A while ago my friend Murray said he wanted to start wearing sneakers in a formal way, we both only wear dress shoes and have a similar sense of style. I wasn’t entirely convinced, I barely own any sneakers and the ones I do are all have quite slim profiles as I hate bulky shoes.
Then I caught murray out the one night wearing his skinny blue chinos, button down denim shirt and a pair of retro nike sneakers. I was sold. Somehow it maintained a level of formality that I generally don’t like stepping out of.
So I did some research and found some really cool inspiration online for the whole suits and sneakers vibe. The one that really stood out was this outfit from the bespoke dudes, a navy double breasted suit with some killer retro adidas sneakers, that really just work here.
See, what I think makes it work is offsetting the balance of the very casual sneakers with a level of detail in the formal wear. Even so, it’s a fine line between too much and too little (and in this case you may wanna stay on the side of too little) as you want to maintain the dapper details of your outfit without seeming like you went to the gym and just forgot to pack your formal shoes.
How does this gentleman do it? Well, small things like the turn ups in the trousers not only keep it formal, but it also means the trousers don’t fall on the shoe and so give some nice separation to let the shoe pop. The pocket square is also a nice touch, but it seemed like the perfect place to stop, a lapel flower or tie clip may have just been too far.
So, I think the trick is to treat them the same way you would any accessory, you need to make sure that something in your outfit is speaking to your shoes, that way it will never appear like a mistake. I also think the shoes have a big role to play, and right now ( Because it’s the trend) it appears that retro sneakers achieve this look best.
Rather than recreate the look (or looks) above the way I usually do, I thought I would rather put together an outfit of how I think I would wear it. Lots of different textures, some nice pattern mixing in the pocket square and the tie which pick up on the red in the shoes, and then a simple white shirt to help keep it casual and some suspenders so as to eliminate the need for a belt.
Get the blazer here
Get the pants here
Get the shirt here
Get the suspenders here
Get the tie here
Get the pocket square here
Get the sneakers here
Okay. Stay Fancy.
3 thoughts on “Sartorial Sunday in suits and sneakers”
I think one reason why retro sneakers can work with suits or more formal apparel is because they tend to have simple design elements. Many modern day sneakers use bright colors and multiple kinds of material in their construction. This can make them a bit busy to be paired with a suit. It looks like another thing that can help from your posted pictures is to have shoes that are uniform or have a simple color scheme. That way they don’t stick out like sore thumb. Thanks for the post.