I love sneakers: I often choose to wear them instead of heels, no matter the occasion. As much as I can appreciate how chic a pair of nude Stuart Weitzman sandals looks with a jumpsuit for a wedding, when it comes to daily activities, trainers are the way forward, and my collection involves all the classics you'd hope for. These days, trainers are the holy grail where practicality meets pleasure: designers, sportswear brands and superfans have made us all see sneaks in a different light, whether they're extolling the virtues of a simple classic or pushing the design boundaries with some out-there ideas. Either way, thanks to the current obsession with athleisure and streetwear, there are fewer rules and regs about wearing them 24/7, and it's now normal to see them dotted around your workplace or becoming the norm at brunch. Whether it's a midi skirt or a pair of jeans, there are endless outfit combos to wear with sneakers.
I just have one rule when it comes to trainers, however: You must have a few different pairs in your wardrobe so you keep them looking as fresh as possible and so that you've got options for various outfits. Like any shoes, no one pair of sneakers could go with every single thing you own. Also, unless you're going for the battered sneaker look (which isn't such a bad thing), it's best to keep them clean so that your footwear choices look intentional rather than negligent. Want to know how many sneakers I think everyone should own? Keep scrolling for my beginner's guide.
#1: white basket sneakers
Style Notes: Thanks to Phoebe Philo's love of Adidas Stan Smiths, simple white basket sneakers have been spotted on the feet of every street style star, celebrity and chic people everywhere. Even my mum loves them. The trick is to clean them regularly to get the most long-term wear out of them.
Trust in Jil Sander to give good trainer.
#2: Converse Sneakers
Style Notes: One of our street style favourites Veronika Heilbrunner is rarely spotted without her Converse sneakers. She owns them in plenty of different colours too so that she can wear them with pretty much anything. For me, the beauty about Converse sneakers is that they can look pretty out of shape and still look cool.
The classic will never fail you.
#3: Black trainers
Style Notes: Much like Stan Smiths, Van's old-school black trainers had a revival recently. Again, they're versatile, but the beauty of black sneakers is that they'll work nicely into winter as well—wearing them with tights, for example, doesn't feel as jarring.
Kate Foley swears by hers.
#4: The Runners
Style Notes: You don't have to run in yours, but it's good to look like you're at least intending to do it. Pair with sports socks and a midi dress or culottes for the most gym-to-street styling.
Some of the most popular styles right now are coming from Nike.
#5: Trend-led Trainers
Style Notes: The most divisive on this list has to be the more trend-led trainers. These could be the Balenciaga sneakers (pictured) or it could a pair of chunky "dad" trainers. Either way, these are the ones to win your fashion points but maybe a few odd looks from friends who "just don't get it."