Maybe I’m Getting Old – “5 Trends I Just Can’t Comprehend”

Young Money Fashion Disasters

I was out the other night at Sherlock’s Den in Nakumatt Lifestyle – that eatery/drinkery cum Friday-night-pre-party-heng. As it so happened, it was a Friday night, and the youths were about. So I took the time to sip my Stoney and stare as ridiculous looking kids walked past me. I wondered if they knew how silly they looked. As I tread and trot on these increasingly metropolitan streets of Nairobi, I begin to feel like somewhere, sometime this year, I got old – fashion-wise – and nobody gave me the warning memo. I like to think that I have a fair grasp of urban fashions and trends but things are getting quite ridiculous now. There are a variety of new “things” that, for the life of me, I cannot comprehend, but for the sake of time – read, your attention span – I’ll only list 5.

Starting from the bottom up.

Stupid Fake Plastic Shoes.
Fake supras

Now, I have a problem with stupid shoes to begin with. Remember when shoes had a purpose and that’s how they got popular. Jordans wouldn’t have been popular if Mike wasn’t a good player. Air Maxes would never have amounted to anything if they didn’t set the standards for trainers. Same thing with any shoe that dominated the ’80s and ’90s. Even Timberlands had a purpose: the premier construction boot. But riddle me this, what does this shoe do?
Jeremy Scott Adidas
My guess is that they fly. Well, they would fly, if they were actually real. Because, see, those are fake. So are the red space-sneakers up there. And so are approximately 99% of sneakers vibrantly colorful plastic hi-top “footwear”, with undone laces/straps/buckles/buttons/braces/chains, and equally neon jeans semi-tucked into them being donned by these urchins. Like many of the things on this list, I blame Lil’ Wayne for these shoes ever catching on. Same thing goes for the following item.

Skinny Jeans
New Boyz Skinny Jeans
Bane. Of. My. Existence. Seriously, why? And I can kinda understand if you just prefer your jeans slim, but once you sag them – with a belt no less – it begins to pain me, you, and every ocular receptacle in the vicinity.
Sagging Skinny Jeans

Never mind that sagging with a belt is oxymoronic, but sagging skinny’s must be painful. Don’t you get severe fabric burn on the insides of your thighs? And let’s not even get into the pastel, neon colors these things come in. On that note…

Plaid Shirts

Plaid shirts

Dear World,
This is not a uniform. And although you’re trying to be unique with the colors, you somehow end up wearing the same 3 colors. Please, stop it. Please.

Stupid Sunglasses
Old Woman Sunglasses
Once upon the very same dark night, I saw small herd of these twenteenagers dancing about outside the actual establishment. Why they didn’t just walk in is beyond me, but that didn’t dawn on me until later. What I first noticed is that they were all wearing these ridiculously large old-woman sunglasses(and a few Kanye West Shutter glasses)…and it was night-time. This is up there with people who wear glasses and don’t need them; they just think it looks cool. Except this is the reversed more retarded version. It says ‘I’m making a dark room darker so that I look cool.” All puns aside, that’s not very bright, and definitely not a good look.

Stupid Haircuts
Lil Twist Stupid haircut #TeamTwist
I kid you not, I saw a kid with braids, dreads, a baldy and an afro on the same head. His barber must be one of those guys that strongly believes in genetic splicing. He’ll mix his soup and his ice-cream, his salad and his main course and crawl down to his bedroom in his basement and think “Maybe if I mix this man and this horse, I can make a Morse or a Han.” But since science wasn’t his thing(*hint hint* Lack of logic) he decided to become a hairdresser and one day this kid walked in with an afro and said “Surprise me”

BONUS: “Arafats” & Prayer Beads
Shemagh Kaffiyah Scarf
I want to meet the idiot that decided “Hey, while the rest of the world is crucifying and bastardizing Muslims and Arabs, let’s steal their cultural and religious symbols and turn them into fashion items.” I want to meet him so I can throw him off a building and see if he can fly with his winged shoes. Seriously, we aren’t in a desert and they are hardly warm, so although the scarves kinda make sense, they mostly don’t. That aside, fluorescent pink. No. OK? As for the beads, this is a recent development. I’ve seen a few folks donning them as necklaces and wallet chains.
I actually have prayer beads and I remember someone once asking me “Hey, where did you buy that cool bracelet?” I nearly slapped him.

But maybe I was wrong and missed the point. Maybe I’m no longer in tune with sensible fashion. Maybe, I’m just getting old.

Who knows.

35 thoughts on “Maybe I’m Getting Old – “5 Trends I Just Can’t Comprehend”

  1. Tru Dat, guess its the first sign you are getting old when you try and make sense out of fashion. Actually thats the second sign, the first one is getting annoyed.

  2. I understand where you are coming from. These skinny jeans are an insult to the real jeans, and don’t even go to the plastic shoes……….. they are downright horrible!

  3. Hey. I like skinny jeans (on chicks). *Ducks for cover* I mean, I don’t know how to wear them but I think they look really chill (on the right body type). The bit I don’t get is skinny jeans on dudes *Scratches her head* It seems…wrong…somehow.
    PS: I think plaid shirts are cool. They sort of scream ‘Uhm, I wouldn’t put it like that…’.
    But of course, this is hardly about what I think 😉 So, I’ll just run along now.

  4. I agree with you an almost everything. I hate, hate, HATE those plastic shoes. Hate them. Absolutely HATE them!! The first time I saw a pair, I came that close to kicking the kid that was wearing them.

    And don’t even get me started on Arafats. I once accidentally called the Gadaffis – i knew it was some some *famous* guy’s name … Gadaffi, Mubarak, somebody.

    However. I do like plaid shirts. A lot. Maybe not in purple but yeah.

    Two, I occasionally use anti-computer-glare-reading-glasses in my home office that may or may not be a silent fashion statement.

    Also, I am old *cheeky grin*

  5. Just to be clear, all this only applies to men. With that said….

    Plaid shirts = NO. I liked them, a lot, until I walked into a club in ATL last year and everyone had them on. I thought I had escaped them coming to Kenya, but alas, one day while waltzing through Nakumatt Lifestyle, I counted 16 of them. 16. And I was just walking through. I wasn’t even stopping by, or chilling. Just walking..

    And Skinny’s…eurgh, don’t get me started. Anyone who’s comfy in them is scrotally challenged. #nuffsaid

  6. Sunglasses @ Night: Anyone who has actually had some real ‘Bausch and Lomb’ lenses knows you can keep them on at night and still retain excellent vision and if in club it can reduce glare caused by lights etc. But these fake/cheap imitations just reduce your vision and look totally stupid. Especially if you know what the real lenses do….

  7. Arafat’s: Its supposed to be a statement about your support for the Palestinean people. I believe that if anyone actually thought about it and realised that (1) this could have been Uganda (2) the Palestinean situation is the only real genocidal activity ongoing and sustained that is left in this world and the reason people do not wake up is ‘gullt’ from the WWII Holocaust and belief in the Judaeo Christian myth of the ‘Promised’ people.

    So do you think any of the bubbleheads wearing the ‘Arafat’ know if this????

  8. What the hell!?!?!? Hahaha this is HILARIOUS! I am very CLEARLY getting old considering i am in some shagz in SA where 70% of the population is…well…over 70 years of age. I completely lost touch with fashion and seem to be stuck in some time warp! What on earth is going on with the flying shoes and the bad baaaaaad “mohawks”!? Surely…these toiz need a beating…or a fashion seminar no less! its lil’wayne’s fault! and all the brainwashing! (Geez…I sound like my mother!) lol

  9. Mehehehehehehehe! —-> that haircut, just made my morning. But it looks like pics I saw in a History book about people of an Ancient West African Empire… ama look for it when I get hoome..

  10. well I’m late on this. Skinny Jeans is a NO NO NO thing in my vocabulary. I know it’s not new but even back then when Ice – T and the likes used to profess gangster-like-demeanor, this Skinny jeans bs dropped they Gangster Cred. Yes Easy E used to rock Skinny jeans too(Well Not really the typical skinny jeans, but Easy’s Jeans had skinny bottoms and baggy towards the waist-line.. i rocked them too when I was a Kid but they got ugly as I grew.

    Plaid shirts never been a my thing n I won’t talk about it cuz I’ve seen more fishermen rock it than urbanites(To me it’s kinda a dope Fishing ‘swag’ than an Urban street ‘swag’).. Well excuse my ‘swag’ talk. actually in real life I’d punch anyone that talk that ‘swag’ sh*t next to me.

    Sneakers? Oh Well I’ma disciple!! I love sneakers like I love Kenyan females that smoke weed and try to justify it with ‘we in the 21st century homeboy, we gotta do what we gotta do as ladies’ Even go further by bringing in Affirmative action into play. I love such females and Kicks(Sneakers) in equal measures. Having said that, The increase in Plastic Shoes across major street stores in the city is alarming, Yes I got attitude and prejudice against people that rock plastic shoes. Kicks or no kicks. Shoes that are dope from far but far from dope when you actually touch them. But then Again I understand why rich kids across the city go to that extend. I know I have the time connections in the Mitumba industry hence I know where to pick my kicks(Dope 2nd Hand Kicks) but these kids don’t have all that info. Across the City of Nairobi, There isn’t a shop that sells genuine kicks. I said No shop not unless you are a Converse loving brother/sister then The Converse Shop at Westgate will sort you out. I’ve walked around even in these fancy shops like Factory 55, Mr. Price and Many others but these shops are fraud. no genuine kicks, all these kicks are fake, plastic and over-priced. The question is, who the hell clears products that’s been sold in the City? and what criteria do they use to measure standards? Until this question is answered, I’ll not blame these kids for there ‘swag’ (Excuse me once again).

  11. In as much as I think todays fashion is ridiculous, during our days we did the same, pissing off the older generation.

    My class 8 bash after KCSE exams, I showed up wearing my jeans BACKWARDS! Kris Kross was in, and I wasn’t to be left out.

    I once had my hair did like Shaba Ranks, ridiculous! I even had waves on my hair, and I did corn rows.

    That was ages ago, now I am wiser and I am glad I went through the phase. So whenever I see some youth sagging skinny jeans and wearing astronaut shoes, I just smile and mind my damn business

  12. My most hated items are those plastic shoes. But in the name of everything holy, sagging pants to show off your boxers is just plain daft! And I blame Weezy too.

  13. Here’s an addition to your list (that I wholesomely agree with!):
    – Geek / Nerd glasses: Uselessness has never come across so vividly as it does when these dark-rims that denote utter stupidity are worn. Blame Jay-Z, Weezy, Kanye et al for those..
    – Skinny jeans (deserved an encore): Well done, Sauti Sol, for championing the end of scrotums on men-kind as we know them..
    – Those damn No-hawks (no, no, no!) and Erika Bad.Hair.Dos!

  14. I agree wholeheartedly on all the above. Well, except the paid shirts. I have a green one and I love it. (It was an Xmas gift from mother dearest) Speaking of skinny jeans, there’s a new phenomenon known as drop crotch jeans that make the wearer look like he’s nursing an STD. I wonder if you noticed the beef I had on Twitter last week coz I criticized a certain local artiste for popularizing them in Kenya?

  15. Oh gosh! We’ve actually featured four of these on Stingo: 1) The brightly coloured shoes 2)Skinny Jeans and in the same Issue 12 3) The Plaid shirt, and finally 4) The Arafat, and in bright colours none the less. Bright orange I believe. As someone who knows nothing about trends in men’s fashion, I just assumed that it’s the way the world is today, and accepted that the model’s jeans are tighter than mine 🙂

  16. Yo! It is never THAT serious…..

    Yall need to crawl bAck under the rock that you came from…..

    That commEnt about hating ArafatS just goes to Show how much ignorance there is in Kenya especially about fashion …..

    Instead of knocking it, educate people about it e.g. Tell folks that sagging jeans originated from jailbirds in USA…. Maybe then they would think twice about wearing sagging jeans……

    Coz trust me, no one cares if you hate these trends oR not!

    • I’ll address that ‘No one cares’ statement in a bit.

      As for ignorance…well…

      Sagging originated in ghettos and projects, not jail. The ghetto mentality was that you would get clothes 2-3 sizes bigger for kids so that they would last longer. Belts were optional. One thing led to another. Sagging became the thing to do. As ghetto culture began being lauded and celebrated, sagging became an immediate hit. Sagging in jail on the other hand, was never well received. It generally either a) gets you raped b) means you’re someone’s bitch. People know all this and still do it. Kinda like people know most rappers are dropouts and listen to them, and most politicians are thugs and still defend them. It’s less about ignorance, more about resolved stupidity(i.e. Thinking that you know a lot when you really don’t, and don’t care to be told otherwise).

      As for Arafats, Kheffiyahs, Shemaghs, and whatever else they may be called, a decade ago, they were symbols of revolution(RE: Israel/Palestine conflict) They got popular the same way everything on this list got popular: someone saw someone on TV wearing it. And it wasn’t Arafat either. My guess is Kanye West. Either way, the style got jocked and here we are.

      Now, on to that last sentence there:
      Last time I checked, blogs were for expressing opinions. Unless you’re telling me not to have one, I fail to see what that’s all about. If you disagree, disagree and keep walking. No one’s forcing you to be here, no one will miss you when you’re gone. If you have something to say to the contrary, we’d be more than glad to hear it. All 1000 daily readers, all 500 people who read this particular post, all 90 subscribers to this blog and all 25 people who commented/gave feedback would be more than happy to hear how they constitute a ‘no one’ seeing as they dwell here. And I personally would like to know why my opinions mean I shouldn’t have a blog, and yet your lack of spelling ability doesn’t disqualify you from commenting.

  17. ya’ll just a bunch o haters with sad never got all you wanted never got to do all that you could.truth is back in the days the dress codes were as wack as you see them now. color full and shady too.haistyles like the box some funny looking dreads like for shabba ranks or lengthy ones like Bob’s.A hater will always be a hater.if you don’t like the way things are going with the fashion trends move to another planet.

    • truth is back in the days the dress codes were as wack as you see them now. color full and shady too
      Agreed. And back then I still said it was senseless. Bear in mind, I’m just speaking for me. If I think something is stupid, I’ll say it. If there is a justification as to why shoes need wings and jeans need to resemble spandex, by all means, educate me. I’ve never understood it. And my family will attest to me wearing black t-shirts and loose fitting blue jeans from the moment I had a choice.

      Further, my life is not sad. I’m actually very jovial, thank you. And I hardly think not liking skinny jeans means I should relocate to Mars. Overkill perhaps. See, if I had a problem with Oxygen, that would warrant that. But for as long as oxygen is delicious and the LARGE OVERWHELMING majority of human beings dress decently, I fail to see why such drastic measures are necessary.

    • That’s right, Fuckyou. I am an old bastard with nothing to do all day except lounge around all day, get laid, talk shit and get paid for it.
      Life is so horrible for me, Fuckyou. How will I ever live with myself, Fuckyou?

      Maybe I should wear tighter pants, bigger shoes and a Lil’ Twist frohawk. Would that make me cool, Fuckyou?

      Because that’s all that matters to me, man. That you think I’m cool. The other 150k people that come here don’t mean anything. It’s all about you, Fuckyou. So tell me what to do o Wise Fuckyou.

      Help me, Fuckyou.

  18. Y’all are just a bunch of old trolls that don’t know anythinqq bout swaqq. If yhu ask me back in the 70’s andd 80’s what y’all wore was hideous compared to now days

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