How To Wear Trainers with a Suit

how to wear trainers with a suit

Pairing trainers with a suit have for the last few seasons become as an acceptable fashion combo. Menswear stylist that that are devout to more tradition styles – especially those that reside in London’s, Savile Row – would be in disgust with the complete overthrow of traditional sartorial norms. Whilst we have to agree with them in the best part, the smart-casual combination that is the sneaker paired with the suit is a force to reckon with. They say opposites attract, and with this combo it holds true.


You may have seen this look attempted before, unintentionally though, or we should say lack of any thought, in most cases. The daily commute on city transport has probably come to mind. Commuters stepping aboard and riding into the city with a sleek suit and, oh yes, a pair of trainers on their feet. There is some stigmatisation around this commuter trend. A style tainted by years of joyless commuters pushing comfort whilst running for the catch the last bus. Comfort indeed has played somewhat a greater role in the coordination efforts each morning. Often looking as though they have slipped into their gym or running shoes for the morning ahead. Style has definitely stayed at home – not even an afterthought, because, let’s face it, it’s too unconventional for many to consider a suit with trainers a style trend. They have got it all wrong…


Suits and trainers work. Those that fail to hone this look need to pick the right suit. It’s always best to keep it simple. The safest styles or hues, in particular, would be navy and grey. Your shiny suit is best avoided, however. Sticking to natural fibre suits: linen, hopsack, cotton and wool work best. More modern cuts such as an aggressive silhouette slim fit or skinny style are the preferred cut to master this look  – Italian style suits would set you in the right direction. However, don’t be afraid to experiment outside of these styles, you can often, along as you pick the right shoe, create an incredible suit-sneaker combo that oozes panache with different patterns and cuts.


When going for a trouser it must break before the foot – tapered is always best. A dress trouser sitting deep over the shoe is just bad etiquette when attempting a bold style move such as the suit and sneakers look, it’s major fail by all means.


Trainers are best kept minimal in style, our favourite that seems to work with almost any suit style would be a simple white trainer. A pair of high-end trainers such as the classic Adidas Stan Smith or Common Projects will be some of the better choices to master this style. Luxury trainers from the likes of Dolce & Gabbana or Channel are popular choices of trainers for the man that likes to indulge in the lavish look.

While sneaker can assure you get the look, there are other shoe styles that can work well with a suit. Look towards canvas style shoes – Vans or Converse would be the obvious choice. This shoe would work better with a relaxed, summer, casual suit – especially a summery earthy hue, such as khaki and creams. Again, keep the shoe simple in design.


What about the shirt and tie? Depending on the occasion you may want to keep the shirt and tie, or at least the shirt. If you are going for a business meeting the suit and trainer look may be inappropriate, but for a more relaxed office look, you may be able to push the boundary just that bit further and get away with the suit-sneaker look. Sticking with a shirt and tie can make it a little trickier to perfect the look and not to come off as a mismatched commuter – so be careful when coordinating the outfit. If you really want to perfect this smart-casual combo and find the perfect balance that’s cool and casual, then ditch the tie and swap the shirt for a t-shirt for the perfect high-low combination.