ailon's DevBlog: Development related stuff in my life

Black Leather Shoes

10/22/2011 10:14:45 AM

Note: this is just some random blabbering from a geek who knows nothing about “fashion” but decided to write about it anyway.

I was packing for my trip to DevReach a week ago when I saw this tweet

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and I remembered Scott Hanselman talking about dressing up a notch and getting more respect on This Developer’s Life. I am paraphrasing, but hopefully that was a key takeaway. One of the main aspects of dressing up Scott mentioned, was wearing nice black leather shoes and not sneakers.

So here I am preparing to go to the conference and staying in the same hotel Scott stays and this is what I’m going to wear

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These are Adidas Superstar and, yes, that’s a Star Wars edition ;) And they even have some lightsaber action on the soles :D

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Yeah, I know. I’m 36 and I find this to be cool. There must be something wrong with me.

And my other shoes are superstars too. That’s my way of dramatically narrowing down my shopping options while still leaving a little variety for fun (they come in different colors, materials, etc.). And I love them. When I get rich I know what I’m going to collect.

So, we are having breakfast with a number of speakers at DevReach and the discussion inevitably comes to shoes and everyone wears a different kind of shoes. Some wear “nice black leather shoes”, some wear running shoes, some wear “vintage” sneakers and some even wear sandals (even though it was close to freezing in Sofia). We discuss it for some time and everyone stays with their initial opinion and we move on.

This morning I was tying shoelaces on my superstars and I remembered this photo

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This is a photo of Phil Haack from Scott Hanselman’s blog annotated by Scott himself (as far as I understand). Update: Scott didn’t make this picture. And look what shoes he is wearing. Yep, these are Adidas Superstar. And he was wearing superstars all the times I’ve seen him at 2 MIXes. I noticed, because like Scott is obsessed with “nice black leather shoes”, I’m obsessed with superstars. So I notice.

So, back to the topic of “dressing up” and getting more respect. Suppose I don’t know who Scott Hanselman and Phil Haack are. And I meet them both and one is wearing “nice black leather shoes” and the other one is wearing Adidas Superstar. And I’m wearing superstars too. So who is getting more respect credit from me?

In a pretty crappy Adjustment Bureau movie, there’s one good scene where Matt Damon’s character (running for congress) explains how his team picked his shoes. It goes something like they should be relatively new but not too expensive and shiny, so that working class doesn’t think you are some rich kid from Wall Street and at the same time they should be respectable enough, so rich kids from Wall Street don’t think you are some poor schmuck. And he gets respect of the crowd by telling the truth about this.

The bottom line is that you can probably try to tailor your wardrobe for “more respect”, but you would probably get more respect by being honest and true to yourself.

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