This post shows four ways to wear a pair of minimal black leather sneakers. When I first got serious about fashion and how to dress I wasn’t a huge fan of wearing black. Black shoes reminded me of what I used to wear – back in school or for work. It was around the time that chinos became a thing that was worn outside of overly middle-class circles in the UK. The problem is that this opened up a whole world of ‘ways to wear’ which I don’t even bother with anymore. Brogues and blazers are pretty yawn-worthy to me nowadays. I’ve pretty much come full circle. Now I prefer clean, minimal ways to wear an item, rather than searching for elusive “details” which clutter a look.
When learning about ways to wear my various new trendy items, my favourite colour was blue so I gravitated towards wearing brown a lot, a classic combination. I still like brown leather or suede shoes, but only in the right outfit. If you are going to have a small wardrobe you have to quickly focus on what colours to wear, and what co-ordinates with what. It made immediate sense to me that minimal black, white or grey sneakers / trainers were the most versatile.
A great outfit often starts from the ground-up, so let’s start from there.
All four of these looks use the same pair of black jeans and Achilles Low black sneakers by Common Projects to create 4 distinct casual and smart-casual looks. When you have easy to pare items, it is also easy to find out the various ways to wear something in a stylish way.
Look 1 – Flannel shirt
This is one of my favourite items in my wardrobe, and it is made by All Saints. I have a similar shirt in the same fit and cut in a more monochromatic pattern (shown previously). The earthier autumnal tones really show off the soft flannel and it looks great done up or open over a tee. This is an otherwise all-black outfit with a muted pop of colour – probably my favourite way of encorporating aspects of my previous interest in a more eclectic colour palette. There may be more reflection about that in future on minimaldrobe.
Look 2 – A striped polo shirt.
Polo shirts are one of those fail-safe items. Because they have the shape and cut of a t-shirt they can be casual. Because it has a collar it can be smart. This is one of those outfits that changes depending on the layers over the versatile base. I used to love wearing green and still have a few items from when my interest was piqued. One of my favourites is this really soft, slim-cut Marc by Marc Jacobs polo. As you can see there’s a subtle monogramming on the chest, which is part of the D.N.A. of the polo all the way back to Fred Perry and Renee Lacoste. The stripes are a safe bet for adding a bit of a graphical interest, but it’s not usual to see a breton/stripe tee in this kind of colour scheme, so it stands out without being garish.
Look 3- Black Bomber Jacket and long-sleeve t-shirt
Long sleeve t-shirts are a fairly recent revelation for me. My skin is easily irritated and so I find wearing itchy jumpers or wool coats quite trying. In steps the long-sleeve tee for this specific role. Here I have styled it solo with my black bomber jacket. It’s the definition of a clean, minimal look. Something I appreciate more than ever now I have got over the initial stage of trying anything and everything in the search for an elusive, trend-driven style. There’s no unnecessary details on the jacket, the crew neck is demure (is this a word used in menswear? You get my meaning.) Taylor Swift could have sang James Dean daydream black t-shirt and still had a point about this never going out of style.
Look 4 – Dark Blue Oxford button down shirt.
Another smart-casual outfit that would work well in loads of situations. At the moment I wear this shirt when I do private tutoring. I used to be obsessed with this style of shirt – as were / are millions of men within the #menswear generation. Now I’ve pared my collection down to one – this dark blue OCBD. The cut is on the casual side, to be worn untucked with jeans (unlike a dress shirt which looks daft when not tucked in). Again I like the unusual colour for this item, and it really pops against black. There’s a myth out there that you shouldn’t wear black and blue together. In practice I find it’s absolutely fine if the black takes up the bottom half and the blue the top.
There we have it, four ways to wear a black pair of jeans and some classic leather sneakers. Do you have more suggestions for ways to wear items like these? Feel free to comment below or engage with me on Pinterest or Instagram @minimaldrobe