Blame it on the four-week parade of runway shows that make up Fashion Month (and take up my brain space) or the eternal lack of space in my suitcase (no matter how big), but on my last work trip to Paris, I found myself without a flat pair of shoes in sight. It’s not unusual for me to be in heels most days, especially when I’m working, but after 10 days of wearing booties even for just a morning boulangerie run, I vowed to invest in a good pair of white sneakers for future travels. I wanted the kind of sneakers that look equally at home at the airport as at a market appointment-turned-dinner, and with every silhouette from dresses to skirts and jeans.
As Refinery29 contributor Kendall Becker put it in her list of what to pack for vacation and summer travel, “This may be a no-brainer but it needs to be said: Don’t leave home without your go-to white sneakers … the perfect solution for making a dress look more casual for daytime and a must-have for long travel days.” With that endorsement in mind, I spent a week wearing Chloé’s Nama sneakers (which I settled on after spotting another fashion editor wearing in Paris) everywhere, from a weekend roast to work, dinner out, and everything in between to test the theory.
Regardless of how much space you have in your travel bag, if you don’t want to run to your hotel room or Airbnb to change for every activity on your trip, here’s how you can wear sneakers with any look. My feet will thank me next Fashion Month.
How to Wear White Sneakers With a Dress
Ever since I saw the Quiet Luxury Trend’s (unofficial) ambassador Sofia Richie Grainge wear a T-shirt dress, I’ve been replicating the easy-to-fit-in-a-suitcase look. You can dress it up with heels and jewelry, but worn with sneakers it’s a summer dressing formula that can get you through a sightseeing tour in the afternoon and dinner at night. If you’re a fan of the “wrong shoe theory,” pair the sneakers with a girly bubble dress à la Cecilie Bahnsen instead.
How to Wear White Sneakers With a Jumpsuit
I’m not a fan of wearing athleticwear unless I am taking a barre class or running errands, which makes a utilitarian boilersuit my go-to for more casual vacation days or activities. To make the look more vacation-worthy, add a printed scarf that can also double as a hair accessory, handbag adornment, and, in the case of longer styles, a shawl or top.
How to Wear White Sneakers With Jeans
There are few pieces that go better with sneakers than a good pair of jeans. A fun denim detail — like the double waist and hem cuff on this pair — and raffia accessories — like this (sadly sold-out) mini bag from the Simon Miller x Mango collaboration — keep the classic tank top-and-shirt look from feeling boring.
How to Wear White Sneakers With Pants
Who says sneakers and pantsuits don’t go together? Opt for a culotte or vest style to complement the casualness of the sneaker. Sticking to a neutral color palette like this caramel brown will also allow the look to pass in office-appropriate territory without looking too stuffy at post-work happy hour or dinner.
How to Wear White Sneakers With a Skirt
Balance out the femininity of pleated skirts — a versatile style that can just as easily be paired with graphic tees as button-downs and sweaters — by pairing them with sneakers. I threw a cropped shirt over a tank top and this midi, a pleated-cargo hybrid that I bought on vacation in Japan, after a dance class to take me straight to date night.
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