White sneakers and black jeans are two of the most classic elements of a modern bloke’s wardrobe. Representing the ultimate in versatility, comfort and laid-back cool, they’re essentials that are worn with everything and anything. Wearing them together though? It’s less common than you might think. Despite this, the combination can be a total showstopper if styled correctly. Here, we explain the ultimate way to wear these basic pieces so that they have the maximum effect.
What shirt to wear with white shoes and black jeans
Minimalism is the name of the game when it comes to white shoes and black jeans. Lean into this aesthetic by keeping your ensemble monochrome, layering a slim pair of black jeans with a white button-down Oxford. Style the shirt by rolling back the sleeves and leave it hanging out. Pair this with a chunky pair of white Nike Airforce Ones for a slightly retro take on this look. This is the perfect outfit for brunch, a stroll down to the high-street or even a laid-back afternoon at the pub.
If you can’t help but add a hint of colour to your outfit, think about dabbling in double denim with a blue denim shirt. Layer this over a white tee for a slightly more casual weekend outfit. Focusing on quality pieces from the likes of Acne and Bassike will help prevent this from coming across as sloppy. You can also heighten the relaxed vibe with a pair of white Chuck Taylors.
What jacket to wear with white shoes and black jeans
Nothing beats the classic combination of a white tee, black jeans and a well-fitted denim jacket. Opt for a classic blue wash in a slim style and steer clear of excess details such as rips or dramatic acid washing. Throw the jacket on over a Breton tee or a grey crew neck shirt for a cool but relaxed ensemble.
If denim jackets aren’t your speed, a leather biker jacket is another great option to pair with this ensemble. Stick with a classic style of jacket in a high-quality leather from somewhere like Reiss. This will be something you can wear time and time again and will only get better with wear. Pair it with a well fitted white tee-shirt and a slightly lighter wash of black jeans for a 21st century take on James Dean style.
A bomber is another great option, particularly when worn with distressed black jeans. Keep the bomber simple, opting for a nylon style in black, navy or khaki. This should be layered over a tee or plain white button down and paired with low-top white sneakers.
How to dress up white shoes and black jeans
Whilst white shoes and black jeans might seem like the ultimate casual statement, it doesn’t take much to dress it up for more formal occasions. Perfect for a relaxed cocktail event or a long-lunch, black jeans and a pair of low-top leather sneakers matched with a black linen blazer and a crisp white shirt is an effortless but very chic ensemble. Think about really playing with texture, potentially opting of a blazer that has a waxed finish for a more night-time ready look.
If you’re really wanting to up the ante, why not experiment with some tonal blocking? An all-black outfit – button down shirt, blazer and jeans – paired with white sneakers makes for a bold statement. Keep it simple, steering clear of any superfluous accessories and focusing on crisp, clean lines. Nick Jonas makes a strong case for this look in the image above.
For the more flamboyantly minded, you could also play with a black cropped tuxedo jacket. Perhaps best worn by Olivier Rousteing of Balmain, this style screams luxe and is a fun way to toy with a more formal dress code.
How to accessorise white shoes and black jeans
As a general rule, white shoes and black jeans lends itself to being worn as part of a monochrome ensemble. This being the case, it’s advisable to keep accessories to a minimum and really focus on a less is more approach.
For daytime wear, add simple, classic pieces like a New Era baseball cap or a belt from somewhere like Off-White to elevate your outfit. Statement sunglasses and jewellery can also bolster your look, just remember to keep it minimal.
Of an evening, pair it back even further, focusing on a classic time piece and nothing else. The beauty of this look lies in its simplicity, so own that with high quality garments that can speak for themselves.
How to pick the perfect pair of white shoes
How you plan on wearing a pair of white shoes will ultimately dictate the style that you’re after. And there are a lot of options out there. From $500 styles at Valentino to the more cheap and cheerful Adidas Stan Smiths, the average bloke would be forgiven for being a little overwhelmed. To ease the strain, we’ve broken it down.
For those who are purchasing for the first time, you can’t go past a classic low-top leather style. The ultimate in versatility, these can be dressed up with chinos but will look equally at home with black jeans. Depending on your price range, check out Common Projects or Axel Arigato for well-constructed, high-quality options. If you’re on a bit more of a budget, look at Aquila for a perfectly acceptable alternative.
If you skew further towards the casual end of the spectrum, you can’t go past a white canvas plimsoll. The shoe of summer, it looks sensational paired with looser black jeans and a floppy white tee. Converse or Superga both do great versions of this style.
Finally, for the hype beasts amongst us, the white statement sneaker is a true investment piece and a fail-safe way to level up your black jeans and white shoes combo. Sneakerboy has an enviable range including offerings from the likes of Balenciaga and Gucci.