ILL-FITS: The Trend of Performance Sneakers & Suits
As HYPEBEAST’s readership continues to grow, so does the size of our inbox. From props and complaints, to line sheets, aspiring brands and PR companies, we are constantly getting hit up by many of our loyal readers for various reasons. We’re making a conscious effort to respond to all of you guys and with the help of our contributing editor and native New Yorker, Robert Marshall, we’re creating a new op-ed installment titled ‘ILL-FITS.’ Primarily intended to answer the messages from all of you style advice seekers, Robert Marshall will tackle one of your questions and we’ll post it up here for you to contribute to the discussion.
Call me old-fashioned, but I have trouble understanding why men pair a finely tailored suit with sneakers intended for superior athletic output. Can you explain its purpose and do you think it’s a trend that’s here to stay?
Its purpose is twofold, both in style and function. What must be said however is this coupling of a suit and a pair of technically-sound sneakers is really just a contemporary reproduction of an ongoing trend. Although its inception is difficult to pinpoint, its emergence can likely be traced to the casual revolution of the mid 20th century where men could be seen sporting a suit atop iconic silhouettes like the Chuck Taylor All Star. Many see this relaxed choice of dress as quirky, facetious or even immature, and it’s generally reserved for those that carry a disdain for the bureaucracies and insecurities of fashion. What’s more is that although it playfully tones down the formality of a suit, this clashing of dress-codes also serves as a benefit for those that travel by foot dressed throughout the day in a stifling jacket and pair of trousers. Typically speaking, opting for your tennis shoes will prove to be much more comfortable on your tired dogs than a pair of dress shoes when trekking through a sprawling metropolis. As far as the recent transition to innovative athletic sneakers like Nike’s Flyknit model is concern, it’s just a natural progression of a decades-old trend. With a new wave of lighter, more comfortable models being produced, each release offers a modern alternative to this bold style statement.
In regards to its future existence, it’s truly difficult to say whether a trend or style of dress will fade to obscurity or continue to grow engulfing a number of similarly positioned fashion choices. I do however think its prevalence depends on the footwear industry’s ability to craft products based on the needs of the contemporary man rather than recycled silhouettes with outdated materials. What I mean by that is this outfit selection is not only one of exploration, but also a purposeful cry for utilitarian designs that compliment our expanding lifestyles. If one were to put its ears to the runway you’d find that men still possess an innate, no-frills attitude when it comes to clothing – a trait often neglected in women. So until shoemakers begin to understand that men don’t just want to look great, they want to feel great as well; I think the notion to pair innovative sneakers with a bespoke suit will continue to be a common occurrence especially during the forthcoming warmer months. Despite that, brands like Cole Haan represents a growing market segment that not only creates with style in mind but versatility as well. So what are your thoughts HYPEBEASTs: will this trendy pairing continue on or will shoemakers take notice and look to curve its existence?