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It’s 2021, where (almost) anything goes when it comes to men’s fashion; gone are the days where you’ll find the traditional 9 to 5-er dressed staunch in a full suiting getup, tie, shirt and dress shoes to match. One example to prove this theory is the rise in the harmonious pairing of suiting and sneakers.
Despite where you stand on the whole suit-sneaker debate, the fact is that the sneaker is IN and has slowly climbed the ranks of backyard bandit to the city streets where men – from creatives to corporates – will be seen rocking a sneaker with their suit (and not just on a Friday!), despite being previously considered sartorial faux pas.
We’ve decided to break down this trend and set it straight for those looking to dip their toes in the whole suit-sneaker territory, which, when executed correctly, can look incredibly chic.
It goes without saying that the staple sneaker should be a part of every man’s footwear repertoire, not just for its style-based output, but purely due to its versatility. This versatility we speak of can definitely lend itself to suiting, but it’s important to note that not every suit construction will work with sneakers.
For example, you wouldn’t want to pair a tuxedo with a pair of sneakers, as it will simply defeat the purchase of the tuxedo’s formal nature. A fantastic combination to consider would be a royal navy lounge suit, slim in design, paired with a fresh low-top leather sneaker. The trouser should be cuffed a couple of centimeters, and should fall just above the tongue of the sneaker. This look works extremely well for a number of occasions, from cocktail events to destination weddings and even fancy birthday drinks at the weekend.
Feel free to pair a neutral-tone sneaker with pastel or earth-tone suiting, also. Not just a great combination but a seasonal highlight that won’t be out of place in the spring or summer.
The type of sneaker you opt for is equally as important as the type of suit you wear; Air Jordans have their place, but it’s not to be with tailored suiting.
Low-top leather sneakers without branding or embellishments are a great place to start, and we can’t think of a more relevant brand than Common Projects who execute that minimal-chic aesthetic effortlessly well.
Sneakers should be slimline in design when paired with suiting, as you will find more often than not that your suit will be tailored to your body. Meaning, a tapered leg, which naturally fits slimmer at the ankles, will need a slim sneaker to pull this look off effectively.
Perhaps if you were opting for a high-waisted wide-leg pleated trouser, there would be room to suggest a more outlandish sneaker, such as those that sit within the territory of Off White or Nike, but we suggest treading carefully.
When to Wear
The occasions to wear suits with sneakers, as aforementioned, are arising more and more as we progress with our fashion trends and men take greater leaps of discovery within their wardrobes. That being said, there certainly should be some restraint when marrying a pair of sneakers with your suit.
Weddings, and those less in formality, are a great place to explore this trend. Think of destination weddings, beach weddings, and those less formal in nature. Sneakers with a suit also won’t look out of place when attending your friend’s fancy cocktail drinks at the weekend.
If going out on the town and this trend inspires you, why not consider a plain t-shirt with your suit finished with a pair of sleek sneakers? A great modern look that will do wonders when executed correctly.