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Should You Wear Sneakers with a Suit or Is that a Bad Idea?

Wearing a suit with sneakers is actually not a bad idea but there are things and factors to consider when sporting this outfit. Here are a few tips on how to wear this simple and chic combo.

Close-up of man wearing suit and sneakers.

The answer is a resounding yes. The suit and sneakers combination makes for a simple, chic, and comfortable look that can take you from the office to Friday sunset cocktails with ease.

However, it can be a complete fashion faux pas if not done right. 

It all depends on the type of trousers and sneakers that you choose and how you wear them. People who jinx this attire do so because they haven’t chosen the right pieces and I’m sure you don’t want that to be you. 

Here are some tips on how to pull off this look. 

Some of the best sneakers to wear with a suit

Nike Mens Cortez Basic Leather Black/White/Metallic Silver Casual Shoe 11

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The Nike Cortez is one of the best sneakers to wear a suit with and it’s comfortable, too. While I wouldn’t suggest that you wear this shoe to work, it’s still one hell of a nice sneaker to pair with a suit, especially if you’re going on an outing. 

For a sleeker fit, consider the clean-cut Oliver Cabell sneaker. It goes with almost anything and definitely won’t look out of place in the workplace if you know how to rock it. 

Of course, we can’t forget about Common Projects sneakers. There’s a reason why this hand-stitched Italian favorite has been in the men’s style books for as long as it has. This sneaker pairs well with almost anything, from suits to jeans and beyond.

It’s perfect for smart-casual occasions and you’ll always look stylish and well-dressed in a Common Projects sneaker.  

Choosing the right suit matters

Man in suit and white sneakers poses beside his car.

I believe in dressing for the occasion. There’s a time for sweater, sneakers and Levis and a time for the full-dress jazz.

You could wear the perfect pair of sneakers and make a bad choice when it comes to the suit. That’s why it’s so important to be mindful about the type of suit you pick if you’re going to wear it with sneakers, because it could make or break the whole look. 

For best results, always go for slim-cut trousers with sneakers because they’re usually cut a few inches away from your feet so they won’t sit over the sneakers. If your pants are too long, you should try and fold them to create a more tailored look.  Alternatively, take them to a tailor because once they sit on the top of your shoe, your attire is ruined!

The sneakers you can’t wear with a suit

Man holding a pair of sneakers.

Unfortunately, you can’t just wear your suit with any type of sneakers.  For instance, you’ll want to avoid canvas sneakers, especially those that are shaped like a boot. Wearing this type of sneaker with a suit can make you look disheveled or like someone who doesn’t put much thought into his appearance. 

Athletic sneakers are also not the best choice for a suit because they’re referred to as “athletic” shoes for a reason. You just don’t want to wear them with a suit, whether you’re going on a job interview or a first date. It just won’t make a good first impression. 

The shape of the shoe can affect your style, too

Originally, suits were made for decent, formal shoes, but because fashion is all about creativity and trying out new styles, men started wearing their suits with sneakers as well. Now, if you pay attention to most of the sneakers listed above, they’re mostly shaped like formal shoes. 

That’s because the shape of the shoe matters as much as the style, color, and fit. If you look at athletic sneakers, they are huge and chunky, which is why they don’t look good with a suit.  

A suit should be worn with thin, tailored sneakers that mimic the shape of a formal shoe while infusing your outfit with a fresh, new look. 

Men who wear a suit with sneakers

Man in suit and sneakers sitting on the bar counter.

The shirt may be cut slimmer or looser, the suit might be darker or lighter, the sneakers might not have laces, but you’re still talking about shirts and suits and sneakers.

Compared to other types of shoes, sneakers are incredibly comfortable all the time. They’re made for a busy routine, so if you know you’re going to have a long day at work or anywhere else – why not make your life easier by wearing your suit with sneakers? You’ll look sleek and stylish while being comfortable at the same time. 

Just make sure to pair your suit with the right type of sneaker and you’ll be turning heads everywhere you go.