It’s time to ditch those heels for some comfy feels... in style
The times when sneakers, or trainers, were used exclusively to exercise or run in seem like a distant memory. If you are an active member on social media, you would have noticed that these days, it is all about sneakers.
“Sneakers have become a huge fad over the last year or two. It’s become a style statement, not only for the younger but even the mature market. People are styling it with dresses, formal suits etc too,” says fashion designer Vedika Merh.
Gone are the days when sneakers could be paired only with pants and denim. Today, they are paired with dresses and skirts alike. There is no garment that the sneaker cannot be paired with. Designer Payal Jain says that “they bring in a sense of relaxed and casual style”, which brings quirkiness to dresses and semiformal clothing. “They have always worked with jeans and leggings but now are being seen even at the workplace, formal and semiformal events,” she adds.
Although heels will never go out of style, the trend of sneakers is owing to the changing mindset of people as well. “The shift from I think finally women are getting out of the mentality that they have to look tall. I don’t have to be at an event wearing heels anymore. They are getting comfortable in their skin and that’s what it is,” says fashion designer Masaba Gupta.
Designer Vedika agrees, she says, “I feel the wide use of sneakers on various kinds of outfits is more to do with its comfort factor as compared to heels or even flats.”
Luxury fashion adopts sneakers
“We’ve seen new designs, colours, graphic details on sneakers on runways and many celebrities of lately. This blend of fashion and comfort that we see is attracting us and making us not dress according to the “rule book” anymore,” says fashion designer Sahil Makkar of Shutiq.
Owing to these changes, the sale of sneakers has only grown. And, because of the rise of demand, many luxury brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Stella Mc Cartney and Balenciaga have unveiled luxury sneakers replete with their trademark designs.
“The way sneakers have taken over the market, with its designs from a basic white leather sneaker to a chunky or bold sneaker, you can surely pair them with a dress. It’s good to see how people are prioritising comfort above anything else,” says Makkar
“All the biggest international fashion brands have launched their version of the leather and fabric sneaker in the past few years and they are being shown on the runways across the world with high fashion. This has made sneakers a huge fashion trend, which is being followed globally amongst all age groups of people,” adds designer Jain.
Sneakers sneakers everywhere
The trendsetters are celebrities from Bollywood and Hollywood alike, who are major fashion influencers. “Celebrities are giving the evening dresses a new take by wearing them with sneakers. It breaks the rule of sporting heels/flats to events and more formal occasions,” says Vedika.
“If they are comfortable wearing it then why not? Better than the rest in heels who are not able to keep up. And, not just evening dresses, recently at an event, Sonam Kapoor paired a suit with Air Jordans, and she completely nailed the look,” says Makkar.
As a result, offices, dance floors and even wedding venues around the globe are now filled with bouncing, colourful footwear. Mehr shares an anecdote, “I’ve seen people wear sneakers for their wedding receptions! I think if carried of confidently, sneakers can be paired with all kinds of outfits.”
When it comes to sneakers, some certain pairs or designs are a mandate, that you just need to have. Sahil Makkar further elaborates, “A must have is a white leather sneaker which you can pair with every dress you own. Your chunky sneakers like Balenciagas and Fendi monogram sneakers could be easily paired with a regular T-shirt or sweatshirt and straight fit trouser. It could also be paired with a short flirty dress.”
Designer Payal Jain concludes with one important piece of advice, “I do think one can wear sneakers with anything and everything. However, having said that, they need to look effortless and not being made to fit in just for the sake of fashion!”