How To Wear Dresses + Sneakers

I have officially banned myself from buying another pair of sneakers for the next six months. The number of sneakers I have accumulated over the past six months is disturbing, and at some point one can actually have too many. I know I’m not alone though. Many times a customer has come in to The Shoe Hive and remarked that all she has bought recently is sneakers, or that all she wears are her sneakers. It’s a thing! I believe the sneaker “trend” is no longer a true trend and has instead entered into the same category as skinny jeans — they are foundational wardrobe pieces.

The trick to getting the most wear out of your sneakers though is to embrace them as such. A foundational wardrobe piece is one that will go with just about everything else in your closet. This is true of the sneaker, and while most of the customers I style understand the concept I still get push back when it comes to wearing sneakers with dresses. The sneaker-and-dresses look may not be for everyone but everyone should at least try it. Here’s how:


The Slip On Sneaker with the Shirt Dress

The silhouette of the shirt dress is typically pared down and simple. That’s why so many women are drawn to it; it’s easy-to-wear and classic. But since the key to effortless style is in contrasts, this means you can afford to wear a slightly more visually interesting sneaker like this faux fur pom sneaker by Sam Edelman.

Style equation: a simple dress + an interesting sneaker = style success


The Sporty Sneaker with the Flirty Dress

When wearing a more feminine dress (think ruffles, lace, etc.), consider wearing a sportier or more masculine sneaker with it. Again, it’s all in the contrasting of aesthetics to create an of-the-moment look. Here I opted for a lightweight and flouncy Xirena dress with paint-splattered leather Superga sneakers.

Style equation: a feminine dress + a masculine shoe = style success


The Sophisticated Set

There are exceptions to every rule, however, and this is one of them. When it comes to sophisticated pieces, ditch the contrasts. Wearing a pair of ultra-casual Chuck Taylor sneakers, for example, with this Rag & Bone dress just wouldn’t work; the sneakers would look out of place. Instead, I chose a luxe pair of leather sneakers by Vince in an understated neutral that is reflected in the print of the dress.

Style equation: a sophisticated dress + a sophisticated sneaker = style success


I hope this has been helpful. If I’ve done nothing but confuse you further, you’re always welcome to find me down at one of the stores and we can walk through it all in person! And if you want anything we’ve photographed here, you can find it in our stores. Except for the dog. You can’t have Harley. 😉



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