When you wear a dress, you make a decision that you want it to be the standout part of your whole look. It's not an outfit, it's a dress. For this reason, when discussing which trainers go with dresses, it's all about finding the right sneakers that blend into the background. They want to look great too, of course, but they can't take centre stage—that is reserved for your dress.
As someone who has had a long love affair with sneakers, and has recently built up their dress collection, I've come to the conclusion that there are two main trainer styles that work with every dress in your wardrobe. It sounds like a small selection, but hear me out: You only need a couple of styles of sneakers that'll look really great with your dresses. No need to endlessly mix and match different styles.
And the two sneakers in question? First, high-tops, and second, chunky "dad" trainers. That's it—those are your two. My reasoning is clear: Both of these sneakers are happy to take a back seat to your look, and they'll never outshine your dress, provided you stick with a muted colourway, that is. Below, I've taken these sneakers and put them with nearly every kind of dress I own. Keep scrolling for what trainers to wear with dresses.
Style Notes: I've had this dress for a few years now, and every time I pull it out of my wardrobe, I remember why I love it. It fits really well, thanks to the cinch waist but is super comfortable. But the wow factor comes from the puff sleeves, which could only work with a pair of trainers that aren't equally as bold.
Mango Popelin Puffed Sleeves Dress (£36)
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star 70 Canvas High-Top Sneakers (£70)
Kika Vargas Puff-Sleeve Silk-Blend Taffeta Dress (£565)
Good News London Palm Multi High (£120)
Style Notes: Knit dresses are a big part of our wardrobes in the winter, and while it remains a little chilly (read: freezing) outside, I'll still be wearing this frock. I wanted to switch up the ankle boots for a more comfortable pair of shoes, and these sneakers do the job.
Kitri Cat Space-Dyed Dress (£165)
Converse Chuck 70 Cream Hi-Top Canvas Sneakers (£75)
& Other Stories Belted Merino Wool Knit Midi Dress (£85)
Primury Divid Hi Recycled Cotton-Canvas Trainers (£125)
Style Notes: Me and maxi dresses aren't always on the best of terms due to the fact that I'm just under 5'3,'' which means they can drag on the floor if you're wearing flats. That being said, high-tops work perfectly with maxis, subtly poking out underneath.
By Malene Birger Eina Oversized Striped Organic Cotton-Poplin Maxi Dress (£240)
Vans SK8-Hi Lx Suede High-Top Sneakers (£75)
COS Low-Cut Maxi Dress (£79)
Nike Blazer Mid 77 High-Top Trainers (£114)
Style Notes: Floral dresses weren't my bag for a long time, but then, I met this from Queens of Archive and I fell in love. The flounced sleeves and the tiered hem make this a very pretty dress and I love that a pair of high-tops takes it to a more casual level.
Queens of Archive Chrissie Nyc (£220)
Saint Laurent Malibu Leather-Trimmed Distressed Cotton-Canvas High-Top Sneakers (£420)
Zara Floral Print Midi Dress (£50)
2. Chunky Sneakers
Style Notes: I know "dad" sneakers can be divisive, but they really do work when worn with certain dresses. My favourite is to pair them with a shirtdress, as it makes this wardrobe staple a little less boring.
H&M Calf-Length Shirt Dress (£20)
New Balance 1300 Suede and Mesh Trainers (£200)
COS Slim-Fit Midi Shirt Dress (£69)
Isabel Marant Kindsay Suede and Mesh Trainers ($670)
Style Notes: Pleated dresses are a more consciously "fashion" choice, so it makes sense that a chunky pair of sneakers would work well. It's exactly the kind of outfit I see during fashion week (when we can go, of course).
COS Crinkled Midi Dress (£69)
Pleats Please Issey Miyake Technical-Pleated Longline Dress (£440)
Tom Ford Jago Neoprene, Suede and Leather Sneakers (£690)
Style Notes: Back to the puff-sleeve dress. While high-tops work really well, I'm also a fan of chunky sneakers too.
Étoile Isabel Marant Laure Puff-Sleeve Denim Midi Dress (£435)
Balenciaga Track Panelled Faux-Leather Trainers ($975)
Sleeper Belle Shirred Linen Midi Dress (£215)
Isabel Marant Emree Aged-Effect Leather Trainers (£355)
Next up, the biggest spring/summer 2021 fashion trends to know.
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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