While restaurants and apparel stores around the world are busy sliding hard-to-pronounce Italian and French words in their names to sound more upscale and “about that”, the brand I’m featuring today has managed to do the exact opposite. An elegant and upscale approach to something so simple, that you practically do it every day – tie em up! Ampersand Laces is reinventing the way you look at and rock shoe laces. So let’s throw them on and find out what the riff is about, shall we?
Ampersand laces is a lifestyle brand which caters to the need for individual expression via a dash of color added to your feet regardless of what you like to wear. Dress/smart shoes, sneakers, boots are all fair game. This young company that started off in the Spring of 2015 adopted the slogan – “Colorful laces for colorful people” and today, features almost every flavor from the color palette.
The idea was to craft an easy-to-add accessory out of the most ordinary of objects and an idea was born – Shoe Laces! It was the quickest way to add style, color and individuality to shoes, regardless of the wearer’s personality and style of clothing. Given the rich dress shoe and shoegazing culture of Sweden, it only made all the more sense for a Swedish purveyor of quirky shoe laces to step up. Ampersand’s products are currently available in more than 400 stores spread out among 5 different markets.
Why choose colorful laces?
Well, why not? It’s quick, easy, inexpensive and above all, stylish. A number of people have never noticed how a lot if not all of their brand new shoes come with more than one pair of laces in the box. Pssst..it’s for a reason! A lot of people frown at the thought of using colorful laces and have never experimented outside the tonal-lace territory. But once you make colorful laces part of your wardrobe and learn how to rock them properly, you’ll never go back. They can take your style from 0-100 in a jiffy and with all puns intended, on a shoe-string budget.
Types of Laces
Ampersand broadly offers 3 types of laces:
- Flat metal tips
- Round metal tips
- Round plastic tips
All three variants are made of high quality cotton with waxing and metal tips for more character as well as durability. The metal tips feature the embossed “&” logo which looks beautiful on a variety of finishes. Of course, the plastic tip variants have a print instead of embossing but the color combinations have been carefully selected in order to make the logo stand out yet look sophisticated and subtle. The metal tips provide a great color contrast ranging from a dull bronze shade to the shinier chrome and gold tips for a brighter look. The laces are thin and tightly woven to prevent fraying, a problem which a number of cheaper nylon laces suffer from.
The flat laces are excellent to touch and feel premium as you experience the waxing over a larger surface area. The weave feels tight and even along the length of the laces, which once again is a problem with several stock laces tossed at you by shoe brands. If you’re about to throw on some vans, chucks or your favorite high fashion sneakers, the flat metal tip laces are designed with the one size fits all philosophy. They’re wide but not wide enough unlike the phat laces that used to be packaged along with your Puma Clydes and Adidas Superstars back in the day. The reduced width gives a much more refined look to whichever silhouette you lace up. Ampersand have also thrown in a few lacing styles which you can check out here.
The laces come in two different dimensions:
- 75 Centimeters – Suits 2-5 Eyelets
- 120 Centimeters – Suits 6-10 Eyelets
Most of the round metal tip laces belong to the 75cm category as they’re more suitable for shoes like Suede chukkas, wing-tip brogues and dress shoes in general while the longer 120cm flat laces work well with low, mid and high-top sneakers. There are always exceptions to this convention, and there’s nothing to suggest that the vice versa may not be true. For example, a mid or high-top fashion equivalent of a Vans sk8 hi would require a longer round plastic tip pair of laces and Ampersand have been mindful about the same.
Variety is the spice of life. A product that is versatile, exhibits quality, is inexpensive yet stylish is definitely worth investing in. It may be one of the most basic accessories but simply switching up the laces on your shoes can have a huge impact both on the way your shoes look as well as your overall appearance.
Ampersand’s products are clearly geared for your playful side while offering great versatility. The message is clear and concise while the execution is excellent. The laces are available in vibrant as well as muted colors that go well with any occasion and any shoe, provided you go for the correct dimensions. The quality of the weave, the exuberant colors and naming, quality of the lace tips used and the premium feel of each pair combined with an amazing packaging makes Ampersand laces quite desirable and a staple for every wardrobe.
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