“Junners, for the man who appreciates the comfort and style of denim, but is still aware of the likelihood of physical activity.” So reads this wonderfully complete and accurate definition that was said by my friend Sam Nix. Somebody put this is in the Oxford dictionary! I am opening this Junners discussion because they fascinate me. Such a hideously ugly combination that is worn by so many. Can so many people be wrong? For 19 years, I have said yes with a capital Y E S. Reserved for children too young to have an input in their outfit, nerds, Dad’s entering their 40’s and old people, Junners have been on the outer for well dressed people since ever. What has sharpened my curiosity is study case 1: my Dad. He was a disciple of the Junners faith for many years, and copped a ribbing from me and my sister about this look. He has now changed. He sports a slip on canvas shoe, a lot better looking with his favoured jean. But part of me wonders – is he really more comfortable with 3mm of rubber under his foot as opposed to the 2cm of cushy EVA goodness under the runner? He may be more comfortable in his mindset, but surely his feet are crying out for a return. So, to properly conduct this investigation, I must enter murky waters which I have never wanted to venture into. I have to wear Junners. I have to perform everyday tasks in them to get the best, most wholly rounded view of the situation. I feel a little bit sick. The runners I will wear are my outrageously comfortable adidas adiStar Ride 2’s, and the jeans I will wear are my Neuw Joey Slim Raw’s. They aren’t the skinniest jeans I own, but they are pretty slim and feel good in the right areas. I feel very ill wearing these 2 superb pieces of craftsmanship together.
My initial discomfort is replaced by a strange feeling of inner peace. My feet are happy; my arse and hamstrings are happy – am I happy in my new outfit? The next 8 hours will tell me more….
Trip to the shops
I really really wanted some Nesquick. I also needed to post a letter. So up to the shops I drove. Driving in Junners is magnificent. People can only see the great jeans you’re wearing when in the car, and I think a couple of middle aged men and women even smiled at me while driving past, probably thinking “What a young go-getter. I’ll be surprised if he leaves the shops with less than 8 women hanging off him.” So far, Junners get a big tick for driving because they are hidden. I leave the car with my letter, and feel a dark wave of terror creep over me. I am public. There is a scroungy looking woman glaring at me, questioning my position in society. I’m pretty sure a man unloading groceries at the receiving dock turned around and spat in my direction. This is bad. I shove the letter in the box and break out into a brisk walk. There is a small child. It was all a blur, but I think he started crying when he saw me. I noticed a small amount of garlic sauce from my Saturday night kebab on the knee of my jeans. I hope he was crying at this, but I don’t think he was. It’s too small to notice. I thank my lucky stars that most of the staff are middle aged women who probably appreciate Junners. I quickly get my Nesquick, because it’s good too be quick when you’re shopping and when you’re making fashion earthquakes. I saw a mate and felt the need to establish early in the conversation that I was wearing Junners for a social experiment, not because they were my preferred get up. On my way out I heard an old man yelling in what sounded like Greek. This was unnerving, as was the sight of an old lady in Junners which confirmed how far out of my demographic I had ventured. I felt relieved when I was back in the car. I laughed. I had just pulled off the crime of the century, and no-one had stopped me. Fools.
Another trip to the shops
Have to help Mum lift stuff for Dad’s 50th family dinner tonight because I have huge muscles that are best for lifting groceries. What a manly man I am. Unfortunately she has chosen the exact same shops that I went to an hour ago. I am not going back in there. Instead I walk to the sandwich bar and get the best chicken schnitzel sandwich with fresh salads in all of the eastern suburbs. It is good. The look I got from the mildly successful businessman when I walk in is not so good. He gave me a look that said, “You’ll never become a mildly successful businessman in that attire.” I felt intimidated. I got my sandwich and almost ran back to the car. The social stigma was getting to me. The comfort on my heels and knees was no longer the first thought in my mind when completing these everyday activities – the thought of a woman never wanting to look at me again in my Junners was. As I got into the car, a pretty good looking Mum had a puzzled look on her face. ‘Why is that young boy choosing to dress like this?’, she would’ve thought. ‘Is my son going to choose this as well? Should I just get a pillow and smother his face now? – (Too far?) – Probably shouldn’t, the johnny hoppers are already hot on my tail about that counterfeit designer jeans smuggling ring.’ I wanted to tell her it’s alright, there’s still hope for your son. He probably won’t choose to look like this for 8 hours for the good of the people in a social experiment for his semi-successful and outrageously humorous blog. But I didn’t tell her, and these Junners are now weighing me down.
Out the front, they served me well. The greater eastern suburbs of Melbourne do not contain the fashionable people of the world, and my neighbourhood is at the butt-end of high fashion. The runners were nice and springy as I scoured a few edge-of-lawn weeds. The denim of the jean was relatively tight and shapely to my minuscule legs as they moved. Tick.
School pick up
HAHAHA YOU CAN’T SEE MY RUNNERS MILFS!!! Only my jeans. We had to stop at 7-11 to get some ice for the beers, and my sister started laughing, first humorously and then shockingly as she discovered the horror show on my legs. Embarrassment for self and then pity for me was her line of thinking. The 7-11 shopkeeper didn’t seem to mind them. On this public outing I felt more at peace with my decision, until I saw the Maccas drive thru girl. She wasn’t a gem, but it was enough to send me scurrying back to the car, tail between legs. My precarious stance on the future of Junners in my life is hanging by a thread.
Social family gathering
My family full of younger cousins were quick to pounce on the fashion faux pas. Many laughed, all were concerned. The aunties and uncles didn’t say anything though. Felt pretty comfortable as I sat on the deck in a chair sinking beers. Junners seem to be acceptable with the people you know well.
Despite the great comfort provided, Junners have no place in my life while I am still trying to get with women. Personality cannot override the hideous decision to wear Junners. Even when I’m old, I don’t know if I could bring myself to be so unstylish. My personal pride and self conciousness are too big to wear them. All I could think about when wearing them in the public sphere is how bad it was for people to have to witness the combination. God forbid if I ever wore them out for a night when not part of a hilarious costume or on a Mad Monday trip. Junners, you get 2 thumbs down from strongdukes.