White shoes have been sneaking into formal looks for the past few years now, but some of us might still be unsure about wearing tennis shoes to a special occasion.
We want to allay any fears you might still have on this topic. You can wear tennis shoes with almost any look—provided they’re still bright white.
Once you start looking, you might be surprised by the places you’ll see sneakers. Weddings, funerals, awards shows—the list goes on.
If you have a formal occasion, but you want to keep your feet as comfortable as possible, put away your pumps and pull out your white sneakers. The most versatile shoe has your back—and your feet.
Here are 13 formal looks to help you look and feel your best.
#1 Lean Into the White (Formal Edition)
Olivia Pope approves. A white blouse with white slacks or a skirt epitomizes elegance. To add a little edge to the look, add a few bright accessories like a bold red purse or dramatic sunglasses.
#2 A Sophisticated Spin on Street Style
Take your everyday outfit up a few notches by wearing a chunky pair of white sneakers with a blazer and fitted top. The Alpargata White Shoes would be the perfect accompaniment to this fashion-forward look. Accessorize with a trendy minibag and chunky hoop earrings.
#3 A Pop of White Against Shades of Green
Turn your friends’ faces green with envy by with an outfit in varying shades of green. If you want a sharper contrast, make sure your clothes are dark enough to let the white of your shoes really stand out.
#4 White Kicks and Plaid Skirts or Slacks
School’s out but plaid is always in. Lean into plaid’s classic preppy vibe with sweater vests, graphic tees, suspenders, or a stylish satchel. Or, bring out your inner British punk rocker with metallic accessories, distressed band tees, and a leather jacket. A bright white sneaker will polish up the look while allowing plaid to take centre stage.
#5 Romantic But Practical
You know Cinderella wished she had a pair of white sneaks underneath her fairytale gown. Create your own happily-ever-after outfit with a voluminous skirt, crop top, and of course, lace-up white sneakers.
#6 Zebra Chic
Black and white looks good on everyone and can instantly polish up an ensemble for a formal affair. So whether you’re wearing a floor-length dress, a crisp suit, or a romper—a black-and-white outfit will be perfectly complemented by your white sneakers.
#7 Silky and Sensible
Silk is a staple of formalwear. If you’re poised in a silk blouse, skirt, or floor-length gown, add a pair of white sneakers will add modern minimalist chic to your entire look.
#8 Sail Away with Navy and White
Understated. Sophisticated. Endlessly stylish. Navy and white have been a staple color combination for everyone from the Olsen twins to Jackie O.
To join the ranks of these fashion queens, add these accessory ideas:
- Bright red lipstick
- French-style silk kerchief around a ponytail
- White jean jacket
Hot tip: the Fenix White Plimsolls would fit in seamlessly with this ensemble.
#9 Trailblaze with White Sneakers and a Blazer
This is the perfect autumnal look for when you want to feel put-together and creative. Layer the blazer over a turtleneck or a fitted sweater. Your white sneakers will balance this professional outfit by adding a touch of youth.
#10 Try Tried-and-True Trousers
Wear your sneakers with wide-legged pants for a polished daytime look. Add a crisp, tuckable button-down to complete the ensemble.
#11 Black Jumpsuit, Red Lips, White Kicks
What’s black, red, and white with style in spades? You in a sleek black jumpsuit with your gleaming white sneakers. A bold red lip will complete the look and seal your reputation as a fashionista with a crimson kiss.
#12 Slip Dress, Sleek Shoes
Slip dresses—which sensually toe the line between formalwear and lingerie—are making a comeback on the style scene. Adding a white shoe brings the classic 90s look into the 2020’s.
#13 Tux and Sneaks
Move out of the way boys—women are taking on the tux. A tailored tuxedo looks devilishly good on a woman’s curves. Add a pristine pair of white sneakers and a tousled updo and you’ll look red carpet ready.
Finding Your Most Versatile Shoe with TOM’s
As you can see, the white sneaker is popular for a reason. It’s a classic wardrobe staple that works at any time of year on any occasion—whether that’s a casual coffee with a friend or a workplace meeting.
At TOMS, we like that we can provide you with a single pair of shoes that can take you from the farmer’s market to a formal gathering without needing to change.
Reviewed By Dan Caves
Dan Caves is the Senior Manager of Digital Marketing at TOMS and has been operating in the digital space for 6 years, writing about the latest trends or styles and helping brands make bold statements with innovative tactics and creative concepts. He's determined to go all the places, see all the things, and pet all the dogs.