How To Wear Trainers for Work
There was a time when trainers were reserved just for the daily commute, only to be ditched under the desk and swapped out for more traditional office footwear. It used to be that smart ballet flats, tasselled loafers, or heels were our only workwear options. But as styles of trainers have developed into sleeker, smarter silhouettes in premium materials the humble trainer has become a fast favourite for the working week style.
Considering recent events too – working from home and spending most of our days in slippers – the thought of returning to heels has us wincing at the mere memory of the aches and pains they can cause.
As we return to the pavement, to the train platform, or to the accelerator pedal, it’s well worth having a shoe that can keep up with you. Smart, statement trainers are the perfect middle ground between slippers and heels, if you’re looking to keep up the comfort factor while also maintaining a slick business style. A pair of platform trainers can give you a boost of height and confidence, helping you make those all-important power moves as you climb up the career ladder.
The difference between casual weekend trainers and weekday champions can be down to a simple matter of styling. The same trainers that have you stepping through Sunday adventures, can see you step into that pressing Monday meeting – as long as they are squeaky clean. It’s best to avoid more sporty styles and plimsols which look too casual for the office setting. Although work appropriate trainers can be worn outside of the office, it’s their smarter leather construction (and platform soles) that make them work appropriate.
Whether you’re looking for classy and comfortable trainers for work, a splash of colour or white leather trainers, for high-tops or low-cut kicks, you can make trainers work for you. If you’re looking to incorporate trainers into your workwear wardrobe, we’ve got some styling tips to help.
SMART TRAINERS FOR WORK: WHAT TO LOOK FOR
When looking for a pair of smart trainers for work, consider their construction.
A platform sole will take you to new heights and elevate your outfit in a similar way to heeled shoes. Chunky soles are a statement piece that will lend gravitas to your appearance and give you a welcome lift if you like to feel a bit taller in the office.
Make sure you keep the trainer style sleek and clean-cut in premium leather or smooth suede for an expensive looking, well-considered footwear choice.
Consider the unique features of your trainers. Details such as zips, buckles, hardware, chunky laces, and quilted leather exude a decisive and casually in-control attitude.
Hidden comfort features, such as padded cuffs, arch support, and cushioned footbeds will support your feet throughout the day without sacrificing on style. Proper support will help eliminate distracting aches and pains, so you can concentrate on striving for your work goals instead.
You can’t go wrong with classic black or white leather trainers. But that isn’t to say you should be afraid to switch it up with some colour (as long as you keep it monotone and minimalist in style).
Try nude or brown trainers with an all-neutral outfit for a clean-cut appearance. Or, if you want to inject some colour, why not choose a pair in sage or pale pink, which will look elegant contrasted with an all-black outfit. Demonstrate keen attention to detail, by matching the gold or silver hardware of your trainers to the tone of your jewellery to complete your look.
HOW TO WEAR A SUIT WITH TRAINERS
Because suits are inherently smart in appearance you can afford to wear trainers that are a little more out there. Choose an all-black suit with a pair of statement white trainers to radiate easy-breezy confidence.
Alternatively, match the colour of your trainers to the pattern of your suit. A grey checked or dogtooth pattern pairs perfectly with silvery kicks.
If a full suit and trainers isn’t for you, trainers look just as elegant with tailored trousers and classic knitwear. Pair your trainers with wide-leg trousers, belt, and an oversized jumper for a slouchy yet sophisticated look.
Cigarette or other slim-fitting styles of trouser go perfectly with a white shirt and pair of well-constructed trainers. Choose ankle grazing trousers to accommodate high-tops or opt for low cut trainers to show a little skin. With low cut trainers, trainer socks or no socks at all work best as the defined edges between your trainers and ankle-grazing trousers will lend your outfit structure, contributing to your overall smart aesthetic.
When wearing trainers for work, it’s important that they are squeaky clean with minimal creasing. The look won’t work if there’s still weekend mud caked on the sides. You should present your trainers like you would do your office heels and loafers.
If your office has opted for more relaxed rules (and jeans are acceptable) a smart casual look is the way to go. A simple pair of jeans, such as wide or straight-leg, look great with trim trainers to achieve a sense of balance. Top with a smart shirt and structured blazer for a polished appearance.
How to Wear a Dress and Trainers
A tailored dress goes especially well with trainers in the workplace. Look for squared shoulders and tapered skirt, in materials like boucle or wool-blend, for a sense of structure to balance out your trainers. Choose a platform trainer to lengthen the appearance of your legs.
A looser fitting dress, perfect for a laidback weekend look, can be given a sense of structure by adding a waist belt, chunky costume jewellery, and a boxy handbag to contrast your trainers. Opt for a blazer, rather than a cardigan, for an overall clean-cut silhouette and to keep the chill off your shoulders.
How to Wear a Skirt and Trainers
Layering your skirt-based outfit will likewise add structure to your look. Try a silky skirt, knitted jumper, and wool overcoat with your leather trainers to add a touch of interest through contrasting materials.
For a glamourous take on the trainer, opt for a tailored skirt, shirt, and a simple silver or gold chain necklace. Throw on a slouchy handbag to contrast your slim-fitting skirt. On brighter days, don’t forget to slip on some sunglasses, to pull the whole look together.
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