Sneakers and Suits

Sneakers with suits? Yea or nay?
— Lanre Ajibola, @arch85la

Sneakers and  suits. You see them all the time in editorials, magazines, commercials, and the runway and they always look freakin' cool. But what often works so well for the fashion world doesn't always translate into the real world ("For Models Only" is a very real thing). 

That being said, wearing sneakers with a suit can be done, but it can also go very wrong very quickly. You want to avoid baggy suits with an older style sneaker. You certainly don't want to be mistaken for a boy band member and basketball shoes should never be worn with anything other than a basketball jersey (or gym attire).

So how can you pull off this look? I would suggest one of these options: a) be a hipster, b) be European, c) be super fashion confident, have the right suit proportions and be attending the right event.

Obviously, my multiple choices there are a tad jokey, but there are a few loose rules you should follow if you want to incorporate this style into your wardrobe:

  1. Consider your event. Are you attending a corproate business event in a traditional field such as finance or real estate? Probably not the time to break out your cool new sneaks. But are you a creative working in graphic design, freelance consulting or another field where the dress code is more casual? Go right ahead. If you want to buck traditional rules, and you feel confident in doing so, then pull out the sneakers anyway. But you will want to pay special attention to #2. 
  2. Fit your suit. Pairing sneakers with a suit means you need to pay extra attention to how your suit fits, and it should fit impeccably. Jackets should be tailored, pants should be hemmed. Consider adding one additional layer to your ensemble so that it looks purposeful: hat, overcoat, scarf, patterned socks, or a pocket square. The little attention to details will make your sneakers and suit combo look fashion forward and purposeful.  
  3. Hold your head high. Confidence in yourself and your own personal style is the best way to make any outfit look good. Once you've got #1 and #2 down, go forth and kill the fashion game. And if sneakers and suits start becoming a trend in your neighorhood, then you will know where it started. 

Sneakers take a suit into a cool, edgy, fashion forward look.. Will you be trying it any time soon?