this growth is exponential. If one of your kid’s foot is larger than the other, buy a size that fits the larger foot.
- Have your kid stand in the shoes then press gently on the top of the shoe to make sure you have about a half-inch of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. This provides enough room for your foot to press forward as they walk. If your kid is a toddler, have them wiggle their toes to check.
- Let your kid walk around the store in the shoes to determine how they feel. Is there enough room at the balls of the feet? Do the heels fit snugly, or do they pinch or slip off? If you are purchasing online you can’t do this but if the shoe doesn’t fit, many online kids shops have good return and exchange policies that you can take advantage of. Don’t rationalize that the shoes just need to be “broken in.” Find shoes that fit from the start and don’t hurt. The pain is not worth it. You might be willing to take the pain as an adult but kids need the right shoes for developmental reasons.
- Trust your kids comfort level rather than a shoe’s size or description. Sizes vary between manufacturers. And no matter how comfortable an advertisement claims those shoes are, you’re the real judge. Also, kids grow at different rates. You kid might be 2 but have the foot size of a 4-year-old. Buy what fits not what a paper or label says should fit.
- Pay attention to width as well as length. If the ball of your kid’s foot feels compressed in a particular shoe, ask if it comes in a wider size. Buying shoes that are a half-size bigger but not any wider won’t necessarily solve the problem. Feel the inside of the shoes to see if they have any tags, seams, or other material that might irritate your kid’s foot.
- Examine the soles. Are they sturdy enough to provide protection from sharp objects? Do they provide any cushioning? Take note of how they feel as you walk around the shoe store. Get your kid to work on hard surfaces as well as carpet to see how the shoe feels on both.