A Tasteless Trend

Much to my dismay, the casual trend continues. According to the NPD, which is an American market research company, the sales of shoes are falling while athletic footwear is on the upswing…holy moly!

A recent article in the Boston Globe by Beth Teitell described multiple situations where women of all ages are wearing sneakers with evening attire to formal events such as bar mitzvahs and weddings. If you are considering this trend, I beg you to reconsider! And before you suggest that my opinion is ‘generational’, because I am 64 years old, let me share my reasoning…

  1. Sneakers are CASUAL by definition. A synthetic or leather shoe with a rubber sole, primarily intended for athletic activities or walking. No amount of Swarovski crystals or designer logos changes a sneaker into a dress shoe – it simply makes it a ‘fashion sneaker’ for casual wear.
  2. Sneakers do not enhance your appearance. If your intention when attending a special event is to look your best – sneakers are in no way whatsoever flattering to your legs or to your whole body. They are flat, with ties, and they cover your whole foot. Clunky and chunky. Perfect for children going out to play, not for a woman attempting to look like a woman.
  3. Comfort first’ is a silly excuse. If your intention when attending such events is to be comfortable, there are many shoe options where you can be comfortable without resorting to sneakers. Not all dress shoes are 5 inch stilettos or strappy sandals that cause your feet to go numb! There are block heels, lower heels, kitten heels, wedges and the like – all options (even for those with foot issues) that you can be comfortable in as you dance the night away…
  4. Dancing is not safe in rubber soled shoes. Unless your version of dancing is to ‘step in place’ or jump around the dance floor, sneakers can actually cause damage to ankles and knees when you attempt to spin with your partner. (True dance shoes will have leather or suede bottoms – a sole that allows for gliding/pivoting.). Rubber soles are meant for stability when playing sports or walking.

Now don’t get me wrong – I certainly appreciate the creative styling of mixing opposite looks – sweet with edgy, preppy with sexy, even dressy with casual, such as sneakers with a dress…but anytime I wear sneakers, it’s when the situation calls for casual…in the above pic it was a sweltering hot evening in NYC and we were headed to dinner on the deck of a historic fishing boat…rather than wearing shorts or jeans, it was fun to wear a sexy little dress with white leather JSlides.

More recently on a hot evening in Boston, my look again was casual because the environment did not call for formality…if hubby is wearing a sport jacket, you will not catch me in sneakers of any kind.

Speaking of hubby, what about this trend in regard to men? I apply the same rule of thumb – ‘nice’ sneakers worn with a blazer is a great ‘smart casual’ look for many restaurants, work settings, or social events…but with a full suit my vote is still no…I may make exception for a gentleman in a linen suit, worn to a beach wedding – but heck, how often does that happen? šŸ˜‰

One final point to consider about this sneaker trend: don’t think that it will be easy on your wallet! The sneakers pictured here and many coveted brands are well over a thousand dollars! You can get Manolos, Jimmy Choos, or even Laboutins for significantly less! šŸ˜‰

Sneakers are fun, casual, and comfy footwear…there are glitzy sneakers, designer brands, colorful styles and/or classic looks – all can be creative additions to your casual wardrobe, whether you are walking through Disney, heading to a barbecue, or to a casual restaurant with friends. As for dressy occasions? Candy Costas votes a big NO.

Who’s with me on this? Would love to hear your thoughts!

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  • I can not even imagine wearing sneakers with formal attire. And i have an extensive collection of sneakers that I love. There are just some situations where they are not appropriate.

    • I love sneakers too Lori! But never to a wedding! šŸ˜‰

  • I am with you 100 percent Candy! I have never been a big fan of sneakers. I actually find them claustrophobic ..or rather my feet find them to be so…not to mention that I do not find them fashionable especially for formal situations.

    • Funny that your feet find them claustrophobic! Haha..I do know what you mean! šŸ˜‰

  • I think there is a time and place for everything. I love my heels. Nothing makes makes me feel better and makes an outfit look great then a pair of heels. Thou I do like the kids that wear sneakers with dresses at after parties. But please make sure they are stylish clean and crisp white looking (better then being barefoot) I do like daywear skirts with a cute pair of sneakers if Iā€™m walking a lot or in grass but not at night

    • All great points Sharon! Definitely better than barefoot to an ‘after party’!


  • When I had a reformer studio a very famous morning show host was a private daily client. She needed me to help give her shapely legs and although she had her masters she told me that for some reason legs mattered when telling the news. She also told me that she felt more fierce and strong when walking across a room in heels. I helped her get great legs and when I see her walk the carpet in her heels I let her know she rules the planet.

    • That is very interested and I can certainly relate! Thanks for sharing!


    • A great article… I’m a retired school teacher and love high heels…spent 40 years in front of my classes wearing them. I would never wear sneakers to anything but a casual function or place.

      • Music to my ears Debbie! I could not agree more! Thanks so much for reading and commenting.



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