What age should you stop wearing trainers?
Cristina Holm, one of the UK’s leading personal stylists explains when you should consider saying goodbye.
The simple answer is… NEVER. I personally think you can wear trainers at any age. It really depends upon what you are wearing with them that is important.
You only need to look at the shelves of traditional fashion retailers, and even supermarkets, to see that trainers are no longer the footwear of teenagers. Not only are people waking up to how comfortable they are, they can also look fantastic with most outfits thanks to the huge range of designs that are now available.
One of my favourite solutions to looking great AND feeling comfortable, is pairing crisp white trainers with a pretty dress, pair of jeans or trousers. In fact, the white trainer, is now arguably fashion’s comfortable – but still elegant – alternative to the versatile nude shoe.
That said, don’t limit yourself to white. Nowadays you can find trainers in virtually every colour and pattern. Plus there is no need to splash out on expensive brand names. Simply by buying a basic pair and alternating with outfit matching laces, you can elevate those trainers to a designer look for as little as a couple of pounds.
**Top Tip Alert**
However, there is one golden rule, your trainers MUST always be spotlessly clean. That’s because grubby trainers with an outfit is as bad as wearing a pair of muddy shoes. It just ruins your look. A quick solution to keeping your trainers looking like new AND protecting your washing machine, is putting one down each leg of a pair of jeans and washing them with a towel or two on a 30 degree cycle. Simples.
Here are some of my favourite outfitting ideas for trainers:
With trousers or smart jeans
In warmer weather, add a pair of white or navy trainers with a crisp white t-shirt or a Bretton shirt with a pair of trousers or smart jeans, and you’ll be comfortable but stylish whatever your day holds in store for you. In cooler weather add a tailored jacket with a length suitable for your height and shape for effortless style.
With a maxi dress
Maxi dresses are great with trainers no matter your height. This look continues to be all over fashion magazines and is a blessing for those of us who love to feel feminine but want comfort too. It’s the perfect holiday outfit as well, especially if you like exploring on your travels.
“There is one golden rule, your trainers MUST always be spotlessly clean. As grubby trainers with an outfit is as bad as wearing a pair of muddy shoes.”
If you are petite or simply want to add height, there are plenty of platform trainers now on the High Street. Just make sure you feel stable when walking in them.
Here are some more tips for how to wear your trainers:
Midi length dresses
A pair of trainers with a midi-length dress, also looks fabulous. However, if you are petite this is NOT for you, as this will crop your height and make you look shorter.
If you are 5 ft 3 in and above, trainers are a great choice of footwear for you. However, if your proportion is long torso/short legs, a slip on trainer will look more balanced. Ideally try and also stick to the same colour trainer as your dress.
“You only need to look at the shelves of traditional fashion retailers, and even supermarkets, to see that trainers are no longer the footwear of teenagers.”
Below knee/knee/above knee length dresses
This look works well for ladies of all heights. If, however, you have slightly wider calves or ankles, stick to slip on trainers or ballerina style trainers, as these will create the appearance of being slimmer.
Not that long ago, the idea of someone wearing jeans and trainers out to lunch would be unthinkable. Nowadays you need only look in the pages of magazines to see everyone from celebrities to Royalty are wearing a smart pair of jeans with trainers. The golden rule still applies though, they must be as clean as when you first bought them.
Like dresses, the length of the skirt will determine what will work with your height. I remember watching Grease the movie for the first time and seeing Sandy in her wonderful full pleated skirt with trainers and thinking how stunning she looked. With a jumper or cardigan worn loosely over your shoulders and a sharply ironed shirt, a skirt worn with trainers can look effortlessly chic.
Unless you are still at school or you wear them for sport, socks in summer should be nearly invisible when you wear trainers. Opt for buying ‘trainer socks’ which end not much higher than the rim of the trainer themselves. In colder weather when full length socks are necessary, say goodbye to short dresses and short skirts and keep these socks hidden under long legged jeans or trousers.
So, to summarise
Nowadays, the trusted trainer can be worn whether you are 9 or 90. They are not only fashionable but incredibly comfortable too. They suggest a subtle confidence in the wearer. Team up with a matching bag and you’ll look at home whether at the races, a garden party or popping out with friends. If you don’t believe me and are still not sure, just look at the feet of others when you are next out and about.