Not so long ago, I noticed this new trend which obviously received a lot of critique, as most people are not inclined to accept change with open arms but being the conservative yet fashion-forward individual I am (yes, I like to call myself that), I decided to take a second look at it and analyse it carefully and I thought to share it with guys who are just as stylish as I am, or who at least aspire to it. *wink*
There are those who may probably think that tailoring with trainers is as stylish and trendy as sandals with socks. Well, you’re not alone. I mean, it was once reserved for guys who valued comfort over style, but it is now in vogue, after quite a lot of people discovered that being comfortable can actually look pretty stylish.
But while the socks-and-sliders thing is left to rail-thin models and young university undergrads, suits and sneakers is much easier to pull off while maintaining that classy and mature look.
I guess it’s safe to say if you follow these guidelines, you will look quite stylish and less like that guy in the office who switches to gym shoes for the journey home.
The street style goons have spoken, trainers and tailoring are now sartorial, not scruffy. Here’s your guidelines for bossing the look.
…and by classic, I mean simple. You are already making a statement with your shoes, so your suit shouldn’t. This is no time to be revealing that banana-coloured three-piece or that custard yellow double-breasted jacket.
Start with a slim-cut, navy suit and white trainers – the more minimalist, the better. Make sure your trousers are slim –or skinny fit; flared or boot cut will simply not work. With trainers, or, frankly, anything else.
As with your regular brogue or oxford shoes, quality counts. Premium materials, traditional construction techniques and details such as hand-stitching allow you a little more aesthetic wiggle and confidence than rolling in some kicks you’ve had for years.
The more links you can create between top and toe, the more these seemingly disparate fashion elements gel. Colour is an easy way to pull your trainers into the rest of your look, but please keep it subtle; if your suit is black or navy, a pop of the same in the logo or the lace is better than an all-black or blue trainer.
More subtle is pulling out a shade from your sneakers in your shirt or tie, or even choosing to echo a suede trainer’s soft nap with cashmere around your neck. That would definitely leave a lasting stylish impression.
To the previous point, there’s a limit. Neon trainers are tough to wear if you’re in all-black sportswear. With a suit they just look like your proper shoes got coped at the gym.
As a rule of thumb, it shouldn’t even be an option to exercise in the kind of trainers you wear to work and vice versa.
With formal shoes, your trousers should hit your lace with a little bit of crease in the fabric in front of your shin. But that’s because people aren’t eyeballing which brogues you’ve copped in the same way they do with trainers.
Take some length out of your trousers, so the hem lands just above the tongue; a roll, turn-up or tack pin is handy here if you’d rather not visit your tailor for a permanent alteration.
We’ve got a lot of love for an ‘ugly’ trainer. But while Raf Simons’ Ozweegos are like on-feet spaceships that we’d normally recommend anywhere, they don’t quite work with your suit.
The aim of the sneakers and suits look is to take some of the formality away from your tailoring, switching up silhouettes and fabrics to make your outfit appear more relaxed. Technical shoes are too sporty; instead of relaxed, you look like you’re about to start calisthenics in the conference room.
So keep the globular trainers for after-hours.
Even if your dress code is lenient, and you can get away with wearing kicks to work, the trainer is meant to lend a louche air to something more often seen as stuffy. So your tailoring should lean more towards relaxed than stiff. Even the sleekest sneakers won’t sit right if you’re rocking a waistcoat, pocket square and lapel pin.
Equally, avoid anything seen on trading floors: pinstripes, wide lapels and padded shoulders. The less structure your jacket has, the more your trainers look like they belong with your tailoring.
I mean, you don’t want the HR lady summoning you to her office …if you’re not the boss of yourself.