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Monday, July 23, 2018

Dresses With Sneakers

John Marine | 1:28 PM | | |
The #DressAndSneakers look is not taboo. However, it is one of the most recent trendy style exercises. Sneakers and dresses work at times; not so much other times. I'll share my thoughts on this styling deal with this blog post. This blog post is quite comprehensive in discussing dresses with sneakers.

Dress and Sneakers: Basic Thoughts

Let's set the mood for this post with a picture. Here is one picture...

dresses with sneakers right
^ from: (Bloglovin; Popsugar?) - Dresses with sneakers has been a great warm weather trend. Some dress + sneaker combinations go together very nicely.

...but then this...

dresses with sneakers wrong
^ from: (Wheretoget) - Some think it's okay to pair ANY dress with any sneakers. To me- this is a dress + sneakers FAIL.

At least with my blog, I share how I feel about things when I like them or dislike them. So those of you already disagreeing with my views will get to see my ideas on what I think about the trend. So take a look at this section before I go any further.

We often think of dresses as exclusively feminine and charming for almost all females. Even some of the most casual dresses have a feminine flair that doesn't detract from looking and feeling charming. It is perfectly fine to pair such girly dresses with some of the most adorable or chic footwear. Anything from ballet flats or flip-flop/thong sandals to super-chic pumps and super-chic sandals can compliment any almost any dress. We often look at feminine sneakers as mostly casual and not in any way meant to be elegant or ladylike. Sneakers over the past few years have trended to where they are becoming their own chic footwear to compliment any number of outfits. So a pair of Converses, Vans slip-on sneakers, or athletic-type sneakers can be just as chic to some people as some of the most chic pumps and sandals from world-class designers. Many a fashionista have gone the way of pairing girly dresses with sneakers. If there is a popular combination in dress + sneaker outfits, it is usually in pairing black dresses with white sneakers. I remember this sort of style from the 1990s, so this isn't really anything new.

Many fashionistas have worn dresses with sneakers. Not just mostly casual dresses, but sometimes frilly and formal dresses. There have been many who have worn sneakers with dresses including (but not limited to) Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato, Gigi Hadid, Rihanna, Ariel Winter, Kendall Jenner, Zendaya, and many others. I guess I best recall Taylor Swift with this trend since she marketed red-colored Keds sneakers based on her "Red" album. Taylor Swift wore those red Keds to compliment a white dress with black polka dots. In my research of this topic, I had noticed certain celebrities going to after parties wearing some kind of party dress with sneakers. So very much a celebrity influence is involved in the pairing of dresses with sneakers- both daytime and nighttime.

Most of you know that I think footwear plays a huge role in whether or not an outfit looks great or not. The wrong shoes can ruin outfits, and I don't care if the rest of the world loves an outfit while I think a better choice of footwear could have been worn. It isn't even cool trying to intentionally ruin an outfit by wearing something that make an outfit poor.

Does pairing dresses with sneakers always work? Yes... and no.


Certainly casual type dresses can be paired easily with sneakers for a great casual outfit. Some versatile dresses can be dressed down in the daytime with sneakers, but they can be swapped for more elegant shoes for night wear. Almost any sundress can be easily paired with sneakers if you prefer wearing sneakers with them.

...and No.

Let's get something straight. I am not condemning dresses with sneakers. I just hate the idea that EVERYTHING has to be worn with sneakers to look stylish or cute. Or some even will try to provide some unexpected look or try to unexpectedly try to take something elegantly chic and wear sneakers instead of some more stylish (and often more appropriate) footwear. Some succeed; others fail. The only way I think sneakers can not ruin an outfit is if you are wanting footwear that is more comfortable to wear than most chic or classy shoes. However, if you're wearing sneakers as the primary shoes for a stylish or chic dress, that's where I have problems. In addition, I often argue against wearing tights with sneakers. If you're the rebellious fashion type, what may be okay for you is fishnet tights with a pair of Converses. That is surely a no-go for me in regards to dress + sneakers.

These "Unexpected" Combinations?

Explained in detail later in this blog post, experimental types will try to look chic by wearing sneakers with some of the cutest or most elegant dresses. Some such dresses have that kind of style to them to where the right kind of sneakers won't ruin an outfit or not ruin it too much. Only the intrepid and inventive can make dresses and sneakers work- even with the most unlikely or most unexpected combinations.

Actual Admittances...

I do find cuteness in the dress + sneakers combination. However, there are only few combinations of dresses and sneakers that actually work in my view. I once tried trying to pair certain dresses with sneakers, especially unlikely combinations, in a past blog post before finding out POLYVORE went defunct and picked up by SSENSE.

Another thing I somewhat admit... some combinations of a sexy/elegant dress paired with sneakers can actually be pretty hot! While I prefer pumps, chic sandals, or chic booties (sometimes taller boots); there is a certain charm to fancy dresses with sneakers. Some evening dresses with sneakers can look cute or even sexy... but not all combinations, though. Some fashion types think there is a playful, youthful, and even sexy charm to paring an evening-type short dress with sneakers. Some people even think it doesn't hurt at all swapping a pair of fancy heels for sneakers to go with an evening or nightclub type dress. Some not-as-sexy party or evening dresses (such as long evening/party dresses, but not necessarily gowns) can be nicely complimented by sneakers. But again- not all combinations work. So choose wisely with dresses and sneakers.

For these combinations to happen, certain dresses and certain sneakers together can make for great outfits. More thoughts on this style will be expressed further in this blog post.

Dresses with sneakers work. And sometimes, they don't. I will try to explain both sides of the trend.

Dresses and Sneakers: When it DOES Work

Sneakers are usually associated with dressing down classy type outfits. Already casual pieces and outfits go with sneakers perfectly fine. Here are some dresses which I find no real problems pairing with sneakers:

Almost Any Denim Dress.

denim dress with sneakers
^ from: - Two casuals go together- denim dresses and sneakers.

Denim is casual, and sneakers are casual. So they were made for each other. Few denim dresses don't go well with sneakers. Completely enjoy pairing denim dresses with sneakers, fashionistas.

Almost any Maxi Dress.

I have adored maxi dresses for the longest. Sneakers are very much stylish for maxi dresses, though I mostly would prefer pumps or sandals or boots more. There is a certain magic to a draping long dress to go with some nice sneakers. Another beauty of some maxi dresses is that they can even be wearable at night. So if you have a maxi dress that can be stylish enough to wear for nightly functions, and if you're going with sneakers, you could very well have a day-to-night deal going. I'd just go with more sleek style sneakers for a night out as opposed to something like almost any kind of canvas sneakers or casual sneakers. You don't want to go with an elegant maxi dress and then dumb it down considerably with very casual sneakers.

Shirt Dresses.

Because most shirt dresses are fairly casual and don't have serious amounts of elegance, I find these to be fine with sneakers. The most basic of shirt dresses are T-shirt dresses. Sometimes worn as school uniforms, polo shirt dresses also go well with sneakers. Some shirt dresses that seem like long oxford shirts or long blouses can also be good with sneakers.

T-shirt dress
^ from: - T-shirt dresses are very basic and are surely wearable with sneakers. And as you can tell here, T-shirt dresses don't have to be boring.

button down shirt dress
^ from: - A lot of button-down shirt dresses can go very well with sneakers.

polo shirt dress
^ from: - Polo shirt dresses are casual, but not overly casual. They go very well with sneakers.

Tank Top Dresses.

tank dress
^ from: (Emotive Tees) - A tank dress can be sporty, sexy, yet very wearable with sneakers.

A tank top dress is pretty sporty. Many tank top dresses have the sporty appeal to suggest active and fit individuals. They also have the body-hugging style to have sexy appeal. Because tank top dresses are more sporty than chic, they are very much wearable with sneakers. The sneakers with tank top dresses can range from fashion sneakers to active sneakers. So you have some options with sneakers to go with these tank top dresses.

Which leads to my next one...

Any Sporty Dress.

Any dress that is sporty in its nature, such as a tennis dress, a hoodie dress, a sports jersey styled like a dress, or a netball dress... are all very much fine to pair with sneakers. Let me provide some picture examples of sporty dresses that go well with sneakers:

Sporty A-line dress
^ from: (Pinterest) - A dress like this tennis-style dress has a sporty style to it to make it great to wear with sneakers.

sporty dress
^ from: - This is a sporty dress here.

sports jersey dress
^ from: - Dresses styled like sports jerseys are surely sneaker-friendly for their casual and sporty flook and feel.

These are dresses that I think go well with sneakers. Now on to dresses I do NOT see working with sneakers...

Dresses and Sneakers: When it DOES NOT Work

When does the dress + sneaker combination NOT work? Oh, let me count the ways. For example:

mini dress with sneakers wrong
^ from: (Wheretoget) - Want to ruin a nice dress? Sneakers will do just that to the fanciest of dresses!

There are those in the fashion industry who'll say to wear sneakers with everything. It may be cute with some outfits, but others not so much. Some people will say they hate something without legitimately explaining why. Well, I will be here to share why not every outfit works with sneakers.

Certain Dresses With Feminine Elements.

First off, there is pairing sneakers with certain outfits that ruin the elegance or charm of certain skirts and dresses. This one is a bit vague to explain, but a lot of dresses don't go very well with sneakers, especially dresses with these certain elements:

• off-shoulder details
• bell sleeves
• plunging necklines
• backless details
• high slits
• ladylike bodycon/bandage styles

Such ladylike dresses don't go very well with sneakers to me. A lot of dresses with the elements mentioned don't look all that well to me when paired with sneakers.

Most Elegant/Evening/Nightclub Dresses.

I argue against pairing certain dresses being paired with sneakers. Especially those with elegant design elements or elegant style to them are NOT sneaker-worthy and don't look as "cute" as some make them out to be. Some fashionistas do try to dress down elegant outfits by wearing either a denim jean jacket or (of course) sneakers. Let me show the dress + sneakers that won't let you get my bad side:

cocktail dress
^ from: - Some elegant dresses, such as cocktail dresses are a no-no with sneakers to me.

sexy bodycon dress
^ from: - Sexy and elegant dresses like this one also do not go well with sneakers. A pair of ballet flats (or even basic flip-flop/thong sandals) are better comfy footwear alternatives to sneakers with dresses like these.

As Honorable Mention, one "two-piece dress" was meant as a party dress to be worn. When I did a past post on sneaker styling with unlikely outfit combinations, that two-piece dress was paired with sneakers. The "Complete the Look" for it included the sneakers the model was wearing. Though there are exceptions, party dresses with sneakers is usually a no-go for me.

Most Dreamy, Formal Type Dresses.

tulle dress
^ from: - Many formal or dreamy dresses go poorly with sneakers. Avoid at all costs.

I noted in my research that some short prom dresses were paired with high-top Converses. It may be fun and cute to some, but I dislike that combination. Most sneakers ruin the balance of certain ladylike and dreamy dresses.

Slip Dresses.

slip dress
^ from: - This shift dress is silky and comfortable, but don't get TOO comfy by trying to wear sneakers with it.

A slip dress is often considered to be silky and comfortable. Going around in sneakers with these dresses though, doesn't always result in great outfits. So I wouldn't suggest a slip dress outfit to be paired with sneakers.

One of my past blog posts was an attempt at trying to pair sneakers with unlikely outfits. Now, I can see SOME elegant dresses that actually would go well with sneakers, granted you find good ones to pair them with that don't ruin the balance of the outfit.

Dresses and Sneakers: Do the Sneakers Matter?

So now that you have seen where I think dresses and sneakers do and don't go together, it's time to ask a related question- do the sneakers matter? Of course! I always say the footwear choice can most make or break an outfit.

Sneaker Considerations with Dresses.

Let's get two things straight. (1) I am not much a sneakers person. It is unlikely I will recommend sneakers be paired with certain outfits. (2) I am not into Converses much. Converse perhaps are the most popular sneakers worn. I just don't like them all that much. So even if I did recommend sneakers with an outfit, I just don't like Converses all that much, and I'm sorry if I offend someone.

Now to more about sneaker pairings. If I had a favorite feminine style sneaker, it would probably be the low-profile and iconic Keds Champion sneakers. The reason why I go against dresses and sneakers mostly has to do with balance. I often like looking at outfits in terms of balance. A short sundress paired with sneakers (and maybe a denim jean jacket or denim jean vest) is very fine. However, pairing some kind of elegant or sexy dress with sneakers is a complete ruin of balance and ultimately ruins the outfit. There were times on LOOKBOOK when I would praise a lovely dress but dislike sneakers paired with it. One person even criticized me asking why I am telling someone how someone should wear.

When I thought of dresses + sneakers and what does NOT work with them, I was reminded of a Second Life outfit where a sexy short evening dress was paired with low sneakers. I hated the combination; however, I also somewhat liked it. Then during some High School or college basketball game, a sideline reporter was in a lovely and classy dress... but wore some basketball sneakers with it. And wow- way to ruin an otherwise great dress.

So don't think any pair of sneakers will go with any dress. To keep balance intact, don't try to go with any pair of sneakers to try to look "cute" or "hot" with a dress. An elegant style dress would look horrid paired with running sneakers or maybe some canvas sneakers with neon shoelaces. Instead, try a sequin mini dress paired with some sleek-looking fashion sneakers or certain styled athletic sneakers.

Other Considerations and Musings.

Not all sneakers are bad footwear choices for dresses. Some sneakers can actually be better choices to maintain the balance of some outfits. I will share some here and how I feel about what they can be styled with.

• I am generally not a tights or leggings person. While I argue against leggings and tights mostly, I certainly am not fond of fishnet tights. So fishnet tights with sneakers equal an eyesore for me.

• If you're going with higher-end designer sneakers, it's best to find some that don't ruin the balance of a dress outfit. Like, I would stick to more sleek-styled sneakers to go with evening and formal type dresses. Perhaps invest in some stylish high-end sneakers to go with a glamourous dress. One example is the Robert Clergerie "Pasketv" sneakers.

* Metallic or sequin sneakers are not exactly off-limits to go with dresses. If you want some fancy feet, maybe try some sequin or glitter sneakers to jazz up a dress that doesn't have lots of dazzling detail.

• As much as I have detested wedge sneakers, some actually are not bad at all to pair with dresses.

• This is fairly obvious, but I am discussing dresses with sneakers in this blog post; so I am not making mention to wearing jeans, pants, leggings, etc. to go with dresses. Dresses with jeans/pants and sneakers is just overdressing and not stylish in the least sense.

In Case You're Interested...

Depending on traffic and thoughts regarding this post, I may come up with a blog post on what sneakers I think work best with any dresses you may pair them with. Be sure to stay with this blog should I come up with a post on this matter.

Now for some final thoughts on this trend.

Dresses With Sneakers: Final Thoughts

Dresses with sneakers were never off-limits. It is just that the trend isn't as stylish as what many fashionista think. Certain combinations of dresses and sneakers can be quite magical. I just hate the notion that people somehow EVERY outfit goes great with sneakers. I at least offered my own suggestions and thoughts in regards to pairing dresses with sneakers. It is not only the dress that matters, but also the sneakers themselves. It would be a horrendous pairing to take a frilly and fun party style dress and go with either some Converses or some kind of workout sneakers. If you're going to do the dresses + sneakers trend, do it right and with the right pieces.

Extra Insight.

Here are what those more qualified than I feel about dresses with sneakers:

"How to Wear a Dress and Sneakers" (Popsugar)
"9 Dresses You Can Wear With Sneakers" (WhoWhatWear)
"Would You Wear Sneakers With a Formal Dress? Chanel and Dior Couture Say, 'Go For It!'" (Glamour)
"These Women Prove That Wearing Your Sneakers With a Dress Can Look Chic" (StarStyle)

Again- I may make extra posts on the same topic. As of now, I am considering a Showcase post of dress + sneaker outfits as well as one post regarding what sneakers best style certain kinds of dresses. Make sure you're Subscribed/Followed to my blog(s) to keep up with the latest posts.

This post has concluded. Let me know what you think if you want to discuss:

Would you pair dresses with sneakers? What kinds of dress + sneaker combinations do you adore most?

I had to make this post comprehensive and detailed since this is such a huge trend. I also felt it needed a lengthy blog post. So I hope you enjoyed my look at the dresses with sneakers trend. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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