Bought yourself a new pair of white sneakers but not sure how to make them look their best? Wonder no more, as we here at DMARGE know a thing or two about style and so are able to tell you the outfits, clothing pieces and colours that will really get your white sneakers to pop.
Whether you’ve got yourself a pair of minimalist white leather sneakers, a more casual canvas pair or a pair that fit more intro streetwear, this ultimate guide will tell you how to wear white sneakers with absolute class.
In This Story…
Why You Need A Pair In Your Wardrobe
Sportsluxe is the white sneaker’s biggest advocate. The active-fashion style is dominating the runway prompting fashion-lead lads and celebs on the red carpet to take up the street chic look.
While the white sneaker won’t come anything close to your average running shoe or gym shoe, it will resemble something sleek, clean and rather vintage (void of any sort of pre-loved aesthetic, that is). The best part? Its versatility.
The white sneaker – be it low or high cut – comes made in premium leather or cool canvas with minimal details, making them ready to work with any style mix; no sweating required. Let’s take a look at the key ways to rock the white sneaker with style.
Turn Yourself Into A Prepster
Kicking things off where the white sneaker began, icon Steve McQueen gave men of the Fifties permission to wear Chuck Taylor’s with cotton chinos and a Ralph Lauren polo – no socks. And today, it lives on. The sporty accents of the white tennis shoe in canvas lends a country club aesthetic to the look, met with bone or khaki trousers (cropped these days for something super modern) and a pastel shirt (enhances the prep) or something more nautical like a Breton shirt in navy and white stripe.
Look to Converse or Lacoste for this look, or the Jack Purcell variety. Always lo-cut and mostly canvas, you’ll be channeling the style forefathers in no time.
White Sneakers & Shorts
Shorts are the most obvious choice for sneakers, but can also be the most difficult to pull off. Why? Shorts and sneakers can appear more gym-worthy, than a casual summer outfit that is perfectly stylish. For this reason, keep the white sneaker lean and slim looking, worn without socks and low cut in silhouette.
Canvas is a cooler option but looks a lot less ‘expensive’, so if you’re wearing tailored chino shorts and a relaxed blazer, stick to leather to maintain the dressier vibes.
With shorts, treat the white sneaker like you would a pair of driving loafers or boat shoes, pairing the footwear with other Sunday-cruising items: a plain fitted tee, comfortable shorts and aviator shades. Now, go get lost on the open road.
White Sneakers & Black Jeans
Slipping straight into the minimal trend sweeping men’s wear this very minute, white sneakers are an easy choice for monochrome purists who love to wear black jeans on a regular basis. They create a light escape from an all-back look, which can feel a bit heavy in the daylight hours. But, they don’t forsake the ambition of being supremely pared-back.
The option is yours – high or low – for this look, but – as the minimal name suggests – take away unnecessary items (like socks) and keep jackets, shirting and coats very symmetrical. Pants need to be tapered or cropped and you can touch up the outfit with a beanie or metallic jewellery. But the stark contrast between colour-blocked shade and light should be the focus here, not messy add-ons.
Look to APC and Want les Essentiels de la Vie for chic minimal varieties or Vans for something more affordable.
White Sneakers & Chinos
This look requires a penchant for slouchier silhouettes, inspired by American urban subcultures. For a look that will take you from day to night, base the outfit with jogger pants in quality jersey cotton – the essential style indicator being the cuffed ankle, refining the typical gym-y lounge pant.
The Nike Air Force One is a good choice or the Golden Goose Deluxe Brand for a hi-top variety with a skate appeal.
White Sneakers & Skinny Jeans
Another key look this season is quality denim, spurred on by Japanese selvedge varieties and man’s pursuit of individual-look jeans. And, the white sneaker looks brilliant with denim. Channelling American workwear, look to double denim (broken up with a leather belt, of course) before rolling the cuffs of some straight-fit jeans, rocking out like a modern Paul Newman.
If you’re searching for a more chic denim look, ditch the denim jacket for a top coat and collared shirt, looking to chambray to align the indigos and keep the look tonal. Then, chuck on your white sneakers – again low-cut is best – and look to leather options. Try ETQ and Filling Pieces for a different brand choice with your classic denim bottoms.
White Sneakers & A Suit
While tailoring is a huge commodity for the fashionable gent, the tucked and shaped aesthetic has created some room to move for the white sneaker’s adoption. With a suit or blazer, the sneaker adds an effortless informal look to a tailored outfit, perfect for nights out.
Keep your socks on with a smarter suit, especially if you’re sporting other trimmings: tie, pocket square and waistcoat. The cleanliness required for the look works best with Adidas Stan Smiths, or look to hi-tops for a boot sneaker look. For more luxury variety, seek Gucci, Acne Studios or John Lobb.
Whatever the brand, the sneakers need to remain sleek (like dress shoes) and absolutely white and bright; a dirty pair will kill any sartorial suaveness you’ve worked so hard to muster.
Check out our full in-depth guide to learn how to wear sneakers with a suit.
How To Wear White Sneakers FAQ
Wear low cut, slim-looking canvas shoes, sockless, with neutral trousers, like khaki or bone. You can also pair them with shorts. For your shirt, pastels or stripes will look good. If you are wearing a smarter suit with all the trimmings like a tie and pocket square, wear your white sneakers with socks on. A hi-top boot sneakers will be your best choice. Use a water-based cleaner. Compared to a chemical-based cleaner, it will be less harsh on fabric and safe on leather and mesh. Use a medium-bristle shoe brush or an old toothbrush to clean the grime. Do not scrub.
How to wear white canvas shoes?
How to wear white sneakers with suit?
How to clean white sneakers?
Wear low cut, slim-looking canvas shoes, sockless, with neutral trousers, like khaki or bone. You can also pair them with shorts. For your shirt, pastels or stripes will look good.
If you are wearing a smarter suit with all the trimmings like a tie and pocket square, wear your white sneakers with socks on. A hi-top boot sneakers will be your best choice.
Use a water-based cleaner. Compared to a chemical-based cleaner, it will be less harsh on fabric and safe on leather and mesh. Use a medium-bristle shoe brush or an old toothbrush to clean the grime. Do not scrub.