It's okay to be a little obsessed with sneakers. We are too.
Sneakers are edgy, add personality and most importantly — provide comfort. Despite their casual design, sneakers make an awesome combination with suits. In fact, Robert Downey Jr. is known for his suit and sneaker combination and he's totally killing it.
if you're a guy with a sense of style, then you should definitely experiment with a suit and sneakers outfit. By the end of this article, you'll own this style.
When Can You Wear a Suit with Sneakers?
Sneakers remain as casual footwear and unfortunately, the suit and sneaker outfit is off limits for black tie events or any events that include a formal dress code (sorry lads). Worry not, because you have the opportunity to wear this outfit at other fancy events, such as parties or gatherings, at the office, or in other smart casual settings.
Types of Sneakers to Wear with a Suit
There are tons of different sneakers available today. From high-top to low-top sneakers, with such a variety today, it is difficult to choose the right pair. A suit requires a fancy or somewhat formal occasion, that's why we need to take extra care with the sneakers. Say no to casual sneakers with bold logos for the suit outfit. The laces should be the same color as the shoe and the sole should be of average height (avoid platforms). Overall, we're looking for dress sneakers: Formal sneakers in neutral colors and minimalistic designs. Here is a list of the type of sneakers you should be looking for when combining them with a suit:
Elements of a Dress Sneaker:
- Narrow shape
- Leather or suede material
- Low top (Don't cover ankle)
- Minimalistic design
- Discreet laces
Types of Suits to Wear with Sneakers
To achieve an epic suit and sneaker outfit, we have to understand what suits we're working with and the occasion. Here are the different types of suits you can pair up with sneakers:
Casual Suit with Sneakers
If you're looking for a stylish sporty look, then the casual suit and sneaker combination was meant for you. It's the perfect outfit if you don't want to be too overdressed for an occasion, or underdressed. In addition, casual suits go well with more vibrant sneakers, with a bit more color and personality. If you're attending a party or a gathering, feel free to be creative and go for eccentric colors. On the other hand, if you're wearing a casual suit and sneaker outfit to the office, you may want to tone it down a bit. In that case, go for a neutral-colored suit and minimalistic sneakers that aren't too loud.
Black Suit with Sneakers
David Beckham, the fashion icon himself, stayed ahead of the game and wore a black suit and sneaker combo to a Dior party. So believe us when we say, this combination is doable.
To team up a black suit with sneakers, we recommend keeping it classy with the shoes. Black is still regarded as a formal color for a suit. After all, black suits are usually worn at either weddings, funerals, or formal events. Stick to classic white leather sneakers, or colors such as navy, brown or black. Again, sneakers must be clean, so make sure they are well polished.
Wedding Suit with Sneakers
We bet you're surprised to hear this. Who would have thought sneakers could make it to wedding outfits?
Be warned — wearing sneakers at a wedding is only acceptable if the dress code deems it as appropriate. In that case, the wedding dress code would have to be dressy casual. Even so, we recommend checking in with the wedding host to remain on the safe side.
A wedding suit should always have a sense of formality, no matter the dress code. If you want to wear sneakers with a wedding suit, it's best to keep them as minimalistic and clean as possible. White leather sneakers or brown leather sneakers are really the only acceptable option. It's crucial to not overdo this outfit with any bold sneakers. Remember, let your sneakers maintain a low profile, ensure they are made of high-quality leather, and keep them as clean and shiny as possible.
Blue Suit with Sneakers
For a magnetic blue suit, turn to white or brown leather sneakers to elevate the look. Navy and crisp white have always been the perfect match. If you're planning on wearing a blue suit with white sneakers, we recommend combining it with a white button-down shirt to highlight the white. Brown leather sneakers are also a good fit and combine to make a more classic option.
Grey Suit with Sneakers
Looking for something sophisticated, yet casual? The grey suit and sneakers combination is just for you. Since grey is a neutral color, it mixes well with most colors and has more combination potential. A fantastic option is a suit with a pattern. That's why we suggest this striped suit with white sneakers. Nevertheless, we recommend white or brown. If you would like to add a splash of color, experiment with vibrant navy sneakers or burgundy ones.
What Belt to Wear with Sneakers?
This depends on the fabric and color of your shoes. If your sneakers are made out of leather, then you should always go for a leather belt and match the color of your belt to your sneakers —except for white sneakers. In fact, white sneakers are versatile enough to be combined with any belt color (except for white). Moreover, if you're wearing white leather dress sneakers, it's best to combine them with a leather belt. On the other hand, if you're wearing casual white sneakers, feel free to combine them with a fabric belt.
The Do's and Don'ts of Rocking Suits with Sneakers
Know Your Event: The first rule of thumb is to gauge the appropriateness of the sneakers-suit combo for the event you're attending.
Embrace Minimalism: Opt for understated, neutral-colored sneakers for a more formal suit look. Let’s keep it classy!
Comfort Is King: Ensure your sneakers are comfortable, especially if you're planning to wear them for an extended period. You don’t want to trade style for blisters.
Keep 'Em Clean: Nothing ruins this sophisticated look like a pair of grungy, dirty sneakers. Make sure they're spotless!
Color Coordination: Try to match the color of your sneakers with at least one element of your outfit, whether it’s the shirt, tie, or belt.
Lacing Matters: Stick to discreet laces that match the color of your sneakers. Your laces should complement, not distract.
Check the Dress Code: If you're in doubt, it never hurts to ask or check the event's dress code. Better safe than sorry!
Belt Material: If you're sporting leather sneakers, your belt should also be leather, and the colors should match or complement each other.
Avoid Overkill: Don’t wear sneakers with overly flashy designs or colors that take away from the suit’s elegance.
Say No to Platforms: Overly thick soles can ruin the proportions of your outfit and make it look less sophisticated.
Not for Formal Events: Save this combo for less formal occasions. Weddings, funerals, or events with strict dress codes are usually not the place for sneakers.
No Style Clashing: For instance, avoid wearing athletic sneakers with a three-piece, pin-striped suit. It’s a fashion faux pas!
Mind the Material: Stay away from canvas or rubber sneakers as they are too casual for a suit.
Don’t Neglect the Overall Look: Remember, pairing a suit with sneakers is a style statement. Make sure the rest of your outfit is equally stylish.
Never Sacrifice Comfort: Don't go for style over comfort. If the sneakers are tight or uncomfortable, skip them.
Ditch the Neon Laces: The laces should never be the focal point. Stick to neutral or matching colors to keep the look cohesive.
With these Do's and Don'ts, you're not just prepared, you're primed to own the suit and sneakers game. Now, go ahead, look dashing and feel comfy—why settle for one when you can have both?
Can't Find the Right Sneakers?
Are you struggling to find the right sneakers for a certain occasion or outfit? Let us help you out.
At Hockerty you have the opportunity to design your own sneakers. Whether you're looking for leather or suede, low top or runner - we have all kinds of options. Let your shoes be an eye-catcher and create the pair you desire.