Let’s cut to the chase. The answer is yes. There’s a notion that certain styles, such as sneakers, are only appropriate for young people. That’s nonsense. When it comes to style, there’s no such thing as young or old. There’s only good or bad. Sometimes young people can get away with wearing ugly stuff, but make no mistake–they look good in spite of what they’re wearing, not because of it. On the other hand, great style looks good on anyone from 9 to 90. The bigger, and better, questions are why sneakers are appropriate and how to wear them.
- They’re stylish. A well-designed sneaker is as sleek, elegant and timeless as any dress shoe. The best ones are the classics: Vans, Converse, Adidas, New Balance and Nike. The spare, minimalist design of the old-school sneaks lends an air of stylish nonchalance to any outfit.
- They’re inexpensive. Remember, we’re trying to simplify our lives. That means our objective is to conserve our resources for the more important things, without unnecessarily sacrificing style and beauty. A good pair of leather kicks can cost upwards of 200 bucks, easy. Most sneakers range between $75-$100. Of course, if you decide to splurge on Prada sneakers, those will run you about $400, but that’s completely unnecessary. It’d be like buying a literal silver spoon–wasteful and silly.
- They’re comfortable. This one almost goes without saying. Sneakers are built for comfort. They’re lightweight, amply cushioned, breathable and flexible. Slipping on a pair of trainers after a day in dress shoes is like diving into a cool pool on a warm summer afternoon.
HOW TO WEAR THEM
Sneakers may be worn with almost any outfit, even a suit. Of course, they will impart a casual feel to the ensemble, so they shouldn’t be worn for formal occasions or for serious business. Depending on the outfit, they’re suitable at all but the stuffiest restaurants.
As a general rule, most technical sneakers, designed for specific sporting activities, should be reserved for those activities. And the big, white Seinfeld sneakers don’t look good on anyone, and can make even the most youthful, handsome man look like he’s ready for the retirement home.
Just a word about Jordans. They’re kind of in a class of their own. Because of their inherent bulkiness, not every guy can pull them off. My friend Jeremy, who’s about 6’4″, wears them beautifully. I, at 5’9″ on a good day, look like a little kid swallowed by his feet. In my opinion, they’re best left to the experts.
So there you have it. Chosen wisely, sneakers are an excellent addition to any man’s wardrobe, enabling him to look fashionable, youthful and even elegant on a budget. It’s a classic win-win.