Contrary to popular belief, it is absolutely possible to create a business casual outfit with sneakers.
In fact, you can already see most people doing that today.
Today we present to you the best business casual sneakers to simplify your wardrobe. We hope you're brimming with excitement because at the end of this blog post you'll know how to combine a marvelous sneaker outfit for work.
Are Sneakers Business Casual?
Business casual has become a standard at many workplaces. To put it simply, business casual involves combining traditional business attire with casual components, and this can also involve sneakers. Now, this doesn't mean that all kinds of sneakers belong to that category. Overall, it's best to stick to minimalistic and clean sneakers, the less detail the better. Of course, there are certain exceptions, depending on the kind of area you work in. For example, if you work in a creative field, such as fashion or advertising, you can certainly go for bolder colors and designs. Nevertheless, if you want to stay on the safe side, start with simple dress sneakers.
Here is our list of sneakers that are ideal for work and won't dress down your sneakers too much:
1. White Sneakers
White sneakers are incredibly versatile, which makes them the perfect footwear for almost any outfit. It is important to note that white work sneakers require much more formality than other sneakers. First off, it's always better to go for high-quality suede or leather as these have a much more polished look than canvas. Moreover, stay away from any bold patterns. Keep them as minimalistic as possible and always ensure they don't have any stains or other dirt marks, because trust us when we say — it will be noticeable.
*Small tip: To maintain the color, now and then apply some sneaker whitener. Make sure to clean your shoes before application.
2. Brown Leather Sneakers
If you're unsure about wearing sneakers and you'd like to test the waters first, then brown leather sneakers are your safest bet. They are smart, classy, and professional. Although they don't possess the same versatility as white sneakers, brown is still considered a neutral color and offers combination potential. You could easily combine these with white, grey, or brown khakis or blue pants.
3. Black Leather Sneakers
Let's be honest, there's a low chance you'll ever go wrong with black, and what could be more stylish than black leather dress sneakers? Just make sure they have no bold symbols or other bold decorative details and avoid any athletic designs, as these will dress down your outfit.
4. Suede Sneakers
In contrast to the smooth texture of leather, suede is much fuzzier. Sued leather e comes from the underside of animal skin, hence its soft exterior. These sneakers are much more practical for indoor activities, as the sensitive material can easily get damaged.
Suede sneakers have a relaxed and cozy appeal to them. If you work in an easygoing setting, then these could be just the thing for you. We do advise that you stick to subtle neutral colors though to maintain a professional appearance.
5. Brogue Sneakers
Although this may be an unusual one, sneakers with broguing are totally office appropriate. If you're a man who adores shoes with some more personality, then opt for brogues. This delicate pattern is usually found on oxfords and derby shoes and therefore elevates the dress sneaker. As for the color, it is best to stay within the typical brown and black shades.
Pants Are Priority
Before you make a final decision on your sneakers, focus on your pants first. If your lower garment isn't in harmony with your shoes, your outfit will end up looking rather odd.
Whether we're talking about a business casual look with jeans or dress pants, there are a few rules to follow: The perfect pants for your sneakers should have a streamlined fit. Baggy pants or slacks will end up gathering around your ankles, which will ruin the sleek look of your shoes. If you do end up wearing a pair of pants that extend over the ankle, you can always cuff them.
Also, make sure the color combination of the pants and sneakers is in harmony. That's why we always advise placing your bet on neutrals.
As you've probably guessed, design plays an important role, or at least when going for a business casual outfit.
Avoid bulky, bold, or patterned (unless it's a brogue) sneakers. You want your footwear to keep a low profile, so it's the monochromatic and clean sneakers you should be going for. Lace-up sneakers are just fine, as long as you sustain their cleanliness. Moreover, the material also plays a huge role in the overall appearance of the shoe. High-quality leather will certainly make a difference and will elevate your outfit. Not to mention, they will last far longer, which makes them much more sustainable.
If in doubt, always remember — the simpler the design, the better.
Do's and Don'ts
To provide you with some clarity and to sum things up, here is our list of do's and dont's for your business casual sneakers:
- Don't wear sneakers with an athletic design.
- Don't wear sneakers with bold colors and patterns.
- Don't wear bulky sneakers.
- Steer clear of baggy pants. They'll bunch around your ankles.
- Look for minimalistic and polished sneakers with simple designs
- Focus on neutral colors
- Select high-quality leather. They'll last longer.
- Prioritize pants first. Streamlined fits are ideal.