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The Definitive Guide to Wearing Suits With Sneakers

Suits and sneakers. There was a time when putting these two words together was blasphemous and juvenile. But in the past five years, the once unorthodox combo has cropped up on menswear runways and our offices, as high fashion skews more casual, and now dapper dudes like Idris Elba, Kevin Durant, and David Beckham are taking this trend head on.

The best part is that you don’t have to be a movie star or a professional athlete to pull this look off. Although there are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to the fit, it really comes down to how you feel and how you want to represent yourself. Otherwise there are some essentials you’ll want to prioritize: color, fabric, and silhouette. You can’t just take a few pieces from your business wardrobe, throw on a pair of Nikes, and call it a day. Here are a few tips and fits you can rely on to make sure you always look your best.

Tips on Perfecting the Sneakers-With-Suit Fit

acne studios suit
Image used with permission by copyright holder
  • Pant length: A tapered, straight-legged pair of trousers will almost always look good with low-top sneakers. If they’re not tapered, you could add a cuff to the end of the pants, which should break just below your ankle.
  • Shoe color: Your best bet is a neutral color that will complement most of your suits. We recommend a black colorway with a white midsole, or a clean all-white leather sneaker.
  • Shoe silhouette: You can always count on a low-top leather sneaker design. Mid to high-tops are a bit more tricky, but if they’re simple enough and coordinated well, it can be pulled off.
  • Suit: Your suit should be as modern as possible in its fabric, pattern, and fit. Pick a fun and youthful pattern to reflect your nonchalant manner; a lightweight and flexible fabric; a contemporary suit design (i.e. a balance of classic-slim fit, narrow lapel, sits at waist).Thom Browne, Our Legacy, and Acne Studios are some of our favorite suit labels that accomplish this feat. Take this black suit jacket from Acne Studios, which is cut slim with unconstructed shoulders for a relaxed finish. You’ll still want a tapered pant as well, and it just so happens that Acne Studios has a matching pair.

Suit-and-Sneaker Combinations

Low-top leather sneakers with a light suit

ray suit white sneaker
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A modern Don Draper fit, a textured gray blazer with these contrasting trousers are punctuated by a pair of low-top leather sneakers. Feel free to taper your pants just above your ankles to bump up the cool quotient.

Low-top leather sneakers with a colorful suit and t-shirt

man wearing pink suit and sneakers
Image used with permission by copyright holder

You don’t always have to go neutral. Take cues from this salmon suit, which veers from full-on peacock thanks to a pair of minimalist white kicks. Worn over a t-shirt, this fit will add a pop of style and color to your Zoom calls and virtual happy hours.

Chunky sneakers with a layered suit

sandro chunky sneakers
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If you’re looking to go bold, opt for a pair of chunky sneakers like these Sandro hiking shoes. Since these sneakers can be so focus-pulling, we advise to stay away from pairing them with classic garments like peak lapels in neutral colors. Opt for quirky suit details like a shiny fabric and a boxier silhouette to anchor the look. No, we’re not telling you to cop a full Will Ferrell in Night at the Roxbury look, but this plan of attack will call attention to your accouterment as a whole instead of letting your sneakers steal the show.

Our favorite suit-ready sneakers

Vans Gum Old Skool

Vans Gum Old Skool
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If you’re looking for classic casualness to go with your suit that’s easy on the wallet, there is no better option than a pair of classic Vans. On the plus side, you have a ton of color variations to choose from.

Nike Air Max 97

Nike Air Max 97
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The Air Max style is colorful, comfortable, and timeless, which completes the trifecta checklist when pairing sneakers with a suit.

Adidas Originals LXCON

adidas lxcon shoes
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Adidas always seems to be one of the brand’s breaking boundaries on the forefront of streetwear shoes. Its LXCON silhouette is a chunky sneaker that’s offered in multiple colorways and meshes well with a dapper suit get-up.

Balenciaga Triple S

Balenciaga Triple S
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Balenciaga’s Triple S shoe style is fantastic for those looking to go luxe. These kicks are available in a multitude of color combinations and boast an insanely comfortable and complex construction.

Editors' Recommendations

Bryan Holt
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Bryan Holt is a writer, editor, designer, and multimedia storyteller based in Portland, Oregon. He is a graduate from the…
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