Chuck Taylor: A Brief History

If Converse ever really went out of style, we would be too busy rocking our Chucks (Converse), to notice! Before we reveal our favorite looks to wear with Converse shoes, let’s explore the history of this famous footwear.

Marquis Converse founded the Converse Rubber Company in Boston in 1908, and by 1917, the company started making basketball shoes. Thanks to semi-pro basketball player turned salesman Charles “Chuck” Taylor, the shoe was redesigned in the early 1920s to offer more support and flexibility. The shoes were first available in natural colors with black trim; later, they were offered in all-black canvas or leather.

To promote sales, Taylor would hold basketball clinics in local YMCAs and high school and college gyms. Converse quickly gained popularity among young basketball players and Olympic athletes alike. In 1934, Chuck Taylor’s signature was added to the distinctive circular ankle patch, and the Chuck Taylor All Stars became the first celebrity-endorsed athletic shoe.

(image via grailed)

During World War II, Chuck Taylors became the official athletic training shoes of the U.S. Armed Forces. By the 1950s and 1960s, Chucks were the preferred shoe of high school, college, and professional athletes, dominating 70%-80% of the shoe market. As time went on, the shoe’s popularity went beyond the realm of athletics and entered the subculture universe.

Throughout the 1970s, bands such as the Ramones and the Sex Pistols popularized Converse Chuck Taylors, later passing that torch to grunge rockers such as Kurt Cobain. Today, the shoe is as popular as ever and is available in practically any color or color combination you can imagine.

(image via dazed)

Now that we have a better understanding of Converse’s past, let’s look at a few ways to style them.

(image via where to get it)

A Mini Moment

We’re suckers for any kind of ’90s homage outfit. Get the look by pairing a black front-button miniskirt with a T-shirt and a destructed denim jacket, then topping off with low-top classic black Chuck Taylor All Stars ($55, shop here). We also don’t hate the idea of rocking Summer Spirit Chuck Taylor All Stars ($75, shop here) with this look.

(image via where to get it)

Chucks and Distressed Denim? Name a More Iconic Duo.

This outfit is all about juxtaposition. Simply pair distressed denim with a blazer or peacoat over a basic top. Black high-top Chuck Taylor All Stars ($60, shop here) complete the look. To add a bit of color, we recommend the low-top Lemon Chrome Chuck Taylor All Stars ($55, shop here).

(image via alexie)

You, You, You Oughta Know

Maybe it’s that bit of teenage angst brought on by Alanis Morissette and Fiona Apple, but we love pairing Converse with a vintage floral maxi dress and a comfy oversized sweater. If the fit is too baggy, grab a belt, position it where you like it, then tighten it to where it’s comfortable (all of this will be happening OVER your dress and sweater). Next, pull the sweater out just enough to hide the belt, and voila! Your outfit will stay intact, and you’ve defined your waistline. Now, the Chucks are entirely up to you, but may we suggest these Canvas Broderie Platform Chuck Taylor All Stars ($70, shop here)?

Sources: Converse / Dazed


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