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Classic Cons

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Yes, Converse All Stars (aka Chuck Taylors) are timeless, like black leather jackets, white T-shirts and Juicy Fruit gum. They are basically cheap shoes ($33 at www.converse.com) made of canvas and rubber that continue to be a staple of old- and new-school cool. But when you think about it, they are also warnings or possible symptoms of an approaching change in life. Everyone, young or old but mostly teenagers, goes through a stage that involves Chuck Taylors. Because they’re so basic and almost anti-style, they set their wearer apart from the whole “conformist” scene. So, if you want to be a burnout, a hippie, an artsy-fartsy type or just nostalgic (midlife crisis?), the easy first step in the transformation is to buy the classic Converse. What better way to be different than to be like everyone else?

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