Style

This Is Exactly How To Wear Sneakers To Work

June 14, 2016 by Justine Schwartz
shefinds | Style

How To Wear Sneakers To Work

We have a debate in our office between the young millennials, the older millennials and the Gen Y’ers. Is it appropriate to wear sneakers to the office? Sure, sneakers like Stan Smiths and Converse Chucks and even Vans are incredibly in-demand and in-style these days–polished celebs from Victoria Beckham to Jessica Alba, Kendall Jenner and Reese Witherspoon agree–but does that mean that those of us with *office jobs* can wear them to work?

The answer is maybe. Sure, editors love them and it’s appropriate in our field–but some jobs–like those in banking or ones that are client-facing–are just not appropriate for wearing sneakers to. Period. Here is a short list to give you a better sense of whether.

1. Wear new or clean sneakers only. If you’re wearing sneakers to the office–they better be fresh. No ratty, dirty, scuffed or stained pairs. There shouldn’t be dirt or mud visible on the soles or uppers of the shoes. Ask a friend or loved one to tell you, honestly, if your sneakers are too dirty before leaving the house (I’m serious! I always ask my husband for the truth on my outfits–sometimes it’s hard to see these things in the mirror).

If your sneakers do get dirty, here are the best tricks for keeping them clean: use a magic eraser to clean the soles (or Windex or toothpaste), wash canvas sneakers like Chucks in the washing machine, and use nail polish remover to spot clean them.

[Photo: Always Judging]

2. Wear black pants, skirts or dresses to dress them up.

This seems obvious enough–but you’d be surprised how tempting it will be to wear blue jeans with the sneakers when you’re getting dressed in the morning. Resist the urge! This will turn in to a weekend look REAL QUICK. Try to over-compensate from the ankles up–wear a blazer, wear a blouse or button-down shirt, wear black wool or silk pants instead of black jeans. Wear “serious” shades like black, white, gray. Opt for materials like silks and cashmere and suede. Wear high end brands or investment pieces, if possible.

3. Wear your best bag.

Put your best accessory forward–wear your nicest handbag or your flashiest statement necklace. Make it look like you really put some effort in and like the look is *carefully styled* and not just lazy. Draw the eye up from the sneakers to a more sophisticated or quality piece. Make your boss feel like you are trying to impress and look nice. Let their be no mistake that you planned this look around sneakers–and not that you just didn’t feel like wearing heels that day.

4. Pick the “coolest” pair

The styles that are most in right now are: Adidas Stan Smiths, Vans, Puma Lo Basics, Converse All Stars (aka Chucks) and Adidas Superstars (Victoria Beckham’s fav!).

5. Have fun with it and show your personality. 

Again, you want to put together a look that feels well styled and not just lazy. Wear a bright dress or bright lipstick. Make a statement with your outfit and exaggerate or play up your personal style. Make the sneakers feel like part of a bold statement.

6. Try white, black–or even nude.

White sneakers are obviously cool–so are black ones (like slip-ons), and most recently gold or nude kicks have become stylish, too. Avoid bright colors like pink, red or blues as they will call attention to the fact that you are wearing sneakers.

2016’s nude sneaker trend.

Author:

Editorial Director

Justine Schwartz is a veteran women's lifestyle editor; she's written extensively about style & beauty tips, health advice and wedding planning for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in New York Magazine, Huffington Post and New York Weddings. Justine has been with SheFinds since 2010; you can reach her via email at [email protected]

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