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Carmin Chappell

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Creepers: Trudging Into Style

Posted: 04/18/2012 9:27 am

Creepers are a type of shoe that originated in World War II, when British soldiers wore them because the tough soles of the shoes were perfect for the desert environment. After the war, the soldiers returned to London and frequently inhabited the various night spots around the city, giving the shoes the term "brothel creepers," or just creepers for short. Throughout the '70s, '80s, and '90s, creepers were still a prevalent fashion staple on the rock 'n' roll scene.

A few months ago, I started seeing creepers all over the fashion blogosphere; they were especially popular in the UK (the Internet is a great way to keep up with trends all over the world). I was extremely intrigued by the boxy shape and thick soles -- they were completely different from the sky-high stilettos that are so common among women today. I asked my dad to buy me a pair -- black with leopard print and a two-inch platform -- and he reluctantly gave in.

After weeks of impatiently waiting, my shoes finally arrived. They were clunky and hard to walk in, but I didn't expect anything different due to how big the soles were. As a lover of all things fashion, especially shoes, I was elated to finally have a pair of creepers to call my own. I couldn't wait to wear them to school.

In terms of shoes, there isn't much variety at my school. In the winter, the abundance of Ugg-clad feet has me mistaking the hallways for a sheep farm. When the weather starts getting nicer, simple tennis shoes, sandals, and ballet flats are all common. Keeping this in mind, the reaction I received when I wore my creepers to school was not unexpected.

Even before school had started, I could hear whispers as I thumped down the hallway. In class, my peers had some interesting comments. One boy turned to me and said "What's up with the shoes?" as if I was wearing them as some type of joke. Even my friends found my choice in footwear off-putting. None of the remarks affected me, though -- I loved my shoes and that was all that mattered.

That day was about two months ago. I've worn them twice since, and I still get comments on them, but nothing compared to the first day. But, creepers have been gaining popularity in my Washington, D.C. suburb, albeit slowly. People have asked me where I bought mine because they are interested in buying some also. Last week I noticed a girl at the local theme park in a pair with what looked like three-inch platforms. I even saw someone at school wearing them a few days ago. These occurrences make me smile because although the creepers trend will inevitably fade, it's nice to know that creative expression through fashion will never die out, especially in a time when originality is so scarce.

 
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