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