Survivor of Perth’s brutal 2000s footwear dress code era still unsure if he’ll “get in, in these”

It’s been almost two decades from the tragic events of the early to mid 2000s but Tom still wears the scars. 

Being a young feller at the time, Tom had to cut his teeth in a nightlife era marred by a complete meltdown on the dress code front. 

In some vain attempt to de-boganify the Perth population, absurd dress codes were enforced across the city’s clubs and in-demand pubs. For a generation raised in shorts & Etnies this wasn’t going to be an easy transition.

Tom remembers that anything even resembling “casual footwear” as public enemy no.1 in the bouncer’s eyes and he never really knew if the night’s footwear would meet the lofty standards at the door.  

We spoke to Tom who said the past still haunts him and his shoe-confidence has never bounced back. He told The Times,

“I remember a trip to Melbourne last year and a friend had a little function in a Cas bar. I had a pair of Vans on and I had to message him and ask him if I was going to get in, in these. He told me it isn’t James St circa 2001 Northbridge and to chill out but I can’t”

Not only does Tom forever second guess the appropriateness of his shoes but he lives with the guilt of what the era reduced him to. 

He could barely make eye contact as he explained that the only shoe that seemed to get him past the doorman was a pointy, faux-leather white piece of shit. He became one of Tarocash’s best customers and still has trouble forgiving himself. In his words,

“Will the shoe gods forgive me for what I have done? When my kids look back at my photos will they see a man capable of being respected? Or an abomination?”

It was a fair call. Even if he hides the photos from his kids, he’ll always know that deep down they know. It’s a stink that can’t be hosed off. 

We spoke to Tom’s partner who said she still heard him weeping in the shower some evenings before heading out. His face is constantly plastered with shoexiety. She continued, 

“It’s sad what those venues and bouncers did to him but he’s not alone. Footwear isn’t something that comes naturally to WA men and unless you become a R.M Williams tosser you’ll never quite know if your favourite shoe will cut it. Even though dress codes did a full 180 and dressing like shit is back in vogue”

Tom goes to a support group for WA men who worry if they’ll “get in, in these” every Thursday.