The savvy stylista’s guide to wearing sneakers

words Al Woods

Sneakers may be a first choice when function and comfort are our most important concern. But sneakers have now become a fashion essential, and no wardrobe is truly complete without one or two pairs of stylish sneakers.

Not to mention that there are tons of sneakers that are as stylish and cool as they are comfortable. And with the right advice, you can use sneakers to actually dress up an outfit rather than dressing it down. Here’s a quick guide for any self-proclaimed stylista who wants to integrate sneakers into their wardrobe.

Know Where to Get the Most Stylish Sneakers

If you’re looking for great high-end sneakers that will look both stylish and chic, forget your local strip mall or big box retailers. You’ll have to dig a little deeper if you want to get your hands on some rare finds.

If you’re looking for a wide selection of high-end sneakers, online stores like SSENSE have everything you need. They have all sorts of brand name sneakers that will work no matter your personal style. Check out their collection of Givenchy sneakers in a wide variety of styles and colors. And their sneakers carry the same sophistication as their haute couture clothing and perfumes, making them a great choice whether with a nice pair of cuffed up denim or a flowing sundress.

Understand Which Outfits Work Best with Sneakers

Most of us can’t get away with a business suit and sneakers. However, you could wear them with a black leather jacket and black jeans and look like you’re just as serious. You could wear anything from a dress shirt to a T-shirt with that combination. Denim pants or shorts, the shirt of your choice and sneakers will almost always look good.

You can also wear a knee length dress with sneakers and have the outfit come together, especially if it is color coordinated. You can dress the outfit up with a sweater over the shirt or dress it down with a denim or leather jacket. You can even stand out by picking sneakers with a splash of color if the expensive brand logo isn’t enough for you.

Monochrome outfits tend to work better with runners than multi-colored outfits. You’ll get more mileage out of sneakers with a neutral color like white or black. Note that these fashion rules are as applicable to slides as they are to sneakers.

However, you don’t have to make the sneakers running shoes to enjoy the look and feel. In fact, that can hurt you if your outfit is the opposite of what you’d wear when working out.

Give the Sneakers Something to Show Off

You can use sneakers to show off, or actually use them to show off other parts of your outfit. It might be cute patterns on the socks or rolled up pants cuffs that show off your ankles. Or it may be the unusual color and pattern of the sneakers themselves.

In the latter case, pick out low rider socks that won’t show so you don’t give yourself blisters. Just avoid showy shoes, socks and leggings all at the same time unless you want to look like an attention seeking teenager.

Splurge on Trends, Invest in Classics

Chunky dad sneakers are all the rage right now, and they can look good when paired with the right outfit. But just like any trend, they’ll soon be out of the window. We’re also seeing a trend towards feathers on sneakers. While these can be fun and work in some cases, it’s always better to invest in classic silhouettes if you’re usually not heavy on sneakers.

Go Crazy with the Pants

We’re finally seeing a trend towards fun and comfort when it comes to women’s fashion, and sneakers give you the chance to mix it up with some funky bottoms. Fun pants, whether it’s the print, silhouette, or color, are a great way to make an otherwise ordinary outfit stand out. All you need is a nice white tee, white sneakers and a cool pair of pants and you’ll have an outfit that both looks great and feels like you just stepped out in favorite PJs.

Go Classic

Sneakers can also work surprisingly well with a wide variety of classic dresses. Mixing an ultra-feminine long flowy dress with a more masculine esthetic makes for a great mix and will make you look effortlessly chic. Go for a nice sleeveless dress and minimal accessories and you’ll have the perfect outfit to run some errands on hot summer days.

Sneakers are incredibly versatile and make the perfect addition to any wardrobe. Just make sure that you know the rules and get the right pair when you head off shopping. This way, you’ll be able to wear them almost anywhere and with nearly anything.


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