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Image / Fashion

How to style white trainers in spring


by Hannah Hillyer
26th Feb 2019
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Can you feel it in the air this week? That first flush of spring is upon us. Perhaps we are leaping ahead of ourselves, but it is slightly brighter in the evenings; the sun has been shining and suddenly there are daffodils peeking at me on my walk home from work. Almost immediately I want to cast off my turtlenecks and emerge from my cocoon of wool. Sadly, it is definitely too soon for that. But one thing that will make you feel a little more spring-like is a pair of white trainers, as they instantly lift dark colours and feel fresh.

From years of working in retail, how exactly to wear them is a question I was often asked, as many women think white trainers are reserved for sunny days and bare legs. This is not the case, I wear mine almost all year round, but there are a couple of ways to style them for trickier cooler months. Read on for my guide to the do’s and don’ts of navigating scandi-sneaker cool.

 

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Can I wear them with tights?

The most frequently asked and arguably most contentious question; can you wear white trainers with tights? Most of us live in black tights for much of the year, but I would suggest avoiding wearing them with white trainers as this contrast completely negates the fresh, spring look you are trying to achieve.

In general, a bare ankle looks best, so invest in some ankle socks that will look super clean and minimal. The invisible ones are what you need, as nothing ruins the look of white runners quicker than a sad pair of old sport socks peeping out. These are easy to get hold of in the likes of Primark and M&S, you’ll be looking for the low-rise trainer socks that scoop down so they can’t be seen with shoes on. They’re a total game-changer.

If the idea of any skin on show makes you shiver, consider proper socks instead. These don’t need to be boring, places like COS and & Other Stories have an amazing range of sheer printed socks. Before you worry, these aren’t your typical nude sock your Granny wears, instead they can be embroidered or festooned with glitter or colourful stripes. Make your bare ankle fear a statement instead of a necessity.

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Paris ?

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What leg length to wear?

Unlike boots, trainers work with almost all trousers shapes, be it culottes or ankle grazing cigarette pants you rarely have to worry about them suiting the leg length. Wide leg trousers are a struggle for some to get the right shoes for, often feeling that a heel is necessary. But trainers are a great alternative, they make a wide legged, dressy palazzo pant look so much cooler and effortless.

 

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Can I wear them to work?

Depending on your office, yes, a pair of white trainers can easily become part of your work wardrobe but this is where you need to choose wisely. When buying a pair for nine to five, find ones which are sleek and simple and avoid anything sporty or branded. Whistles, COS and H&M have some great options to choose from.

Black cropped trousers with a white shirt, although classic, can feel predictable. Paired with white trainers instead, it looks fresh, clean and modern. If everything else looks smart like, a crisp shirt, a great coat and a well cut pair of trousers, you can easily pair this with trainers for any meeting and still look professional.

 

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Alternatively for work, they look great with a midi dress or a skirt as well as trousers. For the cooler months a chunky jumper tucked into a longer skirt will keep you feeling cosy but will feel less like winter layers. This juxtaposition of  feminine with sporty is also the easiest way to achieve laid back cool.

It works with virtually any outfit woe; worried your outfit is too try hard? Clashing prints and not sure what shoes to wear? Want to look smart but also be comfortable? Pair your look with white trainers, they will instantly pare it back and make you look more effortless.

Tips on choosing the right trainers for you

  • You can go super sporty if that’s you style, but when styling trainers with dresses and midi-skirts (or wearing them to work) it’s best to avoid lots of branding.
  • What is worth noting is how far the trainer comes up your leg. Some have a large tongue (the front part underneath the laces) and this can sit quite high up on the ankle. This will cut off your leg rather than elongate and can be quite unflattering.
  • Don’t invest in a really expensive pair, ultimately white trainers in Ireland will not stay immaculate forever so this is not worth the splash out investment purchase.
  • Keep baby wipes in your desk drawer for when you get caught in the rain on you commute.
  • Try to avoid canvas and opt for materials that are easy to wipe clean (see above).

 

Header Image: @brittanybathgate

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