Colour has become an indisputable cornerstone of menswear over the last couple of seasons, and I think we can all agree that the modern man’s wardrobe has done nothing but benefit. Whether you’re cracking out some vibrant socks, working the pastels or making a bold statement, colour is fantastic.
Following on from my article last week – the men’s white canvas trainers guide – I thought it might also be worth visiting the other end of the spectrum; the bolder, brasher, coloured trainer.
Now, I am fully aware that coloured trainers might not be everyone’s cup of tea; smarter, more structured dressing is certainly the general theme, and whilst there is absolutely nothing wrong with this, it is still important for us all to remember that not everyone is the same – we do not all dress the same and we do not always appreciate the same styles. We here at FashionBeans bang on about versatility and new ideas like there is no tomorrow, but we would rather the fashionable versatility and new ideas of everyone could be appreciated just as much as having a signature style and set formula.
As a group of style conscious men, we should be able to appreciate elements of all style, of every individual’s style (within reason of course). We are all unique and I don’t think anyone could disagree with the idea that we all need a little boundary pushing every so often to get us out of our comfort zone.
Coloured trainers can either be the trademark of a particular look or be the signifier of a person with two very separate styles. Sportswear is huge at the moment and colour is just as much a part of that as it is of someone obsessed with American Prep. With two completely different images, you might just as readily be seen in a sharp double breasted jacket, loafers and shirt as you are a pair of skinny jeans, a crew neck tee and hi-tops.
Fashion is as diverse as it is rooted and as changing as it is constant; coloured trainers are one of those things that you either love or you hate, but they cannot be ignored.
It is perhaps in the last point that the biggest division between opinion occurs. We all have individual opinions and we all appreciate different styles – coloured trainers, more often than not, don’t feature in this appreciation.
But without trying to drag up too much from the past, I personally believe that a lot of the stigma and a lot of the dislike stems how they are worn, not what is being worn. We are all familiar with the stereotypes: Young men dressing in exactly the same clothes, in exactly the same way and all acting exactly the same.
However, rather than completely ignoring all of the clothes these stereotypes incorporate, we should be thinking of how we can make them more individual. What makes the way we might wear them more unique?
Think about your hair, your beard mastery, accessories, colours, posture and demeanour. All of this makes a huge difference to your outfit as a whole and will divide very clearly your outfit from the stereotypes, even if you are wearing 80% the same kind of clothes. How you wear is really just as important as what you wear.
This looks makes good use of the current print and sports wear trends. Whilst it may not be considered stylish from a more classical aspect, it is still a look that incorporates many features that are very on trend and are fashionable. Keep things simple and well cut – the shirt in particular should be fitted – feel free to wear it tucked in to give your look a touch more edge.
By keeping the outer layers more muted you can afford to get a bit more creative with your patterns or colours in the under layers and footwear. If you have a multi-coloured shirt try to pick out a colour with your shoes (something tonally similar) to make both items pop and make the most of the more underused colours of trainers. That alone makes you more unique.
Finally consider your accessories; a watch is always a timeless and classic way to introduce a bit of extra detailing to your look and a tote or shopper bag is an excellent way of marking yourself out from the crowd.
Contrary to what I said earlier, you can of course make your footwear your main statement. You can make the most of the pattern trend (or just continue with a brighter block colour shade) in a unique way by choosing a pair of patterned trainers – but if this is your choice then the rest of the outfit would benefit from simple construction.
A pair of lightweight chinos and a soft tee is a great way to stay cool and look good in summer, and if you continue to play with your colours (think pastels for easy matching) you are sure to create a look that is completely you.
Once again, make the most of those accessories. A straw hat can work outside a festival if worn right, and there is nothing wrong with a good old canvas backpack – a piece of subtle jewellery wouldn’t go amiss either.
Update your casual looks with a pair of bright, block colour hi-tops. By choosing a brighter shade and mixing them in with classic pieces such as dark wash jeans, a plaid shirt and a mac you can put your own twist on an everyday outfit and make it truly your own.
Great for our unpredictable weather, all you need is to step out with your trusty umbrella and you are set for anything that is thrown at you. I think this outfit concept is a great way of showing just how much a pair of coloured trainers can elevate a previously underwhelming look that I’m sure is a staple of many a modern gents wardrobe.
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this article will divide opinion. Most will remain unfazed by the possibilities presented by the coloured trainer whilst a few may have strengthened their resolve or even been converted. It is also worth mentioning that this is only a short introduction to a much wider topic, there is more to be made of coloured trainers.
These shoes really can work in the fashionable man’s wardrobe, there just has to be a few adjustments. Coloured trainers cannot be made something they are not, they occupy a very different niche and work in a very different way to the one many of us might be used to – but that does not make them any less relevant.
We shouldn’t be disregarding a look simply because it doesn’t fit our own opinion of style.
But now it’s time for your say, what do you think of coloured trainers? Let me know in the comments below.