White Trainers, White T-Shirt
We begin with an almost failproof way of styling sneakers – a
tried and tested method that feels familiar yet manages to look
unbeatably fresh when worn with the quiet confidence of the
cool-headed cavalier. We mean, of course, the sublime pairing of a
white T-shirt with white trainers. The key word here – helpfully
repeated twice for emphasis – is white. Anything short of alpine
snow tops on a clear-skied summer’s afternoon just won’t cut it and
will result in your outfit seeming scruffy, or ill-thought-out.
Crispness and cleanness are both paramount.
The beauty of this approach is its versatility: the T-shirt and
trainers combination will serve as a blank canvas over which you
can layer all manner of cuts, prints, and patterns. Yet it can also
serve as a dazzling foreground when paired with more subdued hues,
such as pastel colours or camel. We suggest focusing on timeless
wardrobe essentials, by investing in this pair of leather sneakers
North-89, and pairing with a white crew-neck
a British brand famed for its mastery of the humble tee. While this
will lend an unmistakably youthful air to suiting, we suggest
matching the durability of the sneakers with some hard-wearing,
slim-fitting denim from Cifonelli.
Roll Up, Roll Up
When you’re wearing sneakers without any intention of doing
sporting activity, it’s standard procedure to go sans socks. The
reasons for this are especially clear when sneakers are worn with
suiting. A smart sock would look hideously out of place encased in
a sporty trainer, while a sports sock would look like an awkward
juxtaposition with a tailored trouser leg. Instead, a becomingly
bare ankle will ease the transition superbly, channelling the
louche look of a loafer with the freshness of a pair of
This entails plenty of opportunity for playful experimentation
with your hemlines. A rolled-up trouser leg will not only keep you
cooler in summer, it will also put a debonair twist on your
trainers, accentuating the hybridity of smart and casual. We
suggest imitating the rake in the picture by offsetting the
formality of a full three-piece suit with the soft minimalism of
these nubuck leather sneakers by Ka/Noa.
Rolling up your trousers is a simple but striking way of
blurring the boundaries between smart and casual.
In the same way that matching your brogues to your belt can
elevate an outfit from boring to brilliant, sneakers present ample
opportunity for playing around with details. More so than
traditional footwear, in fact, given that sneakers can come in a
wider variety of colours and textures. Think co-ordinating pocket
squares, monochrome mash-ups, or even sandwiching a suit between a
matching shirt collar and sneaker soles.
For a perfect summertime sneakers outfit, these retro style
suede sneakers from
Belsire will coordinate nicely with this
tobacco brown belt from Carmina.
A pair of navy shorts by Ka/Noa
will complement the vintage-inspired colour palette.
On the other hand, a colourful pair of sneakers can also serve
as a medium for introducing contrast. Again, subtlety is key; take
your cue from the burgundy Vans pictured above (centre), and use
your sneakers to introduce a colour that would be difficult to
incorporate via a larger item of clothing. A shade that will liven
things up without clashing too heavily; that will turn heads but
We suggesting keeping the rest of the outfit neutral in order to
emphasise the contrast. If you’re wearing suiting, consider
ditching a collar and tie so as not to distract attention from the
sneakers. The understated grey pattern on this collarless
puppytooth shirt by
Anderson & Sheppard is perfect for pairing
with these green calfskin leather sneakers from
Stefano Bemer. Rubinacci’s
black pleated trousers add a touch of sable sophistication to the
If there was one lesson to take away from Pitti Uomo 94, it's
that sneakers are no mere passing trend; a good pair has as much
classiness and longevity as do a pair of trusty Oxford brogues.
This is, after all, the 21st century, and you'll find that wearing
a pair of well-made, luxury sneakers is a much more comfortable way
of keeping up with the march of history.