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Minimalist trainers

There was a time when pristine white trainers were exclusively the domain of embarrassing dads and George W. Bush. But this misunderstood mode of footwear has experienced a serious style renaissance – and not before time. Sleek, monochrome sneakers are your summer style weapon – and they deserve a place in your wardrobe.

minimalist trainers

Picture: ASOS

At the recent batch of menswear shows, designers re-evaluated the potential of the clean white trainer. From classic designs that take their cues from original tennis shoes to more modern luxe styles, branding is kept to a minimum and the overall effect is effortlessly understated. The joy of white sneakers is that they strike a balance between casual and considered dressing. We don't know how else to put it except that right now, pared-down trainers just look so... right. A word of warning, though: keep them pristine or the whole look falls apart.


Here are three ways to wear them:


Formal minimalist

Stark white trainers provide the perfect contrast to more formal pieces and can help negotiate the trickiest of all dress codes: smart/casual. Try spanking-clean leather or slip-on styles with smart trousers and a shirt or, if you dare, a suit. If you want to avoid looking like a renegade commuter-in-transit, forego the tie and unbutton the shirt.


Street casual

Classic 80s and 90s bulkier designs, like Nike Air Force 1s, are the right choice for taking the trend in a streetwear direction. Ideal for a casual look, a pristine pair will go with just about anything.



If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Classic white plimsolls looked awesome on James Dean and still ace effortless style today. Team canvas lace-ups and court-side styles with fitted chinos or selvedge denim and a plain, well-cut T-shirt. Just remember to roll up the cuffs and leave the socks at home. Perfect for the beach or town.