I Can’t Wear That (Or Can I?): Stylish Sneakers

Here at The Frisky, we hate the phrase “I can’t wear that,” because honestly, no matter the trend or your body type, there’s always a way to make a style work for you. In our new feature “I Can’t Wear That (Or Can I?),” we’ll talk about subtle tweaks and tips that make any trend — from crop trops to neon orange — accessible to all. Yes, really! First up, stylish sneakers for non-models:

I really, really love the sneakers-with-stylish-outfits trend, but as a short, curvy lady, I’m worried that on me it will look more “frumpy soccer mom” than “cool, off-duty model.” Is there a way for me to rock my bright sneakers without making people wonder if I just forgot to pack my regular flats in my gym bag? Can I really pull this off?

Girl, you totally can. While model types might be able to throw on sneaks, sweats, and sunglasses, and get photographed by The Sartorialist, we non-models just have to work a bit harder to ensure our sneakers look purposeful instead of lazy. Here are a few guidelines:

Make sure the rest of your outfit is the opposite of frumpy. The easiest way to ensure your sneakers look fashionable is to pair them with pieces that elevate them or provide a stylish contrast. A t-shirt and saggy jeans is not the route you want to take with this look. Leather pants, a body con dress, or a flippy skirt are all good bets. If you do opt for jeans, opt for cropped skinnys or cuff them to show off your sneakers and underscore the fact that you’re rocking kicks on purpose, not because you forgot your other shoes.

Choose your sneakers wisely. Any shoe that you actually wear to the gym or trail running is not the right choice for this look. Your non-gym sneakers should be clean, flattering, and have some elements that make it very obvious they’re being worn as a fashion statement instead of an “en route to the gym” statement. Choose bright colors, streamlined designs, modern details (like a small wedge), or retro styles (I cannot get enough of these maroon New Balances). Here are 10 great options to start you off!

Wear no socks or hidden socks. As you’ll notice when clicking through these photos, a unifying theme among the fashionable women pulling off the sneaker trend is bare ankles. This little detail goes a long way to differentiate your stylish sneakers from your treadmill sneakers. If you do wear socks, choose ankle socks that are barely visible, or go the other way and try eye-catching socks that complement your sneakers and outfit.

Seriously, don’t give up on this trend just because your legs aren’t a mile long. Get yourself a bright pair of kicks and play around with different looks; it won’t be long before you find an outfit that has you saying, “Damn, I totally can wear this.”

Have an “I Can’t Wear That” question of your own? Email me at [email protected]