Rule #1: Make no compromises on the alphet.
That's what separates us stylishly-inclined individuals from the swagless apes. So why is it that, every summer, the pressure of summer heat makes so many of us bow down to the sun's harsh rule? If you consider your style to be unswerving, then you don't have to kowtow to the changing seasons and the rules that every site (us included) insist you follow every time the temperature moves ever so slightly.
Sometimes, the best way to stunt on the competition is to do exactly what flies in the face of what everyone else believes is correct. You might catch a few odd looks, but your sense of steez should triumph over these cowards if you truly believe in and commit to it. That's why, on any given summer day, I'll step out of the crib in a crisp all-black-everything getup if that's what I feel like wearing. And if the look calls for it, I won't hesitate to complete the cypher with my favorite pair of six-inch Timbs. Black nubuck, to be precise.
You don't need Kanye sporting wheats in GQ to know that Timbs have long since ascended from functional footwear to a style item, trotted out routinely by Jay Z, Yeezus, and Rihanna, who are all doing what NYC heads and other cold-city residents have been up to for decades. Timbs pull a look together and make a rugged statement in ways that a fresh pair of Js just can't muster on some days. And the mood to make that statement doesn't just dissipate because the weather wants you to
turn dress down.
Stomping around the concrete jungle in a pair of timeless Timbs is a maneuver that works no matter what the weatherman is saying. I really don't get why motherfuckers waiting for the train alongside me will hit me with the ill side-eye if I sidle up in pitch black with boots to match in July. (I never do shorts and boots though, I'll leave that particular flourish to DMX.) Letting Mother Nature dress you is lowkey just as wack as Momdukes choosing your gear.
You might say that I'm just stuck on this wave thanks to PTSD from the never-ending winter we just barely survived on the East Coast. But having to stroll through the snow-saturated streets laced up and battle-ready wasn't punishment for me. Turns out, the "Game of Thrones"-esque winter was a consolation. Even amongst dozens of sneakers, my black Timbs stand out as a top five favorite pair of shoes, so I was happy to flex the utilitarian reasoning this past winter as I slid through everything from work to typically uptight NYC clubs to even pseudo-formal events in my six-inch killers. I never looked out of place, because they literally work within—while also breaking through—the confines of any and every alphet. Again, flossing in Timbs is older than Earth itself, but last fall through spring was the most I'd ever worn the boots. The harsh winter was a liberation, trapping me into an unprecedented routine that I wasn't ready to break as the thaw finally set in.
My point isn't on some Huffington Post or New York Times late-pass trend piece saying that Timbs are fashionable to some. It's that if you're shaking your head at me stepping out in boots on a blissful day that peaks at the mid-'80s (I'm not suicidal, after all) or—gasp— all-black-everything, then maybe you're letting the seasons dictate your perspective a bit too much. I'll hit an outdoor event in a murdered out look then try my luck with a swagless bouncer on a Sat night in Timbs if that's how I'm feeling (and I definitely hit both in pants because I kind of fucking hate shorts). As long as you're not facing torrential rain, dress how you want and forget both societal and niche #fashion "rules." If you're the type who favors shorts and flip-flops from the first 70 degree day of the year until the leaves change, then good for you. But fuck you, because I'm fittin' to wear Timbs for a year straight.