the case for white kicks

please invest in a pair of classic white sneakers. i’ve seen the new pixelated nike air max in bright pink, and i just ordered the colorful new balance 696 in champagne, violet and lime from j crew. i get it. but every girl needs a pair of white sneakers as part of her well-rounded footwear collection. why? because they will serve you so well in a variety of wardrobe scenarios. more on that in paragraph four.  

i'm having a thing for high tops right now, and i've totally accepted that my feet belong to someone four inches taller than i.

i'm having a thing for high tops right now, and i've totally accepted that my feet belong to someone four inches taller than i.

but first some rapid fire sneaker history. plimsolls, as they were first called, have been around since the late 18th century, even though the first versions didn’t even have a right or left foot designation. by 1917, designs had improved and the u.s. rubber company was mass-producing keds, marquis converse had designed the first basketball shoe (converse all star, affectionately known now to many as just chucks), and soon after, a german man named adi dassler created a little sneaker brand called adidas.

love this "vintage" ad for keds. you have to read the whole thing.

love this "vintage" ad for keds. you have to read the whole thing.

but all that sneaker goodness was just for athletes during the first part of the 20th century. thankfully, the 1950’s counterculture kids caught on, and today, it’s hard to think of a more enduring fashion statement than that of the white sneaker.

now back to some plimsolls for you. to prove my point that white sneakers are mandatory, i present five outfit ideas that are all to be confidently rocked with sneaks.

1. skinny jeans + interesting top or chunky sweater + moto jacket

2. button down shirt + modern work pant + blazer

3. midi skirt + tee + seemingly too fancy necklace

4. wide-legged pant in fun color + fitted top + fab scarf

5. striped button down shirt + shorts + blazer (this is my can’t-wait-for-late spring-fave)   

if you have a casual boss lady thing, sneakers can totally work.

if you have a casual boss lady thing, sneakers can totally work.

go try some on, and keep these things in mind. look at yourself from all angles. what looks so cute online or forward-facing may well be a nightmare from the side. check out your full silhouette and make sure your choice is complimentary. when in doubt, go low. i’m personally opposed to a platform sneaker, but that’s just my (well-informed) opinion. thick soled, white sneakers run the risk of looking like orthotics. (of course there is nothing wrong with orthotics if, in fact, you need them). and finally, know that your sneakers have to stay crispy white, so consider how you will keep them clean. a dirty white sneaker is no bueno. for this very reason, i am a chuck taylor devotee; they fit my foot well, but as importantly, they wash up quite nicely.