IT MAY seem like a nanosecond but the antithesis of high-heels –sneakers—have been basking in the fashion limelight for several years now. Credit the “athleisure” trend, and a taste for more comfortable clothing, but the ascendance of sneakers also owes a debt to Phoebe Philo, creative director at Celine for ten years. Her philosophy of comfortable luxury trickled down to footwear. And by appearing in Stan Smith sneakers while taking a bow on the runway, she fueled a love affair with Adidas and other manufacturers of white sneakers, converting high-heel loving, style-conscious women into sneaker lovers. Raise your hand if you can find a designer who hasn’t added rubber-soled styles to his or her fashion line.
The latest high-fashion incarnation has been dubbed the “ugly” sneaker – that chunky footwear you’re seeing all over. They’re cumbersome, quirky and going strong for spring. On the runways of Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga, they’re also sold at prices easier on the wallet by Zara and sporty brands like Fila and Nike.
They’re not for everyone, but the easiest way to off-set a chunky pair of sneakers? A midi-dress, of course. While a total athleisure look is fine, an airy, feminine dress helps balance things out.
Rather than wearing them with leggings or running shorts, try something that feels the total opposite of what they’re “meant” to be worn with, like a suit.
Not a slave to trends? For less of a statement but to still look au courant, lace up a pair of simple soles with neutral colors from the likes of Tretorn, Puma, Nike and Adidas, who have climbed on the sneaker bandwagon with reboots of their old icons. Wear with black jeans and a blazer, a pencil skirt and structured top, a sweater and pleated skirt, cropped trousers or a jumpsuit.
For weekend wear, go for fun with florals or patterns from Ganni or Gucci, for example. Keep the rest of your outfit pared down.