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By SuedeShoes (size 10)
I was at a community social occasion recently (the match) when my seasonal sartorial selection prompted a debate. Someone pointed out that my outfit de jour resembled that of a geography teacher and, now that I'm firmly into my third decade, this was due to my age. A mate of much longer standing moved to quickly clear up this mistake pointing out we'd been dressing similar since we were doing geography ourselves.
I've never understood why to 'dress like a geography teacher' is seen as a bad thing. The schmutter commonly mocked as geography teacher gear is in fact some of the most stylish, classical British design it's possible for a chap to rock.
My own geography teacher never fit the stereotype as he never saw any natural fabric at all let alone a fine tweed jacket with real leather elbow patches. He was from Bolton though where they took to polyester and nylon like people did to the lightbulb. Me mate at another school had a geography teacher who drove a Hillman Imp and wore a Barbour and a deerstalker. Him, Bryan Robson and Bodie from The Professionals were the coolest men I'd ever seen by that age.
A tweed jacket, fair isle sweater and a pair of Gordini's may suggest an unhealthy interest in topography and scree slopes to some but to them that know it offers a classic yet casual sophistication based on traditional style. You may want a Kagoul that says OTS on it rather than Regatta and draw the line at a rubber butty box but it's all cut from the same cloth.
One of the finest purveyors of post-casual clobber, Manchester's menswear mecca Oi Polloi's entire aesthetic grew from the discovery of copies of Geography Teachers weekly from 1978 to 1980, fostering a fondness for wool and a love of brown. (The colour. Obviously).
Pointer Footwear was created in 2004 with the aim of making simple, well-designed casual shoes and trainers in response to a market saturated with increasingly technical trainers and hyped-up limited edition shoes (which even UK designers have increasingly taken to calling sneakers the bellends). Mining the post-casual seam since their inception Pointer have adopted the aesthetics of geography chic for a number of years now culminating in this seasons men's collection pitched somewhere between Scruffy McGuffy (You'll have to Google him if you're young enough to think he's character from 'Hairy McClairy from Donaldson's Dairy') and them Morris cars with wood on em. There's no finer provider of footwear for super-superannuated terrace terrors, bohemian libertines or briar pipe smoking map-readers amongst today's gentlemen's outfitters.
Borrowing from most of the classic casual shoes of the past, they offer up something for everyone who understands the value and elegance of the kagoul and yearns for the return of the cord shoe (Which sadly represents an elegant futility coz if we all found a pair and wore em now we'd look like we'd gone out in our slippers. I like the yearning anyway). Pointer do get a bit lairy with one-or-two colourways but the errors are minor and they are cockneys.
The Baraja's in shades of brown redolent of a mocha-choco ice cream up an autumnal tree, conjure images of train timetables, away games and ordnance surveys and look dead smart an that. I've not seen a finer shoe for a while and it's only part of a collection that ticks more boxes than Cheryl Cole.
The Debaser has been in the collection for a while and is a superb example of the casual/geography crossover, somewhere in-between a trainer and a shoe. My own pair are made of leather softer that that found on the inner thigh of a cow that has spent it's life being perpetually massaged and listening to Prince Far-I. Every bend of the foot seems to make them emit an almost audible satisfactory sigh of relaxed contentment.
The Crago shoe is the newest gem on offer. A beautifully subtle effort calling to mind images of sunspots, Slazenger and Stephen Pastel. Despite its suede construction a squirt of Scotchguard will ensure a smooth assimilation into this seasons winter wardrobe, dovetailing neatly with the assorted rough-hewn knitwear, redneck plaid and post cold-war Norwegian performance outerwear.
There are many more, including some lovely pumps and all the shoes are available in a number of assorted colourways/variaties of brown (but does anyone really want shoes any other colour?).
The previously mentioned Oi Polloi has also ventured into the Geog-shoe market this season with a small collection in collaboration with Etnies (I know). There are only a few styles but as Oi Polloi sneers in the face of the credit crunk and continues to flourish, the collection may grow.
I havn't seen any geography teachers in a while so I don't know if they're all wearing Pointer shoes or not but if the government keeps upping its offers to entice failed English and media graduates everywhere into the profession there could be at least one here. Its got to be better than working and the uniform is cool as fuck.
View the complete Pointer collection and find out more about Pointer at www.pointerfootwear.com or if you're a geography teacher at 38 53' 23'' N, 77 00' 27'' W
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