How To Wear White Trainers: Summer Style Guide

How to wear this wardrobe classic, plus the best new styles to buy this summer

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Not everyone knows this, but the misunderstood white trainer is a style weapon. Simple, timeless and versatile, it's a men's style essential and should find its place in any well-stocked wardrobe. And this year you'll be seeing even more of them than usual with the fashion world re-embracing its potential at all the recent shows and designers from New York to Milan adding new styles to their collections.

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From classic designs that take their cues from original tennis shoes and have barely changed for more than 50 years, to more modern, 'luxury' styles found at the more expensive end of the spectrum, there are more options here than ever before.

Some men, however, still see them as being either a bit young, too 'street', or worse, a bit 'football hooly' to consider buying a pair for themselves. They're really missing a trick. There are few more easy and effective ways to freshen up an otherwise predictable outfit than with a clean pair of minimalist white sneakers, and they can become a casualwear staple if you know how. The perfect alternative for times when you need to give your more formal shoes a well-deserved break.

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As spring appears faintly in the distance, now's a good time to prepare for when they'll come in very handy.

Here are five ways to wear them:

1 | Classic Preppy

If it worked for Steve McQueen and James Dean then it's probably a formula worth copying. Pair some Converse Chuck Taylors or Jack Purcells with some classic chinos or dark denim and a plain tee for a classic 'weekend' look that isn't just for when you're in your 20s. 

2 | Smart Modern

The minimalist power of a stark white trainer makes a perfect contrast in both colour and fabric to a slightly smart-casual outfit like grey wool trousers. Masters of this modern, clean, minimalist approach to white trainers include pricey but beautiful designs from French label APC or New York brand Common Projects, who have taken the humble white sneaker to a higher plain in recent years with their stripped-back, never-changing design.

3 | Urban Casual

 

The Nike Air Force One is a good choice for how to wear this. Combine with the new wave of luxe lounge pants and you have a grown-up take on street style. 

4 | Summer Sockless

When the sun comes out, the white trainer comes into its own and can be paired with shorts or turned up trousers for a sockless look that works as well in town as it does on the beach. Works especially well with classic canvas designs from the likes of Superga and Vans.

5 | Dress Down Formal
 

Not everyone has the confidence to wear white trainers with a suit or blazer but it can be a great way to soften a formal outfit, as done here with this broken up double-breasted jacket .Can work with everything from a pair of Adidas Stan Smiths right up to a spanking premium pair from the likes of Gucci and Mr Hare.