There are three types of guys you’ll see rocking suits with sneakers — The Post-Work Commuter, The Guy That Doesn’t Give A Damn and The “Style” Guy that gets the look. Hopefully, if this is a style that has piqued your interest, you’ll fall in line with the latter (to be honest, there’s probably five types of sneakers with suit wearers (See The Others At The Very Bottom Of This Post).
You may be inclined to reach for your high-top kicks as the weather starts to cool, this fall is time to consider rocking low-top sneakers with your suits. The generals keys to executing low-tops with suits are;
- Keep the kicks basic (Save your BAPEs for next summer and dark denim). You want your suit to still get the same shine it would with a crisp pair of Oxfords
- The silhouette of your low-tops need to be as sleek as your dress shoes
- Flannel suits can be paired with suede or leather low tops
- When in doubt, white, black or brown leather low-tops will satisfy your suiting needs
- Heavier weights suit pants look with a cuff, complement your sneaker better than a regular hem
- Of course, you can wear socks. It’s still relatively warm, so no-show or jay-bird free is the way for me
The Running Inspired Kicks
Navy & Red ML 565 MNR Sneakers – New Balance (c/o Exclusive To JD Sports UK) | Grey Flannel Custom Suit – Dragon Inside | Striped Sweater – J.Crew | Calder Chambray Work Shirt – Ernest Alexander | Plaid Pocket Square – The Tie Bar | Defender Watch – Fossil
One of the most common low-top sneaker & suit combination you’ll see in any metropolitan area is the “running” sneaker look. Most often worn by the guy (and women) that are on the go and hate they’re “work” shoes. It only makes sense that you’ll throw on some kicks that will help you get away from the office as fast as possible.
As much as you want to rock your beat-up kicks that you actually run those weekend 5 k’s, you should find a sneaker that is a bit more refined and haven’t seen so much mileage. New Balance have become a favorite for guys because they’re comfortable, stylishly minimal and the silhouette fall inline with they’re dress shoes. This pair is an exclusive from JD Sports UK.
Tips To Perfecting the New Balance Sneaker & Suit Look
- The cut of your pants should be tapered slim from the knee down. As you can see in this look, the cut is tailored, not SKINNY. This pant taper will highlight your sneakers and avoid looking like someone’s normcore dad (you know the look I’m talking about)
- Suede New Balance kicks pair best with textured suits (flannel, tweeds).
- Are you a novice to this style? Opt for a pair of sneakers in Grey, Navy, or green. This colorways are neutral, but, rich enough to add some character to your look.
- Khaki suits are also look damn good with a pair of New Balances. They give of a sporty vibe that khaki inherently showcases
The Black Leather Low-Top
Black, leather low-top sneakers are by far the easiest to pair with a suit. They can essential be considered a “dress sneaker”. Gray, black, navy or khaki suit all pair well with a black low-top sneaker without too much hassle.
Keys To Style Black Leather Low-Tops With Your Suit
- Wear them like you would wear any black dress shoe
- If you’re the quirky guy that wants to wear sneakers at their wedding, this style will work best
- A white sole will give this style of shoe a sporty feel (more of a tennis shoe look)
- All black everything shoe will essentially be your fail safe when rocking this look
- Avoid the hybrid dress shoe/sneaker (except the Cole Haan Zero Grands. They’re Amazing). Many high-end brands produce them and the mash-up of shoe styles never quite hit the mark.
- As the weather gets cooler, throw on a chunky sock with these kicks
White Leather Low-Tops
White Leather Neo Daily Clean – Adidas Neo (DSW) | Custom Essentials Navy Suit – Indochino | Custom Blue/Red Check Shirt – Studio Suits | Knit Horizontal Striped Tie & Pocket Square – The Tie Bar | Mesh Band Watch – Timex
White Leather Low-Tops– just might be the coolest sh*t you can rock with your suits. Ok, that last statement was purely based on my personal bias for loving white sneakers. When done correctly, a low top white sneakers makes your suit stand out, without serving as your outfits focal point. If you grew up during the mid-90’s through early 2000’s, you’d probably think about rocking white Air Force 1’s with your fall suits, however; that’s not the best idea.
The height of an AF1 sneaker is still a bit too high, even in the Lows–which will lead to a ton of fabric bunching at the bottom of your pants when paired with a suit. As much as I love AF1, brands like Adidas (Stan Smith, Neo Daily Clean, Sambas), PF Flyers (center los) and Converse low tops have a sleeker, shoe-like silhouette. All the same rules that applied to the black leather low tops apply here, with the only difference being that white leather low-tops look best with your traditional wool suits and cotton suits.
Styling White Leather Low Tops With Fall Suit
- Keep your white leather sneakers slim, minimal and classic
- Don’t go for the shoe lace matching whatever else in your outfit. Save that for your middle school self (you know who you are)
- Don’t sweat the scuffs. It’s the real world
- You can’t go wrong pairing them with a navy suit.
- Bring sporty elements into your suited look. Think, grey crewneck sweatshirt. Rock this look out with the fellas and you bound to bring home a mate (because you don’t look like a slob & you’re comfortable)
- Do Not Pair Them With Velvet. Didn’t think I had to state this, but, I’ve seen it done (not a good look).
The verdict’s still out on rocking suits with sneakers, however; I hope this post gives you some inspiration to give the look a try. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
Photography: Marina T. Peele @cantwinklefty
PS. The Other Suit & Sneaker Guys Are As Follows;
- The Cool Italian Transplant Straight From Florence, The “Hip” Young College Professor, Ellen DeGeneres
Founder & Creative Director of Men's Style Pro, Sabir has a deep passion for menswear and all things manly. Selected as one of the "5 Best Dressed Men In America" by Esquire Magazine in 2010 & as #GQFall 2013 Best Dressed Man. As of 2014, Sabir serves as a freelance brand ambassador & executive stylist for GQ Magazine & GQ Report. Outside of that partnership, Sabir serves as an independent brand consultant as well. Reach me directly at SABIR@MENSSTYLEPRO.COM