Shoes

Five ways to wear: White trainers

Five ways to wear: White trainers

Before you relegate white trainers as the most basic of basics, bear this in mind: "The right pair of white, minimal trainers can actually make an outfit look more polished," says Thread senior stylist Sophie Bailey-Hine, who offers this advice: 1. Go for the simplest pair you can find, without logos, contrast or any extra details, and 2. Wear them with smart clothes you want to dress down or casual clothes you want to dress up.

"Because simple white trainers are neutral and streamlined, and not eye-catching, they're more versatile than you might think," she explains. "They go with clothes from jeans to formal trousers."

Here, Sophie shares how to wear one pair of Oliver Sweeney white trainers to five very different occasions.

1. For a wedding that feels casual

Outfit: White trainers, blazer, shirt and formal trousers

Why it works: "First, here's how to tell if a wedding is casual: If the groomsmen are wearing anything less formal than a suit—such as a blazer with non-matching trousers or chinos—then this outfit is perfectly appropriate. (If the invitation says 'black tie' or 'suited and booted,' then it's definitely not.)

"It also works for other events where you could wear a suit but it might feel a bit too formal—for instance, unofficial races or award nights. I like this combination in particular because all the items are simple and the white shirt balances the white trainers."

Photographed: Oliver Sweeney white trainers (£279), Jigsaw white shirt (£69), Marks & Spencer navy blazer (£119), Whistles grey wool trousers (£95)

2. For a date you've been looking forward to

Outfit: White trainers, shirt and formal trousers

Why it works: "This outfit is more comfortable and relaxed than a shirt and blazer, but still gives the right signs that you've made an effort. The texture in the trousers makes them feel less officey and slightly more casual—a good match for the trainers—and the untucked shirt gives the same smart-but-relaxed vibe."

Photographed: Oliver Sweeney white trainers (£279), Jigsaw white shirt (£69), Whistles grey wool trousers (£95)

3. For a casual Friday

Outfit: White trainers, white t-shirt, grey sweatshirt and black jeans

Why it works: "Simple white trainers are the ideal casual Friday shoes—on the smarter side, but comfortable and not too eye-catching. Plus, black jeans look a little sharper than blue, and the black socks keep it clean and minimal. You could stick a white shirt under the jumper—and/or switch the jeans for chinos—to up the smartness."

Photographed: Oliver Sweeney white trainers (£279), Whistles black jeans (£80), Gant grey sweatshirt (£125)

4. For a Saturday that could turn into a night out

Outfit: White trainers, white t-shirt, navy bomber jacket and dark-blue jeans

Why it works: "The streamlined trainers and nicely fitted bomber jacket make this outfit look sharp enough for a night out … but it's also casual and comfortable for a morning of errands. Also, picking two colours and varying the hue is a safe and winning combo. There's a lot to be said for the freshness of blue and white."

Photographed: Oliver Sweeney white trainers (£279), Research Garments white t-shirt (£15), Selected indigo jeans (£65), Folk bomber jacket (£270)

5. For a Sunday pub lunch

Outfit: White trainers, grey t-shirt, khaki utility jacket, black jeans

Why it works: "On one hand, this outfit involves chucking on a t-shirt, jeans, trainers and a jacket—probably what you already wear on Sundays. On the other, it looks more thoughtful than that because the green and grey go well together (we stylists call these ‘earthy neutrals’) and because each piece is clean and simple, including the trainers."

Photographed: Oliver Sweeney white trainers (£279), Whistles black jeans (£80), Research Garments grey t-shirt (£15), Sassafras khaki utility jacket (£279)