Sneakers are a must-have for back to school, but how do you rock them without looking like you’re headed to gym class? It’s all about the rest of your outfit, girl. Follow these four basic rules to transform your pumped-up kicks from sort of frumpy to seriously fashionable.
Rule #1: Pair them with something super feminine
Our favorite way by far to style basic black sneakers is with a feminine skirt or dress in order to help offset the masculine-ness of the shoe. We love how this girly pleated maxi looks with a cute tucked-in graphic tee and statement necklace for school. Add a black faux leather backpack and you’ll be the epitome of cool.
Nike Roshe Run Hyperfuse Sneaker (Nordstrom.com, $85); LC Lauren Conrad Pleated Maxi Skirt (Kohls.com, $30); Forever 21 The Best Heathered Tee (Forever21.com, $16); T-Shirt & Jeans Studded Black Faux Leather Backpack (Zumiez.com, $30); Pastel Yacht Bib Necklace in Purple (Baublebar.com, $46)
Rule #2: If you’re going to wear jeans make sure they’re super skinny
Don’t want to look like you’re trying out for the basketball team in math class? Then we suggest avoiding baggy shorts and wide-leg pants and sticking with skinny jeans instead. These white All Stars go great with cigarette skinnies in a dark wash or bold, bright color. Throw a denim chambray shirt on over top and you’ve got an outfit for the books.
Rule #3: Purchase a pair of high-top fashion sneakers in a fun print
If you’re a girly girl at heart, one way to try out the tomboy trend is by buying a pair of high-top fashion kicks in a cool color. For example, these edgy leopard-print shoes hardly even look like sneakers at all. Style them with some simple black stretch leggings or a leather-like skirt and opt for a ladylike floral blouse up top.
MM6 Maison Martin Margiela Leopard High Top Sneakers (Shopbop.com, $198); ASOS Short Sleeve Kimono Blouse in Floral Print (Asos.com, $61); Express Sexy Stretch Legging (Express.com, $30)
Rule #4: Do a midi or maxi dress with low-top, slip-on kicks
Let’s face it, cankles don’t look cute on anyone, and unfortunately, high tops can help create the illusion of them. So your best bet is to steer clear of those if you’re sporting a skirt or dress to school and choose some low-top, slip-on sneakers instead.
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