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How To Style Sneakers With Pants

Styling sneakers with pants, especially dresses or formal pants, can be tricky. While it is more acceptable nowadays, there are some rules and things to remember so that your outfit still looks formal and stylish, and not like you just threw on the first pair of shoes you found.

sneakers with pants

Can you Style Sneakers with Pants?

Simply put, of course, you can style sneakers with pants. Whether it be a pair of Converse shoes or your fresh-out-the-box Air Force 1’s, sneakers can easily be dressed up with a formal outfit if you pick the right shoe with the right pair of pants. 

Picking the Right Type of Sneaker

First off, you can’t dress every pair of sneakers up. Some sneakers can be a bit too bold or loud to work well with formal outfits. There are four things you need to look for in a shoe that will determine if it will work well or not; those are the size, the color, the design, and the type of sneaker it is. 


Size doesn’t refer to how they fit you, but rather the actual size of the shoe. Is the pair slim and streamlined, or is it a bit big and bulky? If you want to be a bit more casual, bulkier sneakers are fine, but if you want to dress more formally, you should choose something that is a bit slimmer and toned down in that regard. 


When it comes to color, you have a lot of options, and you have very few options. This can be confusing because it depends on the outfit and the event. If you are attending a formal business meeting or event, you may want to choose something more neutral, but if it is a party or cocktail evening, you can go a bit crazy with the color. 

Sneaker Type

Sneaker type refers to what kind of sneakers you have. Are they high-tops or low-tops? Do they slip on or have laces? For example, a pair of New Balance sneakers will give you a very different look compared to a pair of Chuck Taylor’s or Air Max’s. 

sneakers with pants

Styling Rules

Once you have chosen your preferred sneaker, it is now time to match it to an outfit. While the following rules can be flexible, you should use them as guidelines to steer you in the right direction. 

Understand the Occasion 

The first thing you need to do is understand the occasion or event you are attending. Is it a day at work, or is it a work event? Is it a semi-formal wedding, or are you going on a date? Similar to picking your outfit for these events, you should follow the same logic with your sneakers.

Do you want to make a statement or complete a super-chic outfit? Once you understand the type of event you are attending, it will be much easier to pick the right pair of sneakers. 

Don’t Match the Entire Look

One mistake many people tend to make is trying to match too much of their outfit together. If you wear a pair of green and white sneakers and a green and white shirt, you end up looking more like a mascot instead of a stylish gent.

While there is nothing wrong with having varying shades, opt for complimentary colors instead of matching colors. The color wheel is a great tool to see which colors go together and which combinations to avoid.

Where the Right Pants

Another thing to remember is to wear the right type of pants. This isn’t the early 2000s anymore when oversized and baggy pants were the most fashionable choice; nowadays, you should be wearing pants that are fitted to your body shape. 

Once again, the style of pants will be personal preference, but always opt for a pair that is properly fitted, as they are the ones that will pair best with most of your other clothing. 

Know When to Contrast

While it has already been said matching isn’t the best idea, you still need to be wary of when you contrast too much. When wearing sneakers, especially in more formal settings, there is a very thin line between looking stylish and looking severely underdressed. 

That line is crossed when you choose sneakers that just don’t belong in a formal setting, such as ones with crazy designs or loud, bright colors. When you are dressing casually, you can go crazy, but in a formal setting, hold back on trying to stand out too much. 

sneakers with pants


Finally, socks. When it comes to choosing socks, you have all the freedom in the world. You can choose colorful socks, patterned socks, or neutral socks. The one thing to remember is that white socks will stand out for all the wrong reasons if you pair them with darker shoes and pants. 

There you have it; that is everything you need to know about choosing the right pair of sneakers, as well as how to pair them with pants. Whether you are at work or going on a date, it is easy to create a super-stylish and eye-catching outfit with sneakers as the focus.