Step up your style game by lacing up in a pair of smart sneakers
Forget outdated dress codes; unless your job comes with full medical, company car, pension and entertainment allowance – you can't be expected to dress like Don Draper. Most offices are fine with work-appropriate, and while this doesn’t demand a suit anymore, it does require some interpretation and a modicum of decorum.
Opt for something slightly more elevated than what you wear on the weekends. That's crisp dark jeans, slim chinos and tailored trousers; shirts with a collar and then swap out your trusted trucker for our new favourite outerwear, the Harrington jacket.
But what about footwear?
What makes one sneaker more office-appropriate than the next is that it’s inconspicuous. Leave the brightly coloured, crazy design hightops for the weekend and choose a low-cut, slightly demure classic in quality canvas or leather. Work sneakers also need to be pristine (here’s how to keep white sneakers white), which means no holes, scuffs or dirty shoelaces. Perhaps now’s the time to invest in a sneaker cleaning kit?
Here’s our pick of three of the best sneakers for wearing to work, why we like them and what to wear them with.
What: The Chuck Taylor All Star Classic celebrates the iconic low top silhouette with a comfortable leather upper. An unmistakable classic offering casual, cool style.
We Like: How preppy they are. The contrasting border details along the outsole are accents that can be used to pick up on the colours in the rest of your combo. Retro cool interpreted via private school. Nicely done.
Wear with: Slim, cropped chinos, bare ankles and your choice of a white, blue or red polo shirt. This leather Chuck is far dressier than the canvas iteration and so there’s nothing stopping you from adding an edge to a slim cut suit in these instead of your typical dress shoe.
What: The Nizza was a basketball shoe in the 80s and returns as a low-cut silhouette featuring a breathable canvas upper, vulcanized outsole and durable rubber toe for daily wear.
We Like: How lightweight they are. The clean looks and casual style are understated class at its best. Just remember that even although these kicks are as minimalist as they come, white sneakers draw the eye so pay careful attention to both your sneaker-cleaning and sock game.
Wear with: A great pair of crisp dark denims with enough of a turn up to show off your socks. A white button up shirt and Harrington jacket will complete the look. If you're not feeling the all white Nizza then you'll be glad to know that this particular silhouette from adidas Originals is available in several colourways.
What: If you’re in need of an all-purpose, versatile sneaker then look no further than this new offering from basicthread. With a smooth canvas upper and a lace-up construction the clean silhouette is sophisticated enough for any office.
We Like: How nondescript they are. Lately menswear trends have made us feel a bit like Nascar drivers, what with all the logos and branding being broadcast from our bodies. Unless you’re being paid by the brand, devout sneaker allegiance is silly – play the field.
Wear with: Formal trousers. Trainers are casual, so put together a relatively smart outfit that meets them halfway. Then, instead of your typical work suit, mix and match an unstructured jacket with separate trousers, working in menswear accessories that flirt between formal and casual such as an analogue watch, leather satchel and braided belt. What's that, meeting request for Friday afternoon drinks with your boss? Looking good, man!