Truly, Trousers Just Look So Much Cooler When You Wear Them With Sneakers

Try these combos now.

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Instagram / Karina Aygistova
how to wear trousers with sneakers
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We are living in a glorious time for having fun with fashion, when all the old, antiquated style rules can be broken without fear of judgement. Last year, especially, was a boom time for ignoring once-sartorial taboos: The celebrity set rejected the century-old “no white after Labor Day” mandate; Saint Laurent and Fendi’s runways proved that black and brown can (and should) be worn together; the “wrong shoe theory” became a viral concept. And now, with the start of 2024, this rebellious approach to getting dress is only picking up speed. Case in point? All the fashion insiders out there teaming timeless trousers with sneakers.

If your immediate reaction to this unique duo was, “umm... why?”, that’s totally valid. In theory, a staple as sleek and classic as trousers shouldn’t work with shoes that align more with off-duty outings. However, what’s marrying these two undeniably opposing pieces is a healthy dose of contrast. Gaelle Drevet, the founder of The Frankie Shop, agrees, and notes the pairing’s visually interesting dissonance is what makes it a quintessentially cool girl look. “These casual shoes are essential in order to tone down the sharp silhouette of trousers,” she tells TZR over email.

While the finished product should look quite effortless, crafting just the right sporty footwear and polished pant combination requires a great deal of thought. Fashion stylist and consultant Natalie Scicolone advises to take the pant length into account — this will help you settle on the best kicks to anchor the cut. She uses a simple guideline when styling her clients: long, baggy silhouettes look best with bulkier sneakers (think: the New Balance 990v6 or dadcore Asics) as they elongate the appearance of the leg. On the other hand, Scicolone believes cropped trousers are better suited to streamlined sneakers as long as you show some ankle. “So consider adding ruffled socks or eye-catching tights,” she says. One golden rule she alway follows? “Avoid a pant length that kisses the very top of the sneaker’s tongue, because this tends to read dated, or too corporate.”

Scicolone also emphasizes that you’ll need to put an equal level of attention into your rest of your outfit for everything to completely come together. “Full suits with a sneaker are bold and exciting, as long as the fit is fresh and tailored just enough,” she says. She also likes the idea of channeling a Hailey Bieber-esque vibe by pairing trousers and trainers with super fitted baby tees, which plays into the celeb-approved big pants and tiny tops trend.

Blister-less feet and revamped outfits await you below. Just keep scrolling for five formulas worth copying from some of our favorite influencers.

Paint The Town Red

As we settled into some of the darkest and chilliest days of the year, dopamine dressing is the key to brightening up both your wardrobe (and mood). For your next IRL workday, consider planning your entire look around your red sneakers. Then, turn up the look a notch with fiery trousers and a matching blazer courtesy of Alexander McQueen (Kate Middleton’s favorite designer for suit sets). And finally, layer an adorable graphic tee under your fitted jacket for a fun, irreverent touch.

A Pop Of Pastel

Take a look at your professional footwear selections. If it’s a sea of black, worn-out options that you dread slipping on in the morning, consider a more playful approach to business casual attire via Easter egg-colored sneakers. Paired with usual 9-5 staples like a button-down and slightly oversized gray trousers, a fun pair like these baby blue Off-White beauties are pretty much guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Mega Monochrome

If you tend to gravitate more toward neutral attire, you’re in luck: Thanks to best-dressed celebrities like Beyoncé and Anne Hathaway, winter white outfits are having a moment. Put your own stamp on the look with stark white Vejas that’ll peak out from under ultra-high-waisted pants from Brunello Cucinelli. Keep the chic vibes going with an ivory top-handle bag from Saint Laurent, or go a more eye-popping route with an aquamarine Brandon Blackwood tote.

Yay For Gray

While red was undeniably 2023’s most of-the-moment hue, groutfits (aka “gray outfits”) were a close second. The gray-on-gray looks were an repeated theme on the Fall/Winter 2023 runways, most notably popping up on catwalks of Miu Miu, Prada, and Ferragamo. Off the catwalk in the streets, you can’t go wrong with suiting separates and New Balances in varying shades of dove and charcoal. Add an element of surprise via a striking carryall — perhaps a tangerine handbag from Monazeni?

Neon Sign

Your trusty LBD might require a slew of accessories to make your evening-out attire feel fresh and bold. However, eye-popping green trousers need nothing more than a good steam and a contrasting pair of beige Pumas. A flirty lime green top and a Bottega Veneta Mini Jodie (in a bold shade to match your bottoms, of course) will make your GNO one to remember.

Layered Up & Luxe

Cozy Levi’s trousers and Adidas Gazelles are a goes-with-anything mash-up that makes getting dressed on the weekend so much easier. But while you could throw on your favorite oversized crewneck and call it a day, why not give the lewk a high-fashion flair by layering a pleated midi skirt overtop your bottoms? To winter-ify your outfit, layer in bulky multicolor knit — extra points if it matches your shoes.

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