The Rules of Wearing a Suit with Sneakers

A few years ago, if you told us we’d be singing the praises of a guy wearing a shiny peak-lapel suit with a gold chain and chunky sneakers to a performance on Broadway, we might have made the thinking-face emoji for several silent minutes. This was before maximalism, dad-core, and the NBA took over menswear, before a reality-TV star became the president of the United States, back when the climate was something we were eventually going to get around to fixing. Now, that swagger and DGAF-ness, that mix of the-world-is-ending comfort and the-world-is-ending glamour feels pretty on the nose.

Yes, this is Kanye West, and we’ve always tipped our hat to him in the style department, but this could easily be any man and we would applaud the combination. The fact is, the rules of wearing a suit with sneakers have changed. You don’t need to “respect the suit” by wearing minimalist sneakers anymore. The suit doesn’t have to be as nondescript as possible. The two things don’t need to work so hard to meet in the middle. Let your sneakers be sneakers and your suit be a suit, and wear them together in all their beautiful yin-and-yang-ness.

Of course, while our point of view on styling has evolved, we always have and always will applaud game when we see it. Kanye West’s perfectly fitted Virgil Abloh–designed Louis Vuitton suit is some swag. And those Yeezy Boost 700 VX sneakers will be worth lining up for (virtually, at least) when they eventually drop. You could approximate this look with a more affordable black suit and a more accessible pair of black-and-white sneakers (see below), or you could just take this whole thing as a general reminder not to try to blend in so much, to enjoy yourself more, and to wear your suit however you want. We know we are.