How to Look Stylish When You Pair Sneakers with Skirts and Dresses This Summer

Sneakers are the best. They come in every colour and design you could ever want, they feel like bouncing around on a cloud, and you don’t risk spending the next three weeks taking ibuprofen for a sprained ankle if you decide to run for a bus or dance in them. Of course, in the winter it is pretty easy to wear your sneakers most of the time without it looking wrong with your outfit, because with all but the most businesslike pants or with leggings they look great. In summer, it can get a little tougher, with all those cute little dresses and floaty skirts seeming like they are begging to be worn with foot torturing strappy sandals or delicate heels.

Fortunately, wearing sporty footwear with dresses is far less of a fashion faux pas these days than it used to be, and most cuts of dress can be worn with one style of sneakers or another without looking out of place. Here are some ideas for creating great outfits that use summery dresses with your sneakers.

Tennis Chic

If you like sporty looking sneakers but don’t want to constantly have to wear clothes that suggest you are out for a run, then look to one of the only sports where players often wear dresses – tennis. Tennis style dresses can look cute for everyday wear, and have that summery, preppy look that smartens up your sneakers a lot. Styles that resemble a longer, fitted polo shirt can be chic as well as cool for the hot weather, or you can consider racerback styles that have a sporty feel while still baring your shoulders. While white sneakers and a white dress give that crisp, classic look, consider any bright colours or prints you like for a more modern, sporty style. This look works well with a simple ponytail relaxed style for fun summer days out shopping or in the park with your friends.

Street Style

If the preppy look isn’t really your thing, then go for a look that is a little more street by mixing pretty daytime dresses in jersey with cute prints with skater sneakers. This is a young, relaxed look that has a bit of a nineties feel and is effortlessly cool, as well as of course being super comfortable to wear. Any cut of dress that takes your fancy can work here, from skater dresses or t-shirt dresses to slouchy midi dresses or even bodycon styles – the key is to keep the fabric, colour and design fun rather than formal.

Dressed Down LBD

For a modern look that is perfect for shopping or a lunch date, consider using a classic pair of sneakers to dress down a little black dress – or if you prefer, one of this season’s little white dresses. The key here is to keep the sneakers simple, so a classic white pair of tennis shoes or some simple black Converse All Stars would be a good choice, whereas your brightest, puffiest hi-tops would probably not create the same effect. Owning one subtle, classic set of sneakers to use in this way is always a good idea, and while they may look a bit boring sitting next to your favourite technical running shoes or your sparkly special edition Vans, you’ll find you get loads of wear out of them when you start pairing them with dresses because they give you the freedom to draw attention to your dress rather than your feet. Finish the look with a casual oversized bag, some sporty sunglasses and understated hair and make-up for a look that is feminine and natural, and plays with your LBD in a whole new way. This look has the added advantage that you can wear it all day then switch to heels, add some jewellery and evening make-up, and be ready for a chic night out in no time at all!

A Word About Socks

If you are used to wearing your sneakers with jeans, you probably don’t worry too much about the sock issue, but with dresses it is important to wear socks designed for sneakers that don’t show on the ankle. This is because with bare legs ankle socks have the effect of making your leg look shorter and ‘cut off’ by the sock.

Wearing sneakers with dresses is comfortable, and very stylish when you pair them well! Why not try combining some of your favourite sports shoes with dresses for the summer?


-- Editor-in-Chief SLiNK Magazine