Sneakers used to be something you wear only when doing sports or working out. The only thing you had to worry about is whether they fit your feet well, but you knew that wearing them outside of active sports days or casual weekend hikes was unacceptable. If you were to show up to work in your kicks, the boss would raise his eyebrow at you and wonder why you looked so sloppy.
But times are changing. Not only is business casual the most popular dress code at most companies, sneakers are now not just something you wear to the gym. Today’s models can be sleek, elegant, and entirely appropriate for almost any kind of occasion.
This is great news – it means that you can dress up and look incredibly stylish, but still remain completely comfortable. It also makes it easier for busy gentlemen to run their chores and get through a workday without having to switch up their shoes.
Now there’s only one thing to worry about – how to style them with your outfits? Even though things have been made easier for all of us, there’s still some skill involved when it comes to matching your kicks to your everyday outfits.
That’s why we’re here – we’re about to help you figure out exactly what goes with what, and how you can always look good in your sneakers no matter where you’re going.
Start with neutral colors
If you’re just beginning to discover your style and aren’t quite sure what to do with men’s fashion, start simple. Sneakers are generally easy to get right if you purchase a few pairs in neutral colors such as white, black, or beige. While a colorful, statement sneaker has its time and place, wait until you’ve learned more about fashion to turn to loud shoewear.
In addition to neutral colors, pick simple styles that work with most outfits, such as trainers.
Elegancy will always imply some sort of simplicity. Elegance is a statement in which you say I don’t need loud colors to stand out. While bold, chunky sneakers can definitely look modern and stylish, if you’re going for that old school, gentleman vibe, then embrace minimalism.
Choose sneakers without too many fussy details, and make sure they fit your feet perfectly. These kind of models can easily be matched with most outfits, and if you decide a pick a more complex outfit for the day, it’s a good idea to make sure your shoes look simple but effective.
Pay attention to your socks
Choosing stylish sneakers doesn’t stop at just choosing the actual sneaker. You have to think about your entire outfit, and socks are a very important part of that. In general, don’t wear white sneakers over black socks and vice versa, and opt for ankle socks when you’re wearing business casual outfits or anything dressier.
If you’re at the gym you might want to pick regular tennis socks and if you’re wearing sneakerboots because it’s cold outside, feel free to pair them with a thicker pair of knit socks to protect your feet from the cold.
Rely on quality sneakers
If you buy cheap sneakers you’ll save some money, but you’ll look cheap. Besides, cheap models will fall apart after only one or two seasons of wear, so are you really saving any cash in the long run? Not really.
You’ll want to invest in quality if you want to look stylish, but also if you want to keep your feet safe. Do your research when you want to make a purchase, read some Kicks Guru sneaker reviews and pick a shoe that looks good, feels good, and protects your posture as you walk. Taking time to carefully choose what kind of shoes you buy ensures your outfits will always look good, even if you don’t have much time to plan them out in advance.
Choose your pants carefully
Which sneakers you wear for the day depends on the pants you picked. The cuff width is particularly important, because pants cuffs that are too wide can swallow up your sneaker and give you weird proportions.
So, how to coordinate pants and sneakers? If you’re wearing chunkier sneakers, then don’t pair them with skinny jeans because your feet will look huge and your legs far too skinny. Choose straight-leg trousers that will balance everything out and give you an elongated figure.
If you have sneakers that hug your feet, then you can make them pop by pairing them with skinny pants. We’d recommend you take it a step further and choose ripped skinny jeans for a modern, urban look. This works particularly well if you’re skinny. The times when skinny guys wore baggy clothes to hide their bodies is over. Don’t be afraid to show off your athletic, lean physique with tighter clothing.
What about high tops?
High tops aren’t just for basketball players. They are pretty sleek sneakers that look great when paired with more urban outfits and simple jeans and white tee combos. They also work with smart casual styles, particularly slim selvage trousers. Pair this with a grungy flannel shirt and a worker jacket for a more masculine look, or pair your high tops with chinos, a polo shirt, and a knit sweater if you want a smart business casual look.
Mix retro and modern
Sometimes sticking to a single style blindly looks a little too overdone and matchy. Style is about looking effortless – if you look like you try too hard, it just going to be off-putting. Our advice? Mix and match modern and retro styles for an outfit that says “I know how to make things look good without following the rules blindly.”
Now, how can you pull this off? It’s easy – take a colorful, retro sneaker that gives off a late 90s’ or early 2000s’ vibe, and pair them with a sleek modern outfit in neutral colors. For this look, cropped pants are a good choice because they’ll let you show off your cool sneakers in an innovative way. Bear in mind that for this type of look, the sneakers are the focus point, so you’ll want everything else to be simple so it wouldn’t distract from the centerpiece.
Stylish at the gym
You definitely don’t have to worry about style while you’re sweating it out at the gym, but looking good can actually motivate you to better performance. A true gentleman will be careful about how they present themselves even at the gym, so pick a pair of runner shoes and match them with a pair of slim cotton sweatpants or shorts. Your runner shoes can be neutral, but here you can go wild and choose any kind of color that you like, especially if your sweats are a simple black or grey color.
Know when not to wear sneakers
We’d say that you can definitely wear sneakers in about 90% of occasions, especially if you pick the correct pair. However, a fancy dinner where you’re required to wear a suit or a tuxedo? Absolutely not. While there are no hard rules in fashion, you should still be respectful of the occasion you’ve been invited to, and sometimes this means wearing proper dress shoes.
The best style tip you’ll ever get is this – experiment. You don’t have to blindly follow trends at all. You can simply use them for inspiration and then just wear whatever looks and feels good. You’re a gentleman after all, and in the end, you make the rules.