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Lack of variety, uncomfortable, hard to break in. Not referring your grandmother’s couch that she doesn’t let anyone sit on, we’re talking dress shoes. Initially they’re not comfortable to wear at times, and let’s be real, unless you LOVE shoes like I do, most people can’t tell the difference between the $80 dress shoe from Macy’s and the $750 Italian leather pair that will last a lifetime. I wish there was a way to complete a formal outfit without donning a boring black leather oxford (insert thinking emoji)….
Introduce the sneaker. Before I continue, for those guys that hate dressing up, this article will NOT be your invitation to wear sneakers to any and every formal event. However, there are tasteful ways to show some style/flair by adding a signature sneaker to a more formal outfit.
Some guys in the sports industry have already been nailing the sneaker/suit combo. Shannon Sharpe. Skip Bayless. Flip to ESPN and you can pick your choice of men in suits and yep, they’re wearing sneakers. But the key is, HOW do you do it?
A few important factors you have to take in consideration when attempting to pull off the sneaker trick:
- Cleanse Thy Sneaker: Nothing looks worse on a formal outfit than a sneaker that’s dirty. Take the time to clean your sneaker before you wear it. My favorite go to cleaner: Jason Markk Cleaner. (Do yourself a favor and use their Repel waterproofer before you wear it, and it’ll make cleaning the shoe easier in the future)
- Two Words: Low.Top.: Unless you have a sneaker with a very narrow sneaker column (the part where your foot inserts the shoe) where your pant can go over the mid/high, then low tops are your go to. It looks cleaner, and your pant doesn’t bunch up on the top of the sneaker. Added benefit: the low profile sneaker may fool people into thinking that you actually have on dress shoes.
- Character Required: If you’re going to wear the sneaker, have fun with it! Let people know that: “Yup, I did this on purpose, and it looks fly!” The sneaker shouldn’t be basic (looking at you Nike Monarchs), but it should show: “Yea, I thought this out. It’s different. You like it.”
Recap: Make sure the shoe fits the occasion. (FYI: sneakers to a funeral, HUGE no no). Leave the basic shoes for walking the dog, grocery shopping, and trimming the hedges. Allow shoes to speak for themselves. That way two things will be touching the floor: Your sneaks, and people’s jaws.
Wanna drop me a line? firstname.lastname@example.org