I will be the first to admit that when I started seeing suits combined with sneakers I was a little slow to embrace the concept. Maybe the side of me that’s occasionally a bit over zealous when it comes to respecting the traditions of classic menswear raised alarms. But as we age, and hopefully become more in tune with how we express ourselves through clothing, I think we loosen up a bit and yearn for new ways to explore and individualize our style. Likewise, the last few years I’ve brushed aside some of those old stuffy pretenses and become a bit more easy going.
So a while back I saw these grey high top sneakers in lovely full grain leather and I thought they would be the perfect pair to experiment with dressing up. The minimalistic high top design caught my eye, and I thought the grey was unique but would still go well with the colour palette of my wardrobe. It has bee a long time since I’ve bought anything other than dress shoes or boots so it was a strange but refreshing feeling trying them on; the first thing you notice with sneakers is the lack of heal support but they were comfortable.
The rationale behind this look was to combine dressy pieces (sport coat, dress trousers, white shirt) but keep it relaxed at the same time. The jacket is almost completely unstructured and the trousers are part linen so they show some wrinkles. With looks like this, continuity is important to ensure it doesn’t look awkward. The result of pairing sneakers with dress trousers, rather than say chinos or denim, is that it gives off a more distinct style as well as an attitude that you’re not afraid to be bold. Alternatively, you could try a suit for a similar but slightly more polished approach.
The bandana pictured injects some colour and visual interest up top. A bandana is good for when you want something on your neck that’s more laid back than a tie or an ascot, but less presence than a scarf. I feel that bandanas are deserving of an entire article; what an misunderstood accessory with so much menswear potential – they also happen to look great with a fedora.
The reason I’ve grown to appreciate the dressy sneaker combination is that it has the ability to totally transform the look, and almost give it a new purpose. To be clear, real dress shoes will always be the heart of my shoe game and wardrobe, but venturing into the world of sneakers – or trainers for my British friends – has opened up a whole new world of styling options, and of course added line items to my insatiable list of future footwear “investments”.