Sneakers and Suits: Yes but Sometimes Definitely No
As I said before, the rules of fashion act as parameters you can dismiss based on your own fashion sense. Yet, there are times when being too creative seriously ruins that sense. Take sneakers with suits, for example. A sartorial faux pas since sneakers came on the scene, the recent decade relaxed this rule to the point that high-end labels design their own sneaker line.
The tricky thing about combining a suit with sneakers is not the fact that you can’t wear them but rather what type to wear. Color combination and inseam length remain key yet the style you choose makes or breaks the outfit. And when I mean breaks, I mean shatters.
1) Do Always
The go-to sneaker for finely-tailored suits are low-tops—preferably leather-bound—that are either laced or slips. Doing so provides a clean, neat finish which gives your suit the respect it requires. Darker colors are always the choice for any suit, but particularly for that serious suit used to conduct major business. Leave lighter colored kicks for brighter, possibly more ornate suits. Textured sneakers definitely also work well with serious suits. Aside from color, pant seam allows for greater leeway in sneaker style. Be very sure that your suit’s inseam is fitted correctly. Be it with break or not, short or at length, the inseam should be fixed perfectly around your ankle with a natural to closer than natural spacing as possible. Keep this in mind for any sneaker and suit combination. High-tops in particular, although more visually appropriate for casual styles (see below), certainly add flare to a serious suit only if the pant inseam is a) shorter than your natural length and b) has no break.
2) Do It Casual
When flying casual, the sneaker and suit/sport coat with pants parameters expand a bit. Yes, low-tops still carry the day as the leading choice. Yet, as casual attire increases styles and fabrics, pairing your sneaks to your jacket/trouser becomes an easier venture. Still always maintain a critical eye to color combination and inseam with sneaker height. But, bringing in canvas, velour, or a greater variety of high-top sneakers are certainly acceptable.
3) Never Do
You want make a statement with your sneakers. Follow the above rules, and you’ll do so perfectly. However, please do not commit the following errors. Want to wear running, climbing, basketball, closed-ankle, heavily-worn or even bulky sneakers? Just don’t. Want to wear multi-colored kicks? Leave that for the gym or gameday. Want to wear sneakers with full break, unfitted, long inseams that make them scrunch up? Yeah, no. All of these totally dismantle the lineal image suits and sneakers must create.
Suit and sneakers will prove an undying trend in men’s fashion moving forward. Keeping it tidy and precise makes this look shine. Otherwise, it fails miserably.