When Should Guys Wear Dress Shoes Vs Sneakers?

mens dress shoes for work and meetings
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We’re all guilty of dressing in what we are most comfortable in, whether that is joggers or our trusty old pair sneakers. Whilst some sneakers are the height of fashion, there are appropriate times to wear them and other times, the occasion will call for dress shoes. But how do you know when you should wear dress shoes? Here, we let you know when guys should wear dress shoes over sneakers, so you don’t make any situation faux pas. 

Going For A Drink

There are now a lot of sneaker brands that are seriously high end, think Tom Ford and the like, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll get let into some bars and clubs when you wear them. There are some establishments that will only accept dress shoes, so take note of the dress policy before you head out. It doesn’t matter if you dropped $500 on the latest Lanvin & Saint, they’re still sneakers, so you won’t get let in. 

Work and Meetings

mens dress shoes for work and meetings

When it comes to being professional, what you wear goes along way, especially if you are in finance, consulting or banking. If you turn up wearing sneakers and not dress shoes, not only will you be told that your attire isn’t appropriate for the setting, you may even have disciplinary action taken against you, even if they are seriously expensive sneakers. 

Informal Lunch Date

Mens white sneakers with gray slacks, black shirt and watch

There are some places where you can get away with wearing your sneakers, especially if you are well dressed. If you are wanting to wear your sneakers, you do need to put in some consideration to your outfit. You don’t want to be turning up in a tracksuit and sneakers, instead, opt for chinos and shirt to dress your sneakers up, rather than down. Taking in these considerations won’t make your sneakers so out of place, rather, it’ll increase the look of your entire outfit. 


mens dress shoes for a wedding

It doesn’t matter if you weren’t invited to the main ceremony, if you turn up in sneakers you may as well not have turned up at all. There are some occasions where sneakers won’t cut it and a wedding is one of them. If you are going to the main ceremony, make sure that you are dressed suitable attire that people at a wedding have come to expect. A good pair of dress shoes will make sure that the outfit stands out and looks the part. The same is applicable to the evening ceremony. You don’t need to be as formal, but you will still need to wear dress shoes. If you are unsure where to start when it comes to buying dress shoes, look for a dress shoe guide so you can work through different types and figure out which ones suit you. 

Day to Day Activities 

If you are just completing daily chores, such as going shopping or popping out to meet a friend for coffee, you don’t have to wear dress shoes for this, but you can still make an effort if you feel like it. There are so many different types of men’s casual sneakers now, from your basic canvas, to your luxury and very out there athletic types, that you’ll always be able to find a pair. One thing to bear in mind before you buy more sneakers is that what you are purchasing matches your current wardrobe. There is no point in spending lots of money on the latest pair of out there sneakers if you then have to go out and buy an entirely new wardrobe to get a matching outfit. Keep the sneakers simply and stylish, such as canvas or leather ones. 

Job Interview

men's dress shoes for a job interview

We don’t think we need to say this, but if you are going for a job interview, make sure you wear dress shoes. If you have a black suit, you will need to wear black shoes, if you have a grey or charcoal suit then you will need to invest in a pair of brown shoes to make sure your entire outfit matches. If you turn up to your job interview in anything but dress shoes, the chances are, the first impression you make won’t be a good one. 

Final Thoughts

There are certain times when you can wear sneakers and other times, dress shoes are more appropriate. Make sure you read the situation correctly otherwise you’ll make a fashion faux pas that could have long reaching consequences. If you can wear sneakers to an event, but aren’t sure where to start, don’t jump on the latest bandwagon of trends or you may find that you have to buy a brand-new outfit. Dress shoes are simple and elegant, they can be easily dressed up and dressed down, which is why you need a pair. 

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