The explosion of sporty fashion on the Spring 2014 runways—see Tommy Hilfiger, Gucci, Thomas Tait—has sparked the resurgence of sneaker culture among the style set. Here are five fresh ways to wear the trend.
1. Build your outfit around your sneaker
Neon runners or classic all-white Converse sneakers? Your call, but whatever you decide use the sneakers as the anchor of your look. “Style the rest of your outfit based on your running shoe,” says Juliana Schiavinatto, a Toronto-based fashion stylist. “Pair a cute dress with a sneaker to elevate your look to a more sartorial level.” Opt for a more neutral outfit if you choose a colourful running shoe.
2. Create the ultimate high-low look
The trick to pulling off the sneaker in a stylish way is how you mix it in with the rest of your look. “Don’t look like you’re going to the gym!” warns Schiavinatto. She suggests pairing a feminine blouse and tailored skirt with a Chanel-inspired all-white trainer. Or try a denim shirt with a floral skirt and a pair of colour-blocked Nike Air Max runners.
3. Choose the right sneaker for your body type
“Find the right proportion of shoe for your body type,” says Schiavinatto. So if you have a smaller frame, try a low-ankle sneaker like Adidas Gazelle or Converse. As a general rule, “Something that’s not too heavy and not too light is a good balance.”
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4. Balance your look with the right accessories
This season’s runway take on the sportswear trend allows for playful interpretation on the street. “It doesn’t have to be athletic-inspired everything,” explains Schiavinatto. “Mix it up.” That can mean pairing a cute denim jacket with tennis shoes or ripped jeans and wedge sneakers. “Add a Chanel-style blazer or a great bag to bring your outfit to the next level of style.”
5. Add sneakers to your shoe wardrobe
A whimsical pair of runners is a playful (and comfortable!) investment to add to your shoe wardrobe. But even as they make their way to the front rows of Fashion Week, sneakers aren’t a replacement for a classic black heel for the office or date night—at least not yet. “If you work in a more modern, creative environment, [wearing sneakers] is more acceptable,” says Schiavinatto. On the romance front, Schiavinatto warns, “They can still be slightly man repelling.” Our opinion? Totally worth it.
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