Thanks to mainstream menswear trainers receiving a high fashion overhaul, and stylish singers such as Tinie Tempah and Kanye West debuting innovative designs on the street, the art of wearing a suit with trainers has become commonplace for the everyday gent.
Regardless of the popularity of this casual outfit combination, there are still some pitfalls to watch out for, namely with how to achieve that dressed down look without being too scruffy. Pairing a suit with trainers means you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing, and it shows others that you aren’t confined to the restrictions of an office uniform.
In this guide, we’ll cover how to coordinate menswear trainers with suits for any occasion, and also look into what trainers are currently on the market for budgets that range from the high end to the high street. If you’re one of those guys who favor a lace-up over a loafer then look no further than this guide on how to wear trainers with a suit.
Suits With Trainers
Pairing suits with trainers calls on certain confidence. This modern way of dressing up (or in fact dressing down) a suit breaks all the codes of classic menswear design. Trainers were never meant to be the shoe of choice for a suit. While the leather brogue, loafer, and derby may still be the best shoes for a suit and popular choices for a formal engagement, donning a pair of low tops with a slick two-piece suit has become all the rage with street style stars and celebrities alike, and here’s how you can achieve that look for yourself.
Casual vs. Formal Suiting
The first thing first is to consider what occasion you’ll be sporting your suit-come-trainer ensemble. Thanks to the many different colorways and shapes on offer the humble trainer can work with practically any item of clothing. What’s been big news on both the runway and the streets this season is to dress monochromatic and elevate the look with statement trainers in a neon color. This style works particularly well for those of you who love to wear black, and lots of it.
Contrast to that is to don menswear trainers with a slightly more casual suit vibe. Instead of a two-piece suit consider a lightweight roll neck jumper with neutral chino trousers paired with duo-tone leather plimsolls. Alternatively, opt for a blazer layered over an untucked shirt and coordinated with sportier trainers in multi-material to achieve that perfect dressed-down suit style.
For silhouettes, it’s best to stick to a slim fit suit or skinny fit suit to pair with menswear trainers. Anything oversized (intentional or not) will take away from wearing a statement menswear trainer. Opting for a snug suit gives you the freedom of changing out a dress shirt for a simple, slouchy t-shirt or fine knit jumper.
Dress Trousers and Trainers
That age-old dilemma; should I wear socks with a suit or go sockless with a suit? This season’s verdict…do both. Experiment with length and cut if you’re considering trainers with a slick pair of dress trousers. Consider opting for a cropped fit if you want to coordinate a standout pair of high-top trainers with your suit. A slim fit trouser will work wonders in elongating your legs, making you appear taller and leaner.
If high top menswear trainers aren’t on the agenda then look to a casual, yet still dressy, chino trouser that will hit just above the ankle with a single break. Pair these summery trousers with a flat low-top trainer in crisp white leather to achieve the ultimate dressed down yet put-together look. During the summer months more often than not you’ll find guys sporting shorts with trainers. Take that style note for when you want to introduce tailoring to the equation, and instead of denim or cargo shorts search for tailored suit shorts that can pair with any trainer design.
Shoes to Wear with Suits
It’s easy for us to explain why wearing menswear trainers with a suit will put you bang on trend this summer, but what about those of you want to invest a little more thought, and money, into choosing the right trainer for you, despite their seasonal charm? That being said it’s not all about how much money you spend, so take note, whatever your budget you can achieve a suit-meets-trainer look that will ensure you stand out of the crowd.
The best shoe investment for a suit might be the classic leather loafer, but to change up the style status quo think more left field and invest in another high-end shoe design, the luxury trainer.
Thanks to a bounty of designer collaborations with the likes of Adidas and Nike, and some designers even branching off into designing their own trainer lines, the luxury trainer has become more covetable than ever. Think Kanye West’s limited edition Yeezy Boost, Fear of God’s seasonal high top-moon boot hybrid, and Raf Simons x Adidas, transforming the iconic Stan Smith trainer for the new age. The luxury trainer is the shoe to wear with suits.
American luxury fashion label Coach is renowned for its leather goods, namely in handbags and women’s shoes. This year, however, Coach’s menswear design team has stepped up to the plate, offering menswear trainers that rival even the most coveted sports brands. Three of their most popular designs (from L-R) C202 sneaker, leather low top sneaker, and York lace sneaker, boast a sleek and minimal genuine leather upper in a graphic color palette of burgundy, white and black, ideal for that transitional period between summer and autumn.
Alexander McQueen Trainers
For minimalists, the one luxury brand to call on to hook you up with the freshest menswear trainers is Alexander McQueen. The British luxury fashion label has created an avid following with their color block trainer designs, namely in the coveted oversized sneaker (center) which arrives in both a black and white and overall black colorway. McQueen’s signature skull print is also featured on the skater slip-on design, accented with a chunky sole.
Lanvin is one of the most favored luxury trainer brands on the market. The popular French fashion house is known for its play on fabrics and experimental cuts that carry through to its men’s footwear line. Featuring oil slick metallic leather finishes, a mix media of suede, perforated leather and neoprene, and minimal colorways that will work with practically anything in your wardrobe, these shoes are an investment worth their weight in gold.
Suit and Tennis Shoes
If your budget can’t stretch to the heights of the coveted luxury designer trainer then fear not, because thanks to the creators at two of the most popular sports brands on earth, there’s a bounty of choice to stand out from the crowd, and it won’t break the bank.
For avid trainer hoarders, the iconic Adidas Originals Stan Smith is a shoe design that will never go out of fashion. Since its creation in 1971 the Stan Smith has been reinterpreted year after year, and this season it arrives in (of course) the reissued classic green and white colorway, alongside a vintage Country OG beige suede and leather design and a forest green Gazelle OG suede and leather-trimmed tennis court shape.
Probably the biggest innovators in trainer design, Nike has revolutionized how we, the wearer, perform in sport’s shoes. Part of their latest line for Nike Court features the reissued Match Classic perforated leather sneaker (center) in a crisp white colorway accented with a beige leather heel cap, a new take on the popular Internationalist in a mesh and Nubuck mixed media, and a minimal black monochromatic Tennis Classic Ultra leather sneaker.
Trainers to Wear with a Suit
It isn’t all just about flashy menswear trainers and high-end luxury high-tops. You can do just as much justice to a slick, tailored suit by pairing them with a casual pair of Vans, Toms or Converse shoes. Sometimes the less sporty the look, the more chances you can get away with wearing them to the office!
For someone who wants to combine suits with menswear trainers, it might seem that they’re seeking comfort over style, but that isn’t always the case. Some of the most casually inclined trainer brands out, like that of skate cult brand Vans, are designed with detail in mind. Vans are shoes to wear with baggy, ripped jeans and cargo shorts, but when worn the right way can pass off as a viable footwear option for a tailored suit. It’s all about finding what combination works for you.
How to Wear Vans with a Suit
Consider dressing up a pair of Vans slip-ons by coordinating them with chinos in preference over smarter dress trousers. A slightly roomier fit will lend itself to the Vans skate aesthetic. A roll neck jumper in favor of a crisp suit shirt will do wonders in transitioning your style from summer to autumn and right through to winter. Keep the color palette light and season-appropriate.
How to Wear Converse with a Suit
A pair of Converse Chuck Taylor’s will certainly make you recollect past memories of childhood explorations. They’ve become the shoe of choice to coordinate with two-piece suits this summer. Imitate singer Labrinth’s style at London Collections Men and opt for a pastel blazer and trouser combination with a pair of original black Chuck’s finished with some classic tortoiseshell shades. As a result, you’ll be the most relaxed, yet sharpest man on the street.
Suits with Menswear Trainers
Gain some street style inspiration from these agents who have managed to coordinate their sporty trainers with slick tailoring to perfection. For a slightly casual effect opt for a shirt untucked from the trousers. A crisp white trainer will always work well when combined with a complete monochrome look. Another way to achieve a colorway contrast is to choose menswear trainers that feature a white sole, but bear in mind these styles are much harder to maintain if you intend on treading the streets day in day out.
How to Wear Trainers with a Suit
- Monochrome – wear a dark color suit with white trainers
- Tailoring – a pair of light trousers and an untucked shirt with trainers is a perfect summer look
- Dress trousers – a dress trouser should hit just above the ankle with a single break.
- High end – luxury brands like Coach, Alexander McQueen and Lanvin will take your outfit up a level
- Sport – brands like Nike and Adidas consider the classics and purchase reissued designs for style longevity.
- Casual trainer – Vans or Converse Chuck Taylor’s can work with a suit but consider the fit
On That Note
Choose a trainer design that fits your personality. With a number of creative colorways, mixed media and shoe silhouettes out there you’ll be able to find a trainer that matches your style down to the tee. Change up suiting by separating blazers from dress trousers and consider a casual rollneck jumper or pair of summery chinos to update your look from the summer right through to winter.
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