I’m great at sharing food. Want a piece of gum, a bite of pizza, a sip of my drink? I’m your girl. Sharing trends, however? Eh, not so much. Who wants to look the same as everyone else? What’s the fun in that? Nothing drops an anvil on your mood like discovering the world has latched onto what used to be your personal favorite.

But the gut-punch of seeing three other students wearing your favorite shirt is doubly as awful as, say, spotting what you thought was a cool indie find on Billboard’s Top 100. Fashion is an expression of self, be it conscious or not. The clothes you choose communicate facets of your personality to everyone who throws you a wayward glance. When you purchase a piece of clothing, you are adding to your external narrative. When the masses adopt the same trend, it fundamentally changes the message.

So just don’t wear it — it’s an easy solution, no? Except you fell in love with that piece. You saw it worn by that it-girl whose life you secretly covet and wondered, while scrolling through pages upon pages of online shopping, whether you could pull it off. Finally, after a week of leaving it sitting hopefully in your cart, anxiously checking it regularly to ensure that your size hasn’t sold out, you pulled the trigger and lessened your already dwindling bank account a little more.

You sunk your heart and about 30 coffees’ worth into that purchase. Leaving it in a heap in the back of your closet never to be worn again isn’t a feasible option. But then again, can you put a price on sartorial pride?

I struggle internally whenever I wear Adidas Superstars.

Buying them was another story. As I rode the escalator up to the third floor of the Adidas flagship store, as Mary J. Blige’s “Family Affair” loudly echoed throughout the premise, I was buzzed on egoism. I was surrounded by the hip, the sporty, the cool, and I felt like the shit. Did I flip my hair and pop my hip? Possibly; that’s what M.J. Blige and copious shoes do to a girl.

I beelined to the men’s section — Ooo, I’m buying from the menswear section, how cool — where the triple-striped sneaker was proudly displayed. They called to me like harmonious cherubs, as if they were haloed in soft, golden light. I slid my foot into the rubber-soled slipper, and I was sold.

I wore them with pride, often.

But then, so did everyone else. To my horror, I found myself in elevators where every girl was wearing a pair. I stared down at their white sneakers, imploring them with all my might to dematerialize. I do not own the style; I was not the first to adopt the style; I know I don’t have the right to plunge a flag into the shoe, and claim it as mine, and mine alone. But if I could, I would.

My predicament worsened. My beloved sneakers faced character assassination via meme. Basic Bitch Starter Packs everywhere featured the shoe. Call an item basic, and I’ll embody the “X” armed emoji girl and scramble away from it with the same franticness and urgency as if it were a venomous spider. And yet, I could not bring myself to chuck my pair.

I continued to wear the shoe, but became increasingly paranoid. Was everyone noticing my choice of footwear? Did they care? Did they think less of my outfit, or me, because of it?

I can’t stop wearing them; they’re perfect. My closet is cluttered with stunning shoes, but time and time again I go with my Superstars. My heels hinder my ability to make it across campus in the University of Michigan time window. And my flats give me blisters. I need a sneaker. The neutrality of Superstars enables them to dissolve into any outfit, and their orthopedic support keeps my feet from crying mutiny. So label me as basic, if you must, but I won’t be retiring them anytime soon.

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