How to wear sneakers with dresses: 7 Style Panel tips for perfecting this street style staple

how to wear sneakers with dresses style panel
how to wear sneakers with dresses style panel

Luckily for our feet, the sneaker trend is still going strong. Once deemed cool only in the school hallways and the gym, we now see the colourful runners roaming everywhere, from Fall 2014 runways (i.e.Chanel a.k.a. sneaker heaven) to the feet of the most stylish street style stars. Heck, there are even conventions dedicated to them too! And since they are the most comfortable footwear (aside from maybe Birks and Tevas), it’s no wonder women are trading them in for 6 inch stilettos this season.

We’ve tackled how to wear sneakers before, but with street style photographers snapping photos of fashion A-listers sporting dresses (and/or skirts) with their casual kicks, it’s whole different ball game. Honestly, who wants to look like they forgot their heels at home after a hitting a spin class? No one. But, thanks to our experts on Style Panel, we can now rock this trend with confidence.

If there is one thing these bloggers can all agree upon, it’s that the sneakers with a dress look is the perfect casual-chic outfit. Truly make a statement by teaming a dress with your converse sneakers like Becky Kung of Velvet & Vino. Pump up the athletic look by topping off with black and white socks for a sporty yet put-together ensemble. If you’re nervous to jump in on the trend, fret not because Convey the Moment‘s Eleni McMullin and Sasha’s Satisfashion‘s Sasha Xiao reminds us that there is nothing wrong with keeping it simple when it comes to athletic footwear. While McMullin suggests to pair a form-fitting dress with lighter sneakers like Keds, Xiao highlights slip-ons as the go-to if you want to keep your girly-girl aesthetic. Want to draw the focus to your awesome kicks?  Lion Hunter’s Mo Handahu advises us to stick to tamer colours and avoid loud prints so that the sneakers have a moment to shine!

Question 106: How do you wear sneakers with dresses? Read the answers now! »


how to wear sneakers with dresses style panel jill lansky

Jill Lansky, 26
Vancouver | The August Diaries

A dress and sneakers is one of my favourite summer outfits… It’s comfy, easy and a little bit sporty. I’ve been wearing Converse almost every day and they’ve definitely become a staple in my wardrobe.

Jill’s wearing: Dress, Zara. Shoes, Converse. Backpack, Forever 21. Hat, Catarzi for Asos.

how to wear sneakers with dresses style panel eleni mcmullin

Eleni McMullin, 27
Calgary | Convey The Moment

Everywhere we turn, ladies are switching out their stiletto high heels for something a little more functional—sneakers. There’s nothing more welcomed then comfort meeting chic, however this look can be extremely tricky to pull off. So the real question is how do we do it? The truth is, it’s all about the pairings. The best technique when matching any skirt or dress with sneakers, and not the type you go jogging in, is find something that compliments the look without taking it over. We see Rhianna doing it all the time and she’s never looked so chic. Your shoes should accentuate the outfit not leave people feeling confused. If you are reaching for a form fitting dress try and pair it with a lighter option so the shoes aren’t drowning the outfit—a pair of lace up Keds would work wonderfully. Slip on Vans with a thicker base would complement a full skirt perfectly and you could even get creative by mixing prints or fabrics. Leopard and leather sounds pretty good to me. Your best option when trying out this look is sticking to more stylish sneaker options like Vans, Converse, or a pair of Keds. Have fun with it and get creative, the best looks can happen by accident.

Eleni’s wearing: Dress, NOIR by Lululemon Lab. Sneakers, Forever 21. Lipstick, Ruby Woo by Mac. Watch, Michael Kors.

how to wear sneakers with dresses style panel emma walker

Emma Walker, 17
Denver, CO | With A City Dream

My favourite way to wear tennis shoes with a dress is to stick to one colour palette. This ensures that the whole look flows. Black and white is a go-to for me and these Adidas are the perfect combo of tomboy and chic.

Emma’s wearing: Dress, Forever 21. Hat, Forever 21. Coat, H&M. Dress, Forever 21.

how to wear sneakers with dresses mo handahu
Photography by Paul Green

Mo Handahu, 29
Halifax | Lion Hunter

I love dressing down an outfit with a pair of sneakers. To achieve this comfy yet chic look I kept to tamer colours and avoided loud prints so that the runners could have a moment to shine. Pairing a tulle skirt with sneakers is something I’d never thought of trying, but I’m glad I did because this has made my tutu daytime wearable!

Mo’s wearing: Sneakers, Little Burgundy. Shirt, Thrifted. Bag and Sweater, H&M. Tutu, D.I.Y.

how to wear sneakers with dresses style panel becky kung

Becky Kung, 30
Calgary | Velvet & Vino

Dresses paired with sneakers is having a moment in my closet right now, and amped up with socks is the latest way to make a fashion statement! I love taking a relaxed dress, pairing it with converse sneakers and checkered black and white socks for sporty yet cool-girl style. This outfit is perfect for shopping, brunch with friends or the ultimate weekend look.

Becky’s wearing: Dress, Carrie’s Closet. Shoes, Town Shoes by Converse. Socks, Topshop. Clutch, BCBGMAXAZRIA. Watch, Evosy by REBECCA.

how to wear sneakers with dresses style panel sasha xiao

Sasha Xiao, 25
Toronto | Sasha’s Satisfashion

The athletic trend has been a big hit either on runways or streets and it seems this trend is only going bigger. However, for a girly girl like me, it’s a challenge to integrate the sporty vibe into my outfits without having to sacrifice the feminine flavour. One thing I’d like to share is that if you don’t feel comfortable wearing a skirt/dress with a pair of running shoes, then you should start with a less bold choice: Slip-ons. They not only offer comfort, but are also much easier to style. Just as their name, you can quickly put them on and go. No need to tie your shoe laces (think about a morning when you are already late for work). Moreover, I’m sure I don’t even need to mention the wide variety of slip-on options— snakeskin, leopard, floral and so many more.

Sasha’s wearing: Pullover, Lacoste. Skirt, HM. Slip-ons, TopShop. Bag, Zara.

how to wear sneakers with dresses style panel lyndsey forest

Lyndsey Forest, 23
Edmonton | Over My Styled Body

Sneakers have come a long way from being just a shoe you wear to the gym, to a style staple in every fashionista’s wardrobe. Whether you wear them with a pair of boyfriend jeans or a fancy dress, they have a way of making any outfit look effortless and chic. This summer I have been wearing my high tops with a lot of skirts; mixing them with leather and sequins for some fun juxtaposition.

Lyndsey’s wearing: High Tops, Vans. Jacket, French Connection. Tee, Skirt & Bag, Zara. Sunglasses, Ray-Ban.