Let’s face it: while streetwear gives you all the freedom to feel as comfortable as you want – sweatpants, oversize knitters, beanies – there are the rare special occasions that require you to escape the comfort zone, into formal wear.
Time to pull out the tailored suit that’s been dusty in your cupboard throughout lockdown, hoping that it will still fit over the home-office belly. Move up a hole or two in the belt, try to remember how to fold a tie, find a cute pocket square and you’re ready to go.
Except for one thing.
After a year of working from your couch in Yeezy Slides, you just cannot convince yourself to put on the hard, uncomfortable leather Oxfords anymore. No Boost, no React, not even a swoosh on the sides. Why did people ever wear these?
the Yeezy Slide shifted the trend towards comfortable footwear
Luckily, it is 2021, and the line between streetwear and high-end formalwear is blurrier than ever. We live in a time where many sneakers are worth more than traditional dress shoes, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing sneakers on the red carpet. On the contrary, the rise of individualism allows us to stand out from the crowd even at the fanciest cocktail party, with no expense in style whatsoever. So, follow suit (pun intended) from the 2021 formal attire and include fire sneakers in your dress code!
If the shoe fits (your suit), wear it. To give some advice, here are The Top 4 Suit Sneakers to be avoid being underdressed at a formal dress code event.
This sneaker is the SUV of shoes. Next-level versatility is guaranteed with the Panda-iteration of the most hyped silhouette of 2021. While dunks were originally designed for basketball, they soon converted into an extremely popular skate-shoe, before hitting the masses to flood streetwear trends in the entirety of last year.
Especially the Black/White colourway provides endless opportunities for any outfit… beach, club, skatepark, work…and of course the red carpet. The low-top sneakers are sleek and minimalistic, with a monochromatic upper adding to the simplicity.
Style this Dunk with a black or beige suit and you are ready for the paparazzi.
The name says it all. Be a king at the next formal function with one of the best Air Jordan 1 colourways of this year. While the upper is constructed from more rugged, distressed leather, the final product is elegance in its best form.
Light blue nubuck complements the luxurious white leather base flawlessly. Grey swoosh and details add some contrast, but keep the overall radiance understated, yet lush. The sleek and simple palette provides you with matching formalwear opportunities that really allow you to boast those colour-combination skills. Match the baby-blue with a (darker) blue tuxedo, or complement the swoosh with light-grey attire. Even opting for taupe still complements the Air Jordan 1 Hyper Royal, putting the crown on your feet to give its name all honour.
It is another Dunk Low, but what else to say than this shoe being the ultimate suit-sneaker. While the Black/White colourway was the more obvious choice, this dunk – covered in Michael Jordan’s Alma Mata colours – will beautifully complement your formal wear… given that your taste in colour-matching is not completely off.
In fact, it was celebrity and style-icon Justin Bieber that sparked the idea. Upon his visit to Paris, France, his dream of meeting the French president became reality, and the Canadian singer went all-out in his choice of apparel for the encounter.
Instead of the usual oversize Vetements fits that Bieber brings to the table, he opted for a more formal fit, combining a dark-grey suit with the Nike Dunk Low UNC. This unconventional, yet stunning combination convinced sneakerheads and fashion enthusiasts all over the world of the incredible potential that a Nike Dunk Low as a dress-shoe entails.
Be a Belieber and match the colours, or go crazy with your own creative touch. Any pastel colour works elegantly with one of the best Dunk Lows of this year.
While the panelling on Air Jordan 3’s is essentially minimalistic, the shoe in its entirety tends to be bulky, especially compared with conventional dress shoes. However, the Jordan 3 has frequently been seen as dress-shoe choice, thanks to its luxurious leather and convenient colourways. Arguably the best edition to suit your suit is Jordan Brand’s recent collaboration with US-based boutique A Ma Maniére.
George Hill in the Jordan 3 "Tinker Hatfield" with a matching suit
Termed the “most luxurious basketball shoe of the decade”, this iteration features high-end suede overlaying elegant white tumbled leather. Quality can not only be felt, it can be seen. The radiance of the “AMM-AJ3” is remarkable, flaunting lavishness and extravagance, while still remaining a true Jordan 3 in its shape and form.
To add to the cigar-lounge atmosphere, the quilted collar lining will match your leather armchair, with the yellowed-outsole providing the vintage aesthetic to complement the marble fireplace. That being said, any suit in the range of cream, beige, taupe or off-white will elevate this sneaker’s radiance and guarantee your red-carpet appearance to be successful.
With an end to the pandemic in sight, formal events will return to their true form, and you should be prepared adequately. Show the crowd that you have kept up with sneaker trends during lockdown, but make sure to never be underdressed.
What do you think about suits with sneakers? Too much, or time for a take-over? Let us know in the comments below!
by Freddy Schwoerer of Drip Drops