A blog by "America’s Best Dressed Real Man". Fashion tips, answers to your questions, and all things men’s style
Tuesday January 24th 2012



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1 Piece/3 Ways: Low-Top Grown Man Sneakers


Ever since I was a kid growing up with hoop dreams I’ve had a love for sneakers. I used to collect them. At one time I think I had almost 100 pairs, including every Jordan from I-XX (and no money in my pocket, of course).

As I’ve gotten older my style has evolved with me. With the exception of a handful of favorite Js, I traded in most of my athletic sneakers for low-top, neutral, classic kicks.

Here, I styled one of my favorite pairs three different ways, from casual to corporate commuter.

1. Simple but Not Sloppy for the Weekend

The best weekend outfits are often the simplest ones.

This is a simple v-neck sweater with dark jeans, but I used accessories to give it my own spin. In this case, my own spin is a faux-fur scarf that I whipped together in one of my first sewing practice sessions.

Bonus Tip: Just because they’re sneakers doesn’t mean they have to look cheap. Similar to dressier shoes, it’s easy to tell the difference between these hand-sewn suede & leather luxury sneakers and some cheap canvas & rubber joints. Along those same lines, a quality sneaker is typically more comfortable, durable and rare as well.

Bonus Tip II: We all know that brown is a great color for footwear, sneakers are no different.

Sneakers by Lanvin. Sweater by Ralph Lauren Denim & Supply. Jeans by JBrand. Shades by Matsuda. Faux-fur scarf that I made myself. Watch by Brera Orologi. Railroad spike cuff bracelet by Giles & Brother. Belt by Ralph Lauren Purple Label.

2. Tailored Commuter

A quality sneaker in a versatile color can keep up with your tailored game.

The contrast between the suit and the shoe isn’t exaggerated (as with white Adidas or beat-up chucks, for example) which keeps them from stealing attention or looking out of place.

Bonus Tip: I wear sneakers with suits fairly often – yes, even double breasted ones. As a full-time stylist/blogger it’s great to have the freedom to do so, and even better to have a some sneaks that are suit-worthy. These get greeted with compliments rather than “why are you wearing gym shoes with a suit?!”.

Bonus Tip II: If your 9-5 calls for more traditional footwear, you can do like some of my stylish corporate friends: leave the stiff lace-ups at the office (with shoe trees, under your desk) and enjoy the comfort and swagger of sneakers during your commute. It’s also a great way to preserve the life of your leather soles from grinding on the concrete.

Bonus Tip III: The old-school rule that “double breasted suits should never be worn open” applies to old-school db suits (think wide padded shoulders, long jackets, deep panel overlap, and boxy fit). A new breed of double breasted suits is breaking this mold. They are relaxed in the shoulders, cut shorter, slim through the body and have a shallow overlap. This means that there is less fabric to overwhelm and drown your body when worn unbuttoned. In fact, worn open this jacket looks almost like a single breasted jacket (except for the front cutaway and button placement, of course). You are wearing the suit, the suit is not wearing you.

Bonus Tip IV: With the above said, however, the shape of a tailored db jacket still looks much more badass when closed – as you can see in the background of THIS picture from Adam’s latest feature “Tailor-Made Swagger”.

Sneakers by Lanvin. Double breasted hopsack suit by Michael Andrews Bespoke. Chambray shirt by Rag&Bone. Denim tie by General Knot & Co. Chambray pocket square by Armstrong & Wilson.

3. Business Casual Cool

Truth is a lot of offices don’t require power suits.

If you have the freedom to wear jeans, than the right sneaker shouldn’t be a problem.

Bonus Tip: In my opinion these dressy-leaning sneakers are interchangeable with casual-leaning lace-ups (that are very popular right now), like these chunky wingtips for example.

Bonus Tip II: A lapel pin is a great place to add some personal flair (Office Space reference unintentional). I like my Canadian flag pin on the collar rather than the lapel – i’m not running for office (yet?? haha).

Bonus Tip III: Another advantage of well-made sneaks: they’re much more comfortable sockless.

Bonus Tip IV: Every color in this outfit, or post rather, is considered a neutral color (browns, greys, blues, whites, tans). Because of this, each piece in this post is interchangeable. I could probably put a dozen outfits together  with only these pieces.

Bonus Tip V: This is a polyester tie from my late grandfather. Similar ones can be found in vintage stores for a handful of loose change.

Sneakers by Lanvin. White denim by Helmut Lang (33). Chambray shirt by Rag&Bone (M). Vintage tie from my late grandfather). Cotton topcoat by Theory (40). Canvas zipper tote by Filson. Shades by Matsuda. Suede gloves (in chest pocket) by Thom Browne (sz 9).


Thanks, as always, for reading.

Yours in style,



Photography by Alex Crawford. - for freelance work (fashion or otherwise) contact him here

As always, you can find additional shots from this photoshoot in the SB Lookbook. 




Leave a Comment



  • manny buns says:

    i like the haircut, it reminds me of WW2 German officers. you know what i’m talking about ;D

  • Kyle Norville says:

    That 3rd picture definitely is boss. I love the ideas I am getting from each look. What’s wild is I JUST ended my sneaker reign to also move on, over 60 pairs I believe I owned. Now down to 10 pairs.

    This has boosted my confidence and belief that I am moving on for a better cause.

    Great job.

  • Dani says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the third look!

    The denim shirt and the white jean give the perfect balance to the coat and the result it’s just right and doesn’t look over-done… I’m afraid u did it again ha ha


  • sebastian says:

    same here i still wear j’s im 25 and i collect and yes i wait online for them. im at that stage where i want to do a switch up but its so hard to part with my jordans.
    from my 1′s up to my 14′s i love em all.
    how can put together something with my jordans and which jordans you think are worth keeping.

  • jorge says:

    jesus christ wear a pair of socks you weirdo

  • Jason says:

    I love the looks on this and most of the blog. I just have one thing I can’t pull off and don’t like the look of.
    Rolled up pants in many of your other pictures and no shortage of “floods” in all the above pics.
    my pants just HAVE to touch the shoes.
    How can I get past this?

  • Joe says:

    What kind of haircut is that? Low Fade, Scissor 2 inch on top? Also what product do you use?

  • erni says:

    the magic of that new slimline DB is that I didnt even realise it was a DB when it was unbutton…kudos

  • ian says:

    I’m afraid suit w/sneakers is the way to look like ellen. The other looks are great, and I love the sneakers.

  • Ambyr says:

    Look 2 is stunning. The denim on denim shirt/tie is fantastic and the brown suit compliments both the shirt/tie and the sneakers well.


  • Bosun says:

    As a 20 year old ex-sneaker head currently making this very transition (Air Max 1′s where my drug of choice),this blog post is very helpful1!


  • Dru says:

    Love the looks!
    Does the brown suit have a notch lapel on one side and a peak lapel on the other?

  • TO says:

    Look one is great! Others are on point as well.

    I really appreciate that distinction you made about the material and corresponding quality of sneakers- that type of sh*t is what makes TSB.com the best!

  • 2theNines says:

    The 3rd fit absolutely kills. Where can I find that exact pair of Matsudas? Do they have a name?

  • JAMES says:

    Oh my God!I can’t wait to buy that brown double breasted suit! Please sell it soon Dan!

    I actually like the fit that you originally had on this suit.Did you make any adjustments to this suit from the last time you showed it on the website? It looks like it has been tapered in on the legs and the jacket fits a little more fitted, but i could be wrong. Either way, what makes this suit special is the way the fabric drapes and the color.

  • vikflo says:

    As a fellow sneaker fanatic It would be great to see what outfits you can make around around a Jordan Shoe. Just for kicks…

    Love the Business casual cool look too.



    Usually you are on point, but the choice of sox with the brown suit was a mis step, especially on a feature for shoes.

    • Every Man's Closet says:

      I was thinking along the same lines, although rather than calling it a misstep, I was going to ask you to explain your choice. It seems that the very light colored sock left the shoe with a more athletic feel that detracted from pulling it off with a suit. Rather than looking like part of the outfit, I think it looks like you changed into them for the walk from the office to the subway, like women do with their heels. A darker sock would have maintained a continuity between the suit and the shoe. In my opinion. :)

      • Michael L says:

        I’m almost thinking Dan is going sockless with the Brown DB suit but perhaps it is a light colored sock. I’d have gone with a navy blue sock with that suit myself.

  • Bill says:

    This is kind of topical to something I was thinking about this morning. When wearing sneakers–even say a pair of Vans Authentics–with something like chinos for a casual weekend look, what to do about the socks is always someting that throws me. During warmer months I just go sockless with something like this, but as the cooler temps hit, how should you be matching socks to your pants with sneakers when you aren’t necessarily going for something loud?

    Khakish socks with sneakers would just look terribly lame?

  • janet says:

    I like the polyester tie from your late grandfather’s wardrobe. However, I do think you would look VERY sharp in a generalknot.com tie. Vintage yet modern and sleek.

  • cam says:

    the faux fur scarf is so Yeezy…nice work!

  • Marc Ryan says:

    Love the post. I am a huge fan of wearing simple, yet classy sneakers with a dressed up look. It’s a youthful look that just works well when done right. I haven’t gotten around to buying any pairs from Lanvin, even though I would pounce at the chance if I had the money haha, I typically stick to the Stan Smiths among others. How much did those Lanvins go for?