How to wear a suit with sneakers

When Russian fashion designer Gosha Rubchinskiy debuted his 2017-Spring menswear collection at Pitti this year instead of Paris, it was all eyes on his sporty take on how to wear a suit.

Rubchinskiy, 32, created double-breasted jackets and baggy pants matched with sneakers and T-shirts – overtly '80s silhouettes fused with '90s street cool.

The trend has been a key theme on runways this season, with the likes of Versace revealing models wearing suit pants with leather sneakers while Giorgio Armani kept the suit prominent yet laid-back in style. Armani merged suits with leisure wear – loose fitting pants with pleats, lace-up sneakers and single-breasted jackets worn casually with fine T-shirt knits.

Dressing down

One gentleman who can transfer the runway look to street style is Italy's Instagram star Alessandro Squarzi, a cool guy from Milan in his early 50s. He found fame via Scott Schuman on The Sartorialist in 2009 - Schuman snapped him on the street and they became good friends.

With 94,000 followers and Squarzi is rocking various fashion statements and you'll find him wearing suits with sneakers.

"I love that look," says Alessandro Squarzi of the suits and sneakers combo.

"It can be quite difficult to pull off though. My advice would be to wear it very relaxed, maybe with a bandana round the neck and with a good quality T-shirt. If it has a little pocket even better, it makes the look more chic," he says.

Best foot forward

The key to transforming your tailored suit for sporty chic lies in the footwear you choose. Opting for casual sneakers and the length of the pant is the ultimate giveaway.

Sydney's Huw Bennett is the co-founder of Vanishing Elephant and director of Worktones. He says Australian men can achieve the sporty look easily.


"Wear cotton or linen suiting," says Huw Bennett. "Opt for a suit that is deconstructed and might have two buttons, relaxed sleeves and a little more length in the jacket and room in the pants," he says.

In neutral

Bennett says you shouldn't overcomplicate the look – go for neutral colours, wear tonal and sneakers need structure – think Stan Smiths or Common Projects.

He is a fan of shorter pant lengths, but you'd more likely spot him wearing a suit with desert boots with socks showing. A knitted polo or collarless shirts left hanging outside of the pants would keep your look fuss free.

Less is more

New York Times Fashion photographer Lee Oliveira spends his time shooting the best street style at fashion shows around the world. This year at Pitti, he was a guest of Peroni's rooftop soiree at the Continentale and spoke of casual suiting prevailing the Florentine streets.

"What stood out for me is the 'less is more'," says Oliveria. "So many men at Pitti think they need to wear the three-piece suit, tie, hat and pocket-square. It's summer in Florence therefore it's quite refreshing to see a linen pant, sandals or sneakers which is what they all should be wearing and represents a more casual style," he says.

Take it to the streets

Con Iliopoulos, Creative Director of Con Ilio says men needn't be afraid to try and replicate the edgy Italian look at home. It can be done by rolling up the hem of your trouser to expose ankles while also rolling your sleeve cuffs.

"Wearing a loose oversized long sleeve T-shirt topped with a slim fitting blazer will finish this sporty chic outfit off," says Iliopoulos.

"Simple is the way to go, don't try and over style the outfit. You don't want to appear as if you have tried too hard," he adds.

New balance

Senior Business Development Executive at Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival Shiva "The Count" Singam agrees.

"Wearing sneakers with a suit requires confidence as well as getting the balance and proportions just right," says Singam who is smitten by the latest season glitter spiked sneakers from Gucci and also owns a pair of classic Lanvin shoes as his regular go-to pair.

"Go for an ankle grazing tapered pant that allows for the maximum focus on your choice of footwear," he says. "And if the suit is loud, opt for simple sneakers and vice versa."

Suits and sneakers: can you get away with it? Let us know in the Comments section.