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10 Classic Video Game Fashions

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Playing video games is usually a solitary pursuit. You wear what you like as long as you’re comfortable. A t-shirt and pajama pants will do nicely, and you can find those printed with your favorite video game characters and icons at most clothing stores. For conventions and cosplay events you will want a full costume, which you can find online with no problem. Then there are those times you go out in public and would like to broadcast your interests, subtly or not-so-subtly, to break the ice with potential kindred spirits. These are the fashions for such an occasion: some are available to buy, while others are one-of-a-kind creations that might inspire you to make your own!

1. 1-up Mushroom Scarf

Etsy seller UrbanPrincess will make this Super Mario-inspired 1-up mushroom scarf for you in whatever color(s) you like! Her other scarves feature Princess Peach and Mario knitted right in.

2. Super Mario Warp Zone Socks

Will warp zone socks make you run faster? No, but they might make you feel like you’re throwing fireballs!

3. Super Mario Sweater Vest

The Happy Seamstress calls this “The Nerdiest Sweater Vest in the World.” She converted pixels into knitting stitches to recreate a scene from the world of Super Mario which continues around the back of the vest, complete with the level and time!

4. Super Mario Gloves

These fingerless gloves have the pattern of a fire flower from Super Mario Brothers. Craftster leahseraph made them for her brother so he can continue playing when the temperature drops. And then there are video game fashions other than Super Mario…

5. Video Game Sweaters

The reason these sweaters feature old-school video games is that they were custom-knitted in the mid 80s! Yet the classics are still favorites for many. In addition to Q-bert and Donkey Kong, Flickr user Scurra_2002 has sweaters that depict Pac-Man and Space invaders. There are more video game characters knitted into the ends of the sleeves.

6. Tetris Tube Top

Available from Etsy seller ZidishaLuxe, this tube top comes in stretchy black fabric with 54 cubes in the shapes of Tetris blocks falling.

7. Missile Command Skirt

Lenore at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories made a Missile Command Skirt by adorning a simple black skirt with appliques and ribbons detailing the destruction. You’ll find illustrated instructions in case you want to make your own!

8. Tetris Dress

Erin wished she had some Tetris printed fabric to make a dress, and since she made this wish online, a friend contacted a fabric printer to make the perfect print. The resulting Tetris dress was a hit, and now you can order the fabric to make yours.

9. Handheld Game Unit Dress

Etsy seller SewOeno isn’t calling this dress by the brand you recognize, but you do recognize this classic Handheld Game Unit dress, don’t you?

10. Nintendo Controller Dress

Artist Liz Tan made this awesome Nintendo controller dress for Halloween. Sadly, hers is a one-of-a-kind project, but you can get a strapless knit version from ZidishaLuxe.

If you are too shy to wear such clothing and want to get your message across more subtly, you might want to go with video game jewelry. But that’s an entirely different list, coming soon!

See also: 10 Ways to Game Up Your Home and 8 Awesome Video Game Quilts.

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11 Classic Facts About Converse Chucks
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Converse’s Chuck Taylor sneakers have been around since the early 20th century, but they haven’t changed much—until recently. In 2015, The Chuck II—a new line of Converse that looks much the same as the original shoe but with a little more padding and arch support—hit stores. In honor of the kicks' staying power, here are 11 facts about Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars.  

1. They were originally athletic shoes. 

The Converse All-Star debuted in 1917 as an athletic sneaker. It quickly became the number one shoe for basketball, then a relatively new sport (basketball was invented by James Naismith in 1891, but the NBA wasn't founded until 1946). By the late 1940s, most of the NBA sported Chucks. They remain the best-selling basketball shoes of all time, even though very few people wear them for basketball anymore. (Many teams switched to leather Adidas in the late ‘60s.)

2. Converse previously made rain boots.

The company started in 1908 as a rubber shoe company that produced galoshes.  

3. The All-Star design hasn’t really changed since 1917.

The updated Chuck II is Converse’s first real attempt to update its flagship product since the early 20th century. The company is understandably reticent to shake things up: All-Stars make up the majority of the company’s revenue, and like any classic design, its fans can be die-hards. In the 1990s, when the company tried to introduce All-Stars that were more comfortable and had slightly fewer design inconsistencies, hardcore aficionados rebelled. “They missed the imperfections in the rubber tape that lines the base of the shoe,” according to the Washington Post. The company went back to making a slightly imperfect shoe.

4. Chuck Taylor was a basketball player and trainer ...

Chuck Taylor in 1921. Image Credit: North Carolina State University via Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Taylor was a Converse salesman and former professional basketball player who traveled around the country teaching basketball clinics (and selling shoes) starting in the 1920s. His name was added onto an ankle patch on the sneaker in 1932

5. ... And though he sold a lot of Chucks, he wasn't always a great coach.

Taylor is in large part responsible for the shoe’s popularity with athletes (the company rewarded him with an unlimited expense account), but his training advice wasn’t always the best. As former University of North Carolina player Larry Brown told Spin in an oral history of the shoe:

My greatest memory of Chuck Taylor—probably ’61 or ’62—is that he told Coach [Dean] Smith that he’d make us special weighted shoes in Carolina blue. The idea was that we’d wear the weighted shoes in practice, and then during the games, we’d run faster and jump higher. Well, we tried them for one practice and everyone pulled a hamstring.

6. Converse didn’t intend for their shoes to be punk.

“We always thought of ourselves as an athletic shoe company,” John O’Neil, who oversaw Converse’s marketing from 1983 to 1997, told Spin. “We wanted to sell a wholesome shoe.” The company was still touting its shoes as basketball sneakers as late as 2012, and some of its non-Chucks sneakers still have pro endorsers.

7. The company owns a recording studio.

Finally embracing its role in the music scene, the company launched Rubber Tracks, a Brooklyn-based recording studio where bands can record for free, in 2011.

8. Not all the Ramones were fans. 

Chuck Taylors are associated with punk rockers, especially the Ramones, but not everyone in the band wore them. “Dee Dee and I switched over to the Chuck Taylors because they stopped making [the style of] U.S. Keds and Pro-Keds [that we liked],” Marky Ramone told Spin. “Joey never wore them. He needed a lot of arch support and Chuck Taylors are bad for that.”

9. Chucks were initially only high tops. 

In 1962, Converse rolled out its first oxford Chuck Taylor All-Stars. Previously, it had just been a high-top shoe. Four years later, the company would introduce the first colors other than black and white.

10. Rocky ran in them.

In 1976, All-Stars were still considered a viable athletic shoe. If you look closely at the training montage from Rocky, you’ll see the boxer is wearing Chucks. 

11. Wiz Khalifa loves them. 

The rapper named his record label Taylor Ganag Records, in part due to his appreciation for Chuck Taylors. In 2013, he launched a shoe collection with Converse featuring 12 styles. 

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Adidas, Mari Orr
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Adidas Collaborates With Artists to Create Sneakers for All 50 States
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Iowa
Adidas, Mari Orr

For a recent project from Adidas and Refinery29, artists were given a women’s running shoe to use as their blank canvas. Their only prompt: Design the sneaker to represent one of the American states. The results are as varied and colorful as the nation itself.

As Adweek reports, the initiative, dubbed BOOST the Nation, takes an all-American look at Adidas’s UltraBOOST X footwear line. Refinery29 selected several artists—all women—to put their regional stamp on the plain white shoe. Some have been decorated with state flora. For instance, the Florida sneaker sports a tropical frond and the shoe for North Carolina is embellished with Venus flytraps. Food is also a popular theme: Wisconsin cheese, Maine lobster, and Tennessee barbecue have all been incorporated into sneaker designs.

Each sneaker is one-of-a kind and only available through auction. All proceeds raised will go directly to Women Win, an organization dedicated to bringing sports to adolescent girls around the world. The auction runs through Tuesday, July 11, with current bids ranging from $110 to $2000. Check out the artists’ handiwork that's for sale below.

Sneaker designed to look like a peach.
Georgia

Checkered running shoe.
Indiana

Adidas, Jen Mussari

Yellow running shoe with cracker tag.
Wisconsin

Sneaker designed to look like a mountain.
South Dakota
Adidas, Mari Orr

Sneaker decorated with wheat.
Oklahoma

Adidas, Jen Mussari

Sneaker embellished with fake roses and leaves.
Kentucky

Pink running shoe with lobster claw.
Maine

[h/t Adweek]

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