I love the classic look of a suit paired with formal oxfords or derby shoes. It’s slick, stylish, and essential wear in many formal situations. But it’s good to ditch the conventional style occasionally and have some fun.
Wearing a suit with sneakers is my favorite way to do this. And it’s become a more popular combination in recent years due to the general toning down of fashion trends.
It’s not a completely effortless look to pull off, however. Not all suits pair well with sneakers, and not all sneakers are suitable to wear with a suit. There are also plenty of things you can do with the rest of your outfit to make it fit the suit and sneakers look better.
With that in mind, here’s all you need to know about how to wear a suit with sneakers. We’ll start with a look at the basics and then enjoy eight fool-proof ways to style the look.
Choosing the Best Suit to Wear With Sneakers
While you always have the option to experiment your heart out, here’s how you can play safe:
☝️Opt for a suit tailored in a modern way. A slim-fit suit with shoulders that hug your own, a trimmed waist, slim sleeves, and a sleek lapel design typically works well. An intentionally oversized suit can also work, although it’s harder to pull off IMO.
✌️Choose pants with no break or a small break around the ankle. Look for tapered, well-fitted pants that go way down your ankle without a wrinkle. Chunkier sneakers can handle more of a break.
👊 Stick to the casual end of the suiting spectrum. A tux and sneaker pairing creates an extreme formal-to-casual clash; therefore, it is best to avoid it.
The Best Sneakers to Wear With a Suit
Sneakers are a great way to bring a casual element to your suit. But do all sneakers understand the assignment? Absolutely not.
So go ahead and check out the best sneakers to wear with a suit.
Clean White Sneakers
A pair of clean white sneakers are a fail-safe option for any suit. They’re easy to pull off and great for beginners.
Low Top Leather Sneakers
Low-top leather sneakers are perfect for pants with a small break, promoting the ankle-baring aesthetic, which is a hit for a suit-sneaker look.
Play with the material of your sneakers because you cannot with the colors. Suede adds personality to an otherwise casual pair of sneakers.
Chunky sneakers can be tricky, but they’re worth a shot once you’ve eased into this look with regular sneakers. Use a fashion-forward suit with clean, chunky sneakers.
Canvas sneakers can work really well suits because they are typically quite low-profile and have a minimalist design. Just stick to new, fresh-looking pairs rather than your old battered up Converse.
10 Ways to Style a Suit and Sneakers
Deformalize your Regular Suit
Sneakers serve to bring down the uptight vibe of a formal suit. Use them to add some play to your regular suit and deformalize it for events with a flexible dress code.
The white low-top leather sneakers make a crisp pair with the adequately trimmed grey suit. The white button-down shirt creates a tonal look with the white sneakers, and the fact that the buttons are undone ensures the entire fit stays on the casual side of tailoring.
Choose Brown Leather Sneakers
Choosing a pair of sneakers in a color you typically find formal shoes in is an easy way to start wearing sneakers with your suit.
The contemporary, elegant color palette of this outfit renders it a perfect business-casual look despite the strong leisure juxtaposition introduced via the chunky sneakers. The slim-fit button-down shirt exudes a trimmed, dapper vibe further emphasized by the suit’s modern tailoring.
Choose a Fun Suit Color
If you’re wearing sneakers with a suit, the chances are you aren’t going somewhere with a strict formal dress code. Make the most of this by choosing a suit in a color you wouldn’t normally wear.
The light blue suit in the image above is a stylish example of this, and the color goes really well with the clean white sneakers. The suit also seems to have a modern oversized fit which, and the model further tones down the look by not wearing a shirt or tie.
Ditch a matching suit and try separates to amp up your style. Mix-and-match can jazz up any understated piece and make a laidback outfit.
This suit has such statement energy in a cool and neat manner. The gray blazer goes well with the colors of the navy pants and white sneakers and striped Breton shirt.
Wear With Knitwear
When in doubt, go with a monochrome outfit and nail the look like a fashionista. The dressy flair of the all-black suit is smartly toned down with a black turtleneck sweater. The white sneakers work as a striking accent while keeping up with the chic but easy-going fit as well.
Swap a Shirt for a T-Shirt
Wearing a suit or blazer with a t-shirt is an easy way to make a suit more casual. When you choose to go for this look, it makes a lot of sense to also wear sneakers. The easiest way to nail this look is to choose a crisp white t-shirt with a pair of crisp white leather sneakers.
Go for Offbeat Fabric
Playing with the material or texture always turns out interesting, whether with a suit or sneakers. However, the power of fabric is criminally underrated in menswear, and I don’t see why.
Dressed in suede from head-to-toe, Travis Scott pulled off an impeccable suit-sneaker look in the above image. Many types of sweaters go with a suit, but the black crew neck in the image introduces a lowkey touch to the equation and goes well with the black and brown suede sneakers.
Wear With an Unstructured Suit
The jersey blend suit in a striped pattern will get you street-ready in no time. The look is kept minimal with a basic white tee and finished off with black and white low-top canvas sneakers that make texture the outfit’s highlight.
Chunky Sneakers and a Casual Shirt
This outfit combines a fairly standard charcoal suit with a casual camp collar shirt and a pair of chunky sneakers. The blasts of color from the shirt and the sneakers catch the eye and turn the otherwise fairly standard suit into something far more interesting.
Wear With an Untucked Shirt
Another way to add casual flair to your suit is to wear it with a casual shirt and untuck the shirt. The outfit above does this especially well as the white suit is also quite casual. The suede details on the white sneakers complement the rest of the outfit well and stop the look from appearing too washed out.