From sports shoe to fashion statement: trainers have rapidly made its way from the street to the boardroom, seen on the feet of everyone from pop stars to presidents. There are still a few dos and don’ts to these ubiquitous shoes. Our 10 rules will show you how to wear trainers with style in (almost) every situation.
1. CHOOSE THE RIGHT PAIR
Sneakers come in every variation imaginable: from wild, patterned neon to sleek monochrome. The first question to ask yourself, though, is: do they suit my wardrobe? There are two essential points that must be taken into consideration: colours and styles. Low-tops offer comfort and versatility, while high-tops or basketball-style trainers can make a bold, sporty statement. Choose a design that complements your wardrobe and matches your personal taste. Remember, the more timeless the design, the easier it is for your shoes to cross over from a casual to a business outfit.
2. INVEST IN QUALITY
If you want your sporty shoes to transition seamlessly to a more formal setting, opt for shoes made from high-quality materials like full-grain leather or suede, which will not only look great but also stand up to wear and tear over time. Additionally, premium workmanship is essential to ensuring that your trainers are well-constructed and built to last.
3. KEEP IT SIMPLE
If you're aiming for a pared-back look, the key is to keep it simple. Stick to uncomplicate designs and silhouettes, and avoid any flashy or overly intricate details. Clean, minimalistic sneakers are the perfect choice for those who want to achieve an effortless look. Opt for styles with a classic design and a neutral color palette, such as white, black, brown, or navy. These versatile shades make them easy to pair with any outfit, while making a bold statement without being too loud or distracting.
4. WEAR THEM TO WORK
Trainers used to be allowed in the office only on Casual Fridays – but today they are a mainstay business meetings. To balance out the casual feel of your trainers, pair them with tailored pieces like a blazer, dress pants, or a pencil skirt. The contrast of a sharp, tailored blazer with your trainers present a striking outfit that is both stylish and appropriate for the office. Creating a polished, professional look that is comfortable and easy to wear.
5. OPPOSITES ATTRACT
Trainers are the epitome of casual cool. This doesn't mean you can't pair them with more elegant and sophisticated pieces to create a striking fashion statement. In fact the combination of trainers and more formal pieces can be particularly effective. Teaming a sleek trench coat, or a sharply cut blazer with fine cotton chinos, can elevate the low-key style of your trainers to a whole new level.
6. SHOW SOME ANKLE
Wearing sneakers with no socks is the perfect way to add a touch of effortless style to your outfit. During the warmer months, skip the socks and show off your ankles for a relaxed and casual look. The quality of your trainers makes all the difference in maintaining your comfort during summer, therefore opt for trainers made from breathable materials like mesh, canvas or knit, which will allow your feet to breathe and prevent sweating.
7. COMPLETE YOUR LOOK
Wear your sneakers with carefully chosen leather accessories, for a coordinated style statement. A high-quality leather belt, for example, can complement your trainers nicely, while a leather watch strap can add a touch of sophistication to your look. And don't forget about bags - an expertly-crated leather bag can really tie your whole look together.
8. ADD WHITE TO YOUR COLLECTION
White is associated with lightness and freshness, so it’s no wonder that white trainers are perennially popular. Cream, white or grey trainers add a particularly elegant touch, providing a blank canvas for your outfit: accentuated with chinos in bright colours or with patterned shirts, white sneakers offer a calming counterpoint.
9. TAKE GOOD CARE
Invest in the right shoe care products to keep your sneakers in optimum condition, and protect them from the elements. Storing them on shoe trees will help prevent creases and will help to keep the trainers’ shape. Store your trainers in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and humidity, to avoid discolouration, mould, and odours. By following these simple steps, you can keep your trainers looking as good as new for longer.
10. KNOW WHEN TO LEAVE YOUR SNEAKERS AT HOME
Last but not least: in situations with a strict dress code, such as black or white tie events or weddings, sneakers are still a no-go and should be given a break. Additionally, if you're stepping into a place where the weather conditions are unpredictable, it's wise to choose shoes that offer more protection against the elements, like boots or shoes with thicker soles and a better grip. Knowing when to leave your trainers at home can help you avoid any fashion faux pas and ensure that you're dressed appropriately for the occasion.