No need to pull a Mr. Rogers and change from your walking shoes into pumps when you get to the office anymore. Sneakers aren’t just for weekends anymore. The comfiest shoe you own can now be worn to the office.
Designer athletic shoes have been strutting down runways for a few seasons now, making them appropriate for many occasions beyond long weekend walks and casual Fridays.
We’ve put together five outfits featuring five different pairs of sneakers for inspiration. Now grab your prettiest pair — or treat yourself to some new kicks — and start having some fun with your work wardrobe!
Clockwise from bottom left: Adidas Women’s Stan Smith UP Shoes, $150, adidas.ca; Forever 21 Sleek chain link bracelet, $9.80, canada.forever21.com; Babaton Eastwood Shirt, $85, artizia.com; H&M Loose Fit Trousers, $19.95, hm.com; Talula Atami Vest, $85, aritzia.com
If you just can’t imagine wearing anything but heels for work, try a pair of sneaker wedges. You’ll get some extra cushioning and support from the rubber wedge sole and you’ll still get the added lift that a heel would give. Sneaker wedges allow you to wear baggier clothes, like these printed trousers, without looking sloppy. The extra height the shoe gives you will make those comfy pants look totally office-appropriate — and fashionable. Keep the ensemble white-collar with just that, a crisp white button-up shirt. Roll the sleeves and add a denim vest and a chunky bangle to finish the look.
For an even more chic, buttoned-up look, try sleek sneaker wedges like the ones above with your favourite skirt suit!
Patterned Canvas Sneakers
From left: Bucketfeet shoes in dots, $85, capezioshoes.ca; Zara blazer with Peter Pan Collar, $99.90, zara.com; Clover Canyon Fluorescent Lights Top, $244, eluxe.ca; H&M Stretch Trousers, $17.95, hm.com
A simple pair of canvas shoes become a fashion statement when they’re patterned. And this adorable polka-dot pair look even perkier with their pale yellow laces — a super easy way to update the sneakers you already own!
Shoes like these deserve updated ensembles reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn. Opt for ankle-length basic black pants (if you don’t already have a pair, get some! They’re flattering on almost every body type). A ladylike jacket keeps the outfit classic and the patterned blouse mirrors the yellow of the laces, while keeping the look from being too retro.
Unless you work in a very creative or casual environment, your chunky high-top skateboard sneakers or Nike Air Force 1s probably aren’t office appropriate. And even the simplest pair should probably be covered by your pants, until you sit and cross your legs. It’s not so much that high tops are offensive in any way, it’s more that ankle-length sneakers aren’t super flattering on legs, so trying to wear them with a skirt would just look awkward.
Instead, throw on your favourite pair of black work slacks, a pretty white blouse and a jacket or blazer with a pop of colour. The resulting look is actually quite sophisticated in an artsy way.
Sneaker Ballet Flats
From left: Keds Aimersent shoes, $45, littleburgundyshoes.com; Forever 21 Glam Faux Stone Bow Studs, $5.80, canada.forever21.com; Mango Tie Print Blouse, $39.95, mango.com; Zara Two layer button-up skirt, $59.90, zara.com
The hybrid shoe that women love: the sneaker flat. It has the comfort of a running shoe with the pretty look of a ballet flat. Make it work in the office by wearing it just as you would your ballet flats. Dress them up with a pencil skirt — or button-embellished skirt like this one. And don’t forget to be a little playful. A black-and-white patterned blouse plays off the polka-dot laces of the shoes and the little jewelled bow earrings add a hint of girliness.
The Embellished Slip-On
From left: Sam Edelman Braxton Studded Slip On Sneakers, $124.65, shopbop.com; Tiffany Beads Drop Earrings, $230, tiffany.ca; Mango Crepe Blouse, $39.95, mango.com; Gap Pleated Striped Skirt, $69.95, gapcanada.com
Skate and surf-style slip on sneakers are everywhere but if you want to wear them to work, invest in a pair that’s metallic, leather or embellished and wear them as you would a pair of loafers. These studded slip-ons will add a bit of edge (plus style to spare) to any sweet summer ensemble. A sunny yellow pleated skirt and feminine blouse easily get a refreshing update when paired with these charming silver studded flats. And we love the addition of a pair of silver bead earrings to really pull the whole look together.