What made the most buzz on the Milanese catwalks? Gucci’s collaboration with Adidas – specifically a pair of purple two-tone Gazelle sneakers that have risen to the top of the fashion ensemble’s hit list.
Sneakers of all kinds – simple or pretty, with clashing laces or chunky soles – are big news in fashion now because any woman of any age can wear them, because they are the easiest way to buy a brand and because the right pair can make your look. Whether you’re a fan of Nike, Veja or Adidas, we all use sneakers to inject a modern twist into our wardrobes.
There are thousands of sneaker brands in all price brackets, so here are some tips for choosing the right pairs for you (and, yes, now you need more than one).
Shane Watson shares tips on wearing sneakers to the office while staying stylish. Pictured: Reese Witherspoon
THOSE THAT ARE AUTOMATICALLY COOL AND DESKTOP FRIENDLY
Sneakers work for work as long as they’re not fabric or canvas, and they’re white or color-blocked – namely the New Balance suede ones that come in a collage of colors like mustard, burgundy and teal blue. You’ll see them on women of all ages (mark them by the big N on the side) who know this is the shortcut to looking down to the minute.
A clash with your outfit doesn’t matter, but if you’re wearing a pattern, keep the sneakers plain. Try New Balance MS327 (£74.99 office.co.uk).
For a few years – probably since Meghan Markle first wore them – the smart, beautiful and just feminine enough sneaker to wear is Veja (£120, veja-store.com). The secret is to stick white with the V in navy, black or beige. It is also an enduring brand.
The UK-based stylist recommends avoiding girly details and canvas, and sticking to one pair for the best. Pictured: Duchess of Cambridge
SCRUB UP YOUR LOOK SNAPSHOT
No BIG secret there: they are white, of course. Neat, not too nursery, not too technical. You don’t want them to be so simple that you look like a dental assistant, but you don’t want them to be covered in fancy trim either; black, navy or gray details look best.
Try Whistles’ Raife trainers with gray suede detailing (£139, whistles.com) or All Saints’ old school leather trainers (£139, allsaints.com) which really go with everything. What also looks cool is a combination of off-white and beige, perhaps in a New Balance or Veja style.
If you’re interested in the plain whites that fashion girls covet, these are Celine’s high-top trainers with a Velcro tab in optic white (£590, celine.com). If you’re wearing them smart, you’ll need a pair to stay your best.
THOSE WHO ADD POP COLOR
If you balk at a bright green sweater but want to give your wardrobe an instant pop of color, here’s your answer. Get a two-tone yellow suede pair (£130, bimbaylola.com). The ones I’ve been wearing for years to brighten up my clothes are plain suede Adidas gazelles in whatever color suits you. Get ahead of the Gucci girls now in a pair in collegiate burgundy (£70, adidas.co.uk).
COACHES: THE 2022 RULES
- Keep the soles white or brown
- Avoid feminine details
- Save a pair for the best
- Avoid the web
THOSE IF YOU ARE AFTER AN ELEVATION
If you are looking for extra lift, stonking soles are quite the rage. Try Nike’s low-top platform (£84.95, nike.com) or Boden’s white leather platform (£90, boden.co.uk).
THE “DO NOT WRITE ME” COACH
We’ve all counted on a great pair of shoes for daytime wear and now those shoes could be sneakers. A few weeks ago, Mary Beard the historian was photographed wearing a nondescript sweater and pants and Gucci sneakers that frankly made us think of her in a different light.
You don’t have to go the Gucci route (you’d need just under £700), just find yourself a trainer with up-to-the-minute credibility or character. Try DATE (date-sneakers.com) if you like a little bling.
WHAT YOU DON’T WANT
Textile uppers just aren’t as smart. Avoid those octopus cupping soles, visible air units (the see-through bubbles embedded in trainer soles), or too much multicolored mesh. Choose a trainer that looks neat on your foot and don’t bother with black.