Hey you guys. I wanted to write a post on how to wear white sneakers because they’re a staple closet piece but may be the underdog to the rest of the shoes that are probably beside them in your closet- so much that the chance that they are at the back and bottom of a pile is high. After reading this post you’ll be prepared to bring them out, dust them off, and wear them out on the town OR hit the stores and buy a pair!
I personally love my white sneakers and wear them often. If you watch my outfit of the day posts, you’ll see me wear mine with all different types of outfits. So here I’ll show you how to wear white sneakers with jeans, with a dress, with a skirt, with a blazer, and with leggings.
White Sneakers and Fashion - A Brief History
I start off with fun facts and a bit of a history lesson because in fashion we see era fads rotate. Some pieces never go out of style, though. The white tennis shoe, or white sneaker. These date back to the late 1800’s!
The first edition of the tennis shoe was called a “Plimsoll” and was more a boot than sneaker. It was improved by adding a cross-hatching to the rubber sole which made them a hit with sportsmen because it increased traction and comfort while playing sports with heavy footwork, such as tennis. Thus, the name "Tennis Shoe" was born.
A change in the size and shape of the rubber sole made them quieter, which then donned the name … can you guess? Yep! Sneakers. In the United States, however, sneaker popularity didn’t boom until 1917. 101 years ago, was the first canvas sneaker seen in mass market, and primarily was popular for Olympic competitors. See why fashion history is cool? After WWII they became a comfort item popular for all ages regardless of sports or recreational use, which today we know as “athleisure.” So, all hail the comfort of sneakers in fashion. Let’s talk about how to wear them with your favorite outfits!
How To Wear White Sneakers With Jeans
Wearing white sneakers with jeans is the most common way to wear them. And I mean most common across all ages, all activities, across the world. It is sort of pairing the most universal wardrobe piece with another.
So here I’ve provided two cute examples of how jeans can be worn with white sneakers. The common thing between these two images are white tops, blue jeans, and the classic white shoes. I want to address to you that you do not have to wear white tops with white sneakers! Don’t hesitate to wear a colored top, or even colored jeans.
The image on the left shows her white sneakers with blue jeans, a denim jacket wrapped around her waist, a large plaid print top, and a pink bag for color. Isn’t this easy? You can picture a different colored bag, a different color or printed top, or you could change it up and wear a solid or graphic tee with a flannel wrapped around the waist. The clothes world is your oyster here.
The image on the right is a similar feel, except she did something cool and pulled a black bag to match the black accents on the back of her shoes. Black bags go pretty much with everything anyway, but the effort is still noticed.
Some white sneakers have different colors on them. I had a pair of the three red-striped traditional white Adidas in high school and it was easy to wear a red shirt, hat, scarf, cardigan, or a backpack/ purse with them. Simple!
Check out my Striped Sweater Outfit to see one a white sneaker with jeans look I wear!
How To Wear White Sneakers With a Dress
Wearing white sneakers with a dress isn’t hard! Of course, you wouldn’t want to wear white sneakers with your LBD out on a dinner date (because your favorite heels deserve that spotlight), but if you’re a fan of dresses for casual wear these totally work.
I really love the outfit on the right for two reasons: Her pink swing dress with white sneakers is cute on its own for an adorable summer or spring outfit and adding the coat to it makes it cute for fall or a warmer winter day. The colors work perfectly together, and the sneakers don’t ruin the dainty-ness of her look.
The image on the left is a different style of white sneakers, you can see they’re chunky – the famous Balenciaga. She’s wearing them with a black long sleeve wrap dress with white polka dot accents.
These both show that it is in fact possible to wear sneakers with dresses.
How To Wear White Sneakers With a Skirt
So if you take a look at these two pictures above, they’re both wearing sneakers with skirts! These are both longer skirts but do know that wearing white sneakers with shorter skirts is super cute. I actually shared this image in the next section below because I’m wearing a blazer, but here is the link to see my sneaker and shorter skirt White Plaid Blazer outfit.
The outfit on the left is cute in blues. A navy long sleeve pushed up, a light blue high waist skirt with white pinstripes. She picked a white purse to help pull the white stripes and white sneakers. It is modest, casual, looks comfortable, and it’s fashionable!
The outfit on the right is a bit more playful and youthful, with a sweetly textured pink high low skirt, a plain white tee knotted up front, a fun printed bag, and her white sneakers. I love how unafraid she is to rock the textures here!
How To Wear White Sneakers With A Blazer
Sneakers and skirts are so cute! The section above was about skirts and this is really to show that they can be worn with blazers, but I want to make sure you guys see that they work well with long and short skirts, long pants, and even shorts. Here is a cute outfit where I’m wearing my white sneakers with shorts and a blazer!
Anyway, these two images are fun ways to show that sneakers even look good with work attire! So if you look at the one on the left, you can see up top she’s wearing cute business attire. A blazer, skirt, tucked in shirt. The white sneakers she’s wearing are simple and clean, they don’t tone down the rest of her look. I also love that she’s wearing a beige jacket with a gray skirt. She has mixed cool and warm color tones and is rocking it!
The image on the right I linked in the section above. I’m wearing my sneakers with a short distressed denim skirt, lacy bodysuit, and white blazer. This is a great outfit for a day or a night out. Imagine changing the color of the blazer, the color of the top, or even the skirt. The point is, the white sneakers don’t ruin the sexy fashionable characteristics of the outfit.
How To Wear White Sneakers With Leggings
Okay, so wearing sneakers with leggings can make us instantly think of work out attire, or athleisure for those who wear it without breaking a sweat. The two pictures above illustrate how to wear white sneakers with leggings in a fashionable way unrelated to working out.
Check out the image on the left. She is wearing white slip on sneakers with black accents to match the rest of her primarily black outfit (are the leggings black or dark blue? My eyes are playing tricks on me). Absolutely love that both of these looks include long trench coats. Of course, those white sneakers work with leggings without the big coats. Try an oversized chunky sweater with your favorite leggings and white sneakers- bonus points if the sweater is a cowl neck or turtle neck!
The look on the right is fun, I love shiny leather/pleather looking leggings. But she’s really working the layers in this look with a sweater beneath a trench coat but above a collared button up… with the collar popped up! Get it girl! I mean, sure she could be wearing some pointy toe stilettos but her white sneakers are on point with this look.
These of course are not the only ways to wear white sneakers. I sometimes wear my white sneakers with cargo pants, check out this Cargo Pants with White Cropped Top outfit. I didn’t touch on athleisure looks, cute workout outfits, or any outfits showing how to wear sneakers with shorts, rompers, body suits, etc., but trust me when I tell you that your white sneakers are your most versatile pair of shoes. All seasons. All year.
Something important to know when you’re putting some miles onto those white shoes though, is to know how to clean them. So while you’re loving wearing them, be sure to give the love to them that will keep them from letting you down. This means occasionally buying new white laces when the old ones get dirty and cleaning them! Cleaning your white sneakers will be different for different materials though. For example,
- Your white canvas Keds, Converse, or Vans simply need a baking soda/ hydrogen peroxide/ and water mixture to whiten them. Another I’ve seen calls for just baking soda and white vinegar. Scrub on with an old tooth brush, wipe off!
- White vinyl/ leather shoes often only need a magic eraser (yes, those amazing magical little home sponges) and some water. I’ve seen recipes for these that require ivory soap also.
- White suede shoes can be tricky, and I’ve heard mixed things on cleaning these like using a pink No.2 pencil eraser on them with vinegar, a shoe brush, and a cotton rag of some sort.
Of course, do some research before you just drench your sneakers. If you have any tricks to keep your favorite pair of white sneakers clean tell me in the comments below! I’d also love to hear which was your favorite look, and your favorite outfits to wear yours with!