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Suit up with sneakers

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Alexandra Lima says sneakers are really practical and teaming them with a dress is cute and functional in the summer (Photo by Akil Simmons)

There was once a time when women over a certain age only wore sneakers for exercise. Online fashion sites and social media will tell you those days are gone. Trendy women and men are finding new ways to pair comfy footwear with stylish outfits. Lifestyle asked whether the look was a fashion ‘do’ or ‘don’t’.

Dance instructor Alexandra Lima said it was a definite ‘do’. She’s a huge fan of wearing sneakers as a style statement.

“I wear them all the time, partly because they can be worn casually in the office when I work at [tourism site] Bermuda.com. They can also easily transition when I have to teach a class at DanceSations, so they’re really practical for me. I like the dress and the sneaker combo. It’s so cute and just really functional for summer. White sneakers especially can be cute, clean and crisp-looking.”

The 30-year-old had two tips for people trying out the look for the first time: make sure the shoes are clean and ditch the noticeable socks. “Huge, chunky socks only work if you’re going for a retro look,” she said.

Her favourite page on Instagram is Shop The Addict. She recommended women only wear sneakers with a dress that has a casual or sporty look.

Ms Lima described her own style as functional, but with an edge. She said she wasn’t afraid to wear a little black cocktail dress with Air Force One sneakers. But on other occasions she mixes it up by putting on a chunky necklace.

But she said: “I just go for what I’m most comfortable in. If you aren’t comfortable in it you’ll never pull it off.”

Curtis Patterson said it’s possible to make sneakers look polished.

His advice? Pair them with a more tailored style of pant.

“I personally roll up the bottom of my pants if they’re long, so they’re ankle length for a more sleek look. You don’t want it to look scruffy,” he explained.

The aspiring model considered his everyday style to be more “soft grunge and street”.

“I like to take joggers and very simple types of clothing and spice it up with nice sun glasses, watches and sweaters,” the 18-year-old said. “I try to look overall presentable, but with a few grungy elements tied in there as well.”

He gets most of his inspiration from magazines, the London fashion scene and while shopping at Topman.

Twenty-three-year-old Brittany Cox said she rocked the sneaker and dress look just recently — at Monday’s Bermuda Day celebration. “I think the mixture of the femininity from the dress and the edgy sneakers balances the overall look out a little bit. You want a street look that’s still cute.”

She recommends experimenting with clothes in your closet to create a similar look.

“Start from the sneakers and work your way up from there. Try different things on and see what works,” she said.

The marketing professional said her general style tends to be quite plain. She likes neutrals and black and white.

“That’s all you ever see me in. I just think those colours always look professional. They are sleek and easy.”

Laura Rego, 30, admitted she’s never worn sneakers outside of the gym, but was open to the idea. “I love the style because it’s comfortable. Plus I think if you can rock it, you should,” she said. “I like that you can wear them with a lot of different things and dress them up or down and they are funky.”

For the most part the underwriting assistant said her style tends to be classic.

“I like to keep with the basics and maybe one or two flashy things like a nice purse just to show your style. But I don’t like going overboard,” she said. “I get inspiration from looking at my friends, to be honest, and seeing what they have on. I guess I have pretty fashionable friends.

“If I see a brand that they have on that I like I might check out the store or purchase something. I try to see how confident they are in what they’re wearing and take a note out of their book.”

Alexandra Lima is a huge fan of wearing sneakers as a style statement (Photo by Akil Simmons)
Laura Rego admitted she had never worn sneakers outside of the gym — but was open to the idea (Photo by Akil Simmons)
Brittany Cox likes the mix of femininity and edginess from teaming a dress with sneakers (Photo by Akil Simmons)
Aspiring model Curtis Patterson pairs sneakers with tailored pants to make the look more polished (Photo by Akil Simmons)