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The Dos and Don’ts of Wearing Sneakers With a Suit

the-dos-and-donts-of-wearing-sneakers-with-a-suit

 

You probably wouldn’t think of sneakers as the first choice for shoes to wear with a suit. Derbies, Oxfords, and loafers fashioned from traditional bench-made leather have always been popular, and for good reason. The suit has long been associated with formality, and its wearer’s professionalism and deference to authority have been implicit in the suit’s reputation.

However, tailoring has grown more casual as formal dress norms have eased over the last few years; a trend that the epidemic has further encouraged. The 2022 suit is more casual and unstructured than in previous years, with a variety of non-standard fabrics and colors. Because of their laid-back style, they go well with shoes for sophisticated casual events or artistic workplaces.

However, you can’t just wear your beat-up Converse with your 9-to-5 two-piece and expect to look professional. If you don’t pay attention to the details, even your best suit and shoe combo will seem sloppy and unplanned. Here’s how to do it properly.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Suits That Look Good With Sneakers

Suits With Minimal Detailing

Like most well-tailored garments, even if you combine suits with minimal detailing and sneakers it will make you look dapper. Put the focus on the tailoring of the suit by wearing a tonal outfit of an unstructured blazer, an open-neck polo shirt, and drawstring pants, all of the same color, and finishing with suede slip-on shoes.

If the simplicity is too much to take, try putting on a pair of colorful socks. For instance, socks with cat face printed on them or a wild, vibrant pattern can add a unique touch to your outfit.

Vivid Tailoring

Mixing suits and sneakers is a popular trend right now, and one way to make the look stand out is to wear it in a striking color. This might refer to a more daring suit color, like emerald or maroon, or an extreme version of a traditional color, like blue. To pull off the latter, all you need is a white shirt and a pair of sneakers.

Complementary Colors

One easy approach for newcomers to pull off sneakers with tailored suits is to choose shoes that are the same color as their shirt. For example, a lighter stone suit can be set off well by a darker brown polo shirt and leather sneakers.  

Choosing Grays

The simplest color to match with a suit is white, although grey is a close second. Choose a pair of suede grey retro runners to wear with an unstructured jacket, some drawstring pants, and a grey knit top for a fresh take on monochromatic outfits.

Tonal Suits

You could also go in the other direction and wear an all-grey ensemble with some white canvas sneakers for a little contrast. Instead of wearing your normal wool suit to a more casual event, choose a cotton twill suit in a more relaxed fit.

Photo by Hardini Lestari on Unsplash

Sneakers That Look Well With Suits

When trying to match the two, it’s just as important to choose the right sneakers as it is to find the appropriate suit.  Some combinations of elements are attractive, while others seem ill-considered and thrown together.

Minimalist Sneakers

Minimal sneakers are the ideal smart casual footwear since they are the simplest to pair with tailored pieces and, in many situations, really improve the look of an unstructured suit.

Low-top Canvas Sneakers

Canvas shoes are often worn with jeans, shorts, and T-shirts and have long been connected with subcultures ranging from skaters to punks. This makes pairing them with a suit a risky endeavor with mixed outcomes.

You can pull it off if you pay attention to the finer points, like keeping the trouser legs short, the suit unstructured, and the shoes in mint condition.

Retro Sneakers

Retro sneakers are a great way to bring a touch of nostalgia to an otherwise contemporary suit. This retro trend has been making waves in men’s fashion over the last few years, with major brands like Nike and New Balance bringing back classic styles from their previous collections.

If you’re looking to ditch the minimalist aesthetic and spice up your suit with various tones, retro runners’ signature use of vibrant color through contrast paneling may be the way to go.

Photo by Jeroen den Otter on Unsplash

Final Thoughts

As opposed to other footwear, sneakers consistently provide supreme comfort. Wearing a suit with shoes is a great way to simplify your life if you have a long day ahead of you at work or elsewhere. You’ll appear sleek and fashionable while remaining comfy. 

Put some thought into the kind of shoe you wear with your suit, and people will be staring at you everywhere you go.

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